The Duchess of Cornwall was the guest of honour today at the South of England Show at Ardingly in Sussex.
The royal even took time out of her schedule to 'knight' one of the visitors - the actor Callum Arnott. In the absence of a sword, a Sussex-grown leek was used to mark the occasion.
The three-day event is celebrating its 50th year at the Ardingly showground and though the skies were heavy and grey, the rain held off, and the crowds turned up. Derek Johnson reports
Thousands of people are gathering in Sussex for the annual South of England Show.
The event is one of the biggest dates on the calendar for the region's farmers and agricultural industry.
Along with the traditional livestock show, there'll be showjumping and a scenic big wheel.
It's shaping up as a challenging year for the region's farmers - a year that started with hundreds of acres of farmland swamped by floods.
But the sun shone today for the start of the South of England Show and the message to consumers from farmers was simple - buy local.
Andy Dickenson was there and spoke to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP, Minette Batters of the NFU, and Michael Lambert of the South of England Society.
Organisers of the Autumn South of England Show say they saw bumper crowds today.
With the harvest in, many farmers are already busy planting next years crops. As well as dog trails, game cooking and woodcarving demonstrations visitors enjoyed clay pigeon shooting - and the chance to be taught by local Commonwealth Champion Charlotte Kerwood.
Andy Dickenson reports. He also speaks to Michael Lambert, Chairman of the South of England Agricultural Society, and Michelle Nuds, Vice Chairman of the Autumn Show.
The three-day South of England Show has begun today. The annual celebration of the south's agricultural industry will see daredevil stunt riders as well as the annual fare of cattle, pigs and other animals on show for the public to see. The organisers are expecting thousands of people to attend.