It was just as you would hope a royal visit would be. And it all took place in our lovely South Shropshire, focussing on the theme of the very best in farming.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex was the guest for the day and she quite clearly not only enjoyed the experience but added to it significantly.
Like many of our other royals, she came equipped with the right questions and certainly got the answers from the valued, knowledgeable team running the so impressive Earl of Plymouth Estates, just outside Ludlow.
Lord Plymouth, Lord Windsor and the Honourable David Windsor Clive were among those welcoming the special visitor.
The story they had to tell centred round the Plymouth Estate’s ‘Field to Plate’ philosophy, incorporating the very best from animal welfare through care of the land and right down the system to the nation’s tables.
An educational tour of a successful farm business in days when agricultural environments can be difficult was clearly seen by the countess as valuable.
From her helicopter arrival and four-hour visit, the special guest pressed for information
Her Royal Highness is president of the Royal Smithfield Club and attended the short annual meeting held at Ludlow Racecourse during her visit.
Nowadays, almost magical machinery on the electronic scale, is used where necessary and like most visitors, the countess was very curious as to how it all worked.
One machine shown to her was a safe digester. She listened very carefully as its magical properties were explained before asking if what was being ‘digested’ really did sort of swallow the lot.
When she was assured that it did, her wry reply – with that smile still there – was: “I’m struggling to believe you.”
Her Royal Highness had very clearly thoroughly enjoyed her special day in Shropshire including the fabulous farm shop.
And the produce treat which Lord Plymouth presented to her at the end of the visit promised to be a very tasty reminder of a slice of Shropshire’s best.