Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex has been confirmed as the figurehead of the Royal Norfolk Show in June, taking over for her husband The Earl of Wessex who was the show’s last royal president in 2014. She will attend the event and is expected to carry out a packed programme across the showground.
Greg Smith, chief executive of show organisers the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), said: “We are very honoured to have The Countess of Wessex as our president for 2019, and we very much look forward to welcoming Her Royal Highness to the Royal Norfolk Show.
“Her Royal Highness already has a strong association with agricultural shows and is currently patron of the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations, so I know she is very much looking forward to finding out more and supporting the work we undertake in the county.”
A total of 14 members of the Royal Family have been the RNAA’s president over the last 100 years, and Her Majesty The Queen is the RNAA’s royal patron.
The Royal Norfolk Show had an attendance of 85,000 last summer, but it still failed to make any money. The income of the show in 2018 was £1.43m – up £125,000 compared to 2017 – but various costs led to an overall deficit of £133,595.
In the annual report, Sir Nicholas Bacon, who stepped down after 11 years as the association’s chairman, said: “Financially, the picture remains difficult. We continue to tightly budget the RNAA and apply strict cost-saving measures. But one can only keep cutting costs for a certain amount of time. At some stage, we need to significantly increase our income.” His successor Rob Alston said, “I think Nico’s legacy is the commercial viability we have here at the showground. There are challenges around the corner, but we are on a good financial footing.”