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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Queen's visit draws huge crowds
The Queen

The Queen has been greeted by huge crowds at the Royal Welsh Show during the event's centenary celebrations.

It is her first visit in more than 20 years but the second royal appearance in a week for the show at Llanelwedd.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan missed greeting the Queen after being caught up in heavy show traffic.

The show attracted 64,000 visitors on Wednesday, although it was short of a record crowd that some had predicted.

Mr Morgan got stuck in traffic on one of the gridlocked roads leading to the grounds and was forced to get out and walk.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Welsh Assembly Government had said Mr Morgan's delay was unfortunate and that no discourtesy had been intended.

The Queen officially opened the site's new stone-built twin-towers entrance to the showground.

She took an unscheduled stop in the food hall and talked to Rachel Rowlands, show steward and co-founder of Rachel's Dairy in Aberystwyth.

She was presented with Snowdonia cheese and Mrs Rowlands said the Queen was surprised at how many different varieties of Welsh cheese there were.

Mrs Rowlands said: "The Queen showed a great deal of interest and she was fascinated to discover how many flavoured cheeses we had and how they were part of a growing market in Wales.

Earlier, after opening the new Royal Welsh Show entrance, the Queen watched four-year-old Indie the Golden Retriever recover a wooden dummy from a pond.

Her owner, Malcolm Price, from Skewen, near Neath, said: "She was so interested in Indie and we chatted about dogs.

The Queen and First Minister Rhodri Morgan
The Queen and First Minister Rhodri Morgan at the Royal Welsh show

"I told her that I knew her dog handler Bill Meldrum who looks after her kennels at Sandringham."

The Queen also visited the cattle ring and she officially opened the new shearing shed before staying to watch the beginning of a keenly-contested competition.

Her Majesty also entered the show ring during judging of the Welsh Cobs competition.

About 1,000 people are taking part in a "centenary cavalcade" to highlight 100 years of Welsh country life each evening.

The event has been co-ordinated by Sir Michael Parker, who directed the Royal Tournament for 27 years.

The Royal Welsh Show began its life in Aberystwyth in 1904.

The Queen is patron to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society and first visited the Royal Welsh as Princess Elizabeth when it was staged in Carmarthen in 1947.

She and the Duke of Edinburgh last visited in 1983 but Prince Charles opened the show on Monday, when he called for more traditional home economics lessons to be taught in schools.




SEE ALSO:
Royal Welsh Show chairman dies
18 Jul 04  |  Wales
Queen to attend Royal Welsh
29 Jun 04  |  Mid
Prince opens centenary show
19 Jul 04  |  Mid


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