Princess Anne has arrived to greet exhibitors at Sydney‘s Royal Easter Show just hours after touching down in Australia for a three-day visit exactly a year after the passing of her father, Prince Philip.
The Princess Royal, who is visiting Australia on behalf of her mother Queen Elizabeth II, and her entourage arrived on Saturday and were whisked through the terminal and away by an official police escort.
By the early afternoon she was at Homebush in Sydney’s west to view some of the exhibits ahead of officially opening the 200th anniversary of the popular agricultural show.
Anne is attending the show in her role as Patron of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth.
Princess Anne views stands at the Bicentennial Sydney Royal Easter Show after arriving in Sydney on Saturday morning
The Queen’s only daughter will officially open the 200th anniversary of the popular agricultural show on Saturday afternoon
The Princess Royal greeted stall-holders after arriving at Sydney’s famous agricultural show
The Royal Easter Show capacity has been capped at 80,000, despite there being no Covid restrictions in place.
Anne’s visit also coincides with the first anniversary of the death of her father, Prince Philip, who died at Windsor Castle one year ago today aged 99.
Hers is the first visit to Australia by a member of the British royal family since Harry and Meghan Markle’s rock-star trip in 2018.
The Princess Royal is joined on the trip by her husband, Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.
She opened the 1988 show during Australia’s bicentenary celebrations.
Princess Anne will be escorted by the NSW Mounted Police as she makes her way into the stadium in a horse-drawn caleche originally built more than 150 years ago to open the show shortly after 5pm this evening.
The first time it was used it carried Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne to the Main Arena where they officially opened the 1970 Show.
The opening of the show by a Royal is a Vice-Regal tradition dating back well over a hundred years.
The opening will be followed by an overhead performance by the Air Force Roulettes at 5.30pm.
Princess Anne previously opened the Royal Easter Show in 1988 during Australia’s bicentenary celebrations
Anne’s visit also coincides with the first anniversary of the death of her father, Prince Philip, who died at Windsor Castle one year ago today aged 99
The 71-year-old royal is know for her love of agricultural issues and horses, competing in a three-day equestrian contest at the 1976 Olympics and becoming the first-ever British Royal to become an Olympian.
She is also President of the British Olympic Association.
Anne has several engagements on her whistle-stop three-day visit, including with the Rural Fire Service and Sea Heritage Foundation.
She is expected to visit the Rural Fire Service at Telopea Park and meet with fire-fighters and families who have battled both bushfires and floods in the area over the past two years.
Her first engagement is to meet with Margaret Beazley, the Governor of New South Wales, and General David John Hurley, the Governor-General of Australia.
After leaving Australia Princess Anne had engagements in Papua New Guinea.
She is expected to be greeted by PNG Governor General, Sir Bob Dadae and meet Prime Minister James Marape before opening the National Cardiac Diagnostic Centre at the Port Moresby General Hospital and the National Ambulance Control Centre of the St. John Ambulance.
The Princess will also lay a wreath at the Bomana War Cemetery, where 3,284 Commonwealth soldiers are buried, on behalf of the Queen.
Princess Anne and her husband Timothy Laurence make their way through Sydney airport on Saturday as she begins a three-day royal visit
Anne’s visit comes exactly one year after the death of her father, Prince Philip, who died on April 9, 2021 aged 99
The show will feature nearly 8,500 animals participating across 12 days, with tens of thousands of other entries in competitions judging everything from rats to roosters and reptiles.
As part of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW’s 200-year celebrations, there is also a competition for best period-themed young horse riders and pooch owners, featuring costumes from the 1800s.
The show’s General Manager of Agriculture, Murray Wilton, said the event remains true to its roots.
‘We’re doing today what we did 200 years ago but we’re doing it on a much grander scale,’ he said.
‘It all started with a group of farmers who thought that their livestock were better than their neighbours’, and it grew from there.’