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‘My family’s connections with Norfolk go back 150 years’ - Prince William shows support for Norfolk Day

PUBLISHED: 07:56 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 06 March 2018

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge walk to church at Sandringham. Picture Matthew Usher.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge walk to church at Sandringham. Picture Matthew Usher.

Archant © 2011 01603 772434

Norfolk Day has received a massive boost - an endorsement from The Duke of Cambridge.

Sandringham House. Picture: Ian Burt Sandringham House. Picture: Ian Burt

The royal seal of approval is the latest high point of a superb start to the countdown to the county’s special day on July 27.

Prince William said the county had a “particularly special personal connection” with his family which stretched back more than 150 years.

HM the Queen leaving by car after Sunday morning service at Sandringham Church. Picture: Ian Burt HM the Queen leaving by car after Sunday morning service at Sandringham Church. Picture: Ian Burt

He said: “My family’s connections with the county of Norfolk go back more than 150 years when Queen Victoria bought Sandringham House.

“My mother was born at Park House in the grounds of Sandringham, and many other family moments have taken place here.

Princess Diana on a visit to Sandrigham Fire Brigade with Prince William and Prince Harry. Picture: Archant Library Princess Diana on a visit to Sandrigham Fire Brigade with Prince William and Prince Harry. Picture: Archant Library

“So it already felt like home when Catherine and I lived there for the first years of George and Charlotte’s lives whilst I had a job as a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance up the road in Cambridge.”

The Prince said Norfolk had “much” going for it including a beautiful coastline and countryside, historic cities and churches, an ancient culture and rich tradition of local food and drink and “not to mention global, national and local businesses, contributing to thriving commerce”.

Princess Diana's first birthday, Park House. Photo: PA Princess Diana's first birthday, Park House. Photo: PA

“I sincerely hope that Norfolk Day becomes an entrenched tradition in the life of this county for years to come.”

The news of the Prince’s backing for Norfolk Day was greeted with enthusiasm.

The room at Park House in Sandringham where Princess Diana was born. Picture: Ian Burt The room at Park House in Sandringham where Princess Diana was born. Picture: Ian Burt

Norfolk Day ambassador Dr Ben Garrod said: “That William wants to be involved is a great endorsement for Norfolk and our community.

“We hope to see him on the day celebrating along with the rest of us.”

The Royal Family attend Sandringham Church on Christmas Day 2013 - Prince Harry and Prince William meet the crowd. Picture: Matthew Usher. The Royal Family attend Sandringham Church on Christmas Day 2013 - Prince Harry and Prince William meet the crowd. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Fellow ambassador, The Very Reverend Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich Cathedral said it was “fantastic news” that the Duke of Cambridge had decided to get behind Norfolk Day.

“It goes to show how far and wide the passion for this great county of ours runs and is just another example of how lucky we are to live here.” Chef Charlie Hodson, who is also an ambassador, said: “This has to be the best accolade for Norfolk Day to have Prince William backing his love for Norfolk.”

The Duke of Cambridge talks to wellwishers as he leaves St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk following the traditional Christmas Day service in 2014.  Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire The Duke of Cambridge talks to wellwishers as he leaves St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk following the traditional Christmas Day service in 2014. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Editor David Powles said Prince William’s comments showed how much Norfolk meant to The Royal Family. “We’re incredibly fortunate to live in such a special part of the country and we’d like to see as many people as possible get involved in Norfolk Day.”

The statement from the Duke of Cambridge giving his backing to Norfolk Day. The statement from the Duke of Cambridge giving his backing to Norfolk Day.

Share your Norfolk Day ideas

Norfolk Day ambassador Dr Ben Garrod. Picture: Norwich Science Festival Norfolk Day ambassador Dr Ben Garrod. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

More businesses and organisations have come forward with suggestions in which they plan to celebrate Norfolk Day.

Margaret Henderson said the parish of Hempstead, Lessingham and Eccles would be holding a flower festival, ‘Parish in Bloom’ at St Andrew’s Church, Hempstead over three days in July and plan for the opening day, Friday July 27 to be part of the Norfolk Day celebrations.

Norfolk Day ambassador Rev Jane Hedges.
Picture: Nick Butcher Norfolk Day ambassador Rev Jane Hedges. Picture: Nick Butcher

Dr Pam Taylor, a Trustee for the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust said they would also get involved with the 113 year old pleasure wherry Hathor on public view, free of charge, at How Hill throughout the day.

“With links to the Colman’s mustard family and Edward Boardman who built How Hill House, this wherry is steeped in Norfolk history,” she said.

Norfolk Day ambassador Charlie Hodson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Norfolk Day ambassador Charlie Hodson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

To get involved and share your ideas on how you plan to celebrate email norfolkday@archant.co.uk, tweet @norfolk_day or log on to the Norfolk Day Facebook group.

Norfolk Day Logo Norfolk Day Logo

Show your support for Norfolk Day

An online shop was recently launched selling Norfolk Day marketing material which event organisers can display on the day.

The shop is selling a four-pack of flags, four-pack of A3 posters and 20 balloons at £4, while 5m of bunting is £7.50.

Celebration packs containing all of the above are also available for £15.

Norfolk Day takes place on Friday, July 27 and is intended as a day of fun in which individuals, community groups and businesses are encouraged to get involved by hosting or participating in events.

The initiative was launched by the EDP and Norwich Evening News in partnership with BBC Radio Norfolk and has the backing of business and several community organisations who are planning events for the day.

Details of events will be revealed in the newspaper, online and via social media. To order Norfolk Day materials, visit: The Norfolk Day Shop. Estimated delivery time is 28 days.

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