WARM sunshine and warm smiles marked Charles and Camilla's visit to this year's Three Counties Show in Malvern.

Despite later downpours, the weather was glorious as the the Royal couple arrived at the show to clear skies on the opening day and were greeted by smiling crowds on their walkabout through the showground.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were met by local dignitaries, including the chairman of Malvern Hills District Council, Sue Gill, and chairman of Malvern Town Council, Mike Selby, when they arrived at the showground at 11.15am.

Suntanned and relaxed Prince Charles and the Duchess, who was wearing a pretty, white, pleated skirt and pale gold fitted jacket, toured the 70-acre showground meeting exhibitors and farmers, viewing livestock and presenting awards.

The couple tasted local ciders and perrys, sampled cheeses and Malvern Water and chatted about organic farming and native livestock with exhibitors.

As they toured the show they found time to stop and say hello to some of the hundreds of people who crowded round to see them, the Duchess even stopping to be photographed with two eager children and Charles joking with other youngsters about "bunking off school".

Taking no notice of the papparazzi the Royal pair chatted and joked with the people they met showing a genuine interest in the locally produced food and the native breed farm animals. They even picked up a pork pie from local butchers S R Goodwin's stand in the Severn Hall.

"He's a good bloke Prince Charles, very friendly. He asked about the pies and we gave him a free pork pie to take with him," said Neil Wood, of Goodwins.

The Royal schedule included a visit to the Hereford Cattle ring and a meeting with the Shropshire Sheep Breeders Association. Prince Charles also came face to face with a very rare Mangalitza pig, one of only 20 in this country. The woolly-coated breed whose bacon was once traded on the Vienna stock exchange was being exhibited in Malvern for the first time.

The royal visit was a return one for Prince Charles., who last visited the showground on June 15, 1978, exactly 29 years ago. This year's show was the 210th Three Counties Show and the 50th to take place at the Malvern showground.

"It's an honour to see him return to Malvern with the Duchess for our special birthday," said TCAS president Audley Twiston-Davies.

See Photo Galleries for more pictures Show winners locally were: CATTLE: Devon section, Heifer born in 2006, 2nd Prize. Exhibit name - Harcombe Epsom. Exhibitor - Harcombe, Miss S from Upton-Upon-Severn Devon Section, Heifer born in 2006, 3rd Prize. Exhibit name - Harcombe Eider. Exhibitor - Harcombe, Miss S from Upton-upon-Severn HORSES: Welsh Mountain Ponies section A, brood mare 4 years old or over with her own foal at foot, 2nd Prize. Exhibit name - Flydon Seren Avr. Exhibitor - Abrahall, J & L, from Hereford.

Welsh Mountain Ponies section A, Yearling colt.

1st Prize. Exhibit name - Dhanak Best Man. Exhibitor - Fletcher, Mrs J B, from Malvern Welsh Mountain Ponies section A, Yearling filly.

2nd Prize. Exhibit name - Wernderris Rainbow Exhibitor - Crump, Mrs, from Hereford.

Welsh Mountain Ponies section A, Yearling filly.

5th Prize. Exhibit name - Sarum Ruby Rose. Exhibitor - Franklin, Mr & Mrs S A, from Malvern Welsh Mountain Ponies Section A, Filly or gelding, two or three years old.

4th Prize. Exhibit name - Sarum Lrelli. Exhibitor - Franklin, Mr & Mrs S A, from Malvern Private driving, pleasure driving Class 1st Prize. Exhibit name - Magic Merlin. Exhibitor - Allcoat, Mr, from Hereford.

Private Driving, peasure driving class. 3rd Prize. Exhibit name - cwmcothi issac. Exhibitor -Walton, Mrs, from Hereford.

There were no local winners in either the pig or sheep sections