PREPARED for the worst but determined to make the best of it seemed to be the general attitude at the start of the 2012 Royal Cornwall Show.

High winds and occasional rain greeted visitors but did little to dampen the enthusiasm of regular show-goers who came prepared with wellies and wet weather gear.

And the arrival of Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, yesterday was eagerly anticipated by show organisers. Making her second visit to the three-day show, she faced a busy programme touring the showground.

Show secretary Chris Riddle said he and his colleagues were thrilled that the Duchess had been able to visit during the week of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and that her presence was a great boost to the ever-growing popularity of the show.

Mr Riddle said showground staff had been kept busy 'putting a few things to rights' but generally the infrastructure was surviving the weather.

The royal visit was delayed by about 40 minutes because the Duchess's helicopter was unable to fly, so she had to travel to St Mawgan by fixed-wing aircraft.

Around the showground, traders were battening down the hatches but remained confident of a successful show.

At the stand of Solomons of Liskeard, manager Joyce Finnamore and her staff were grateful that the entrance to their marquee faced away from the prevailing wind. Colleague Paul Bryant said they had been busy from the start and that the weather had made little difference.

Early success on the competitive front came for Duchy Nurseries from Lostwithiel whose display, 'Jubilee Tea Garden', won a gold medal and the award for best design in the flower tent.

On the cattle lines, show regulars the Rowe family from Menheniot had won a second place in the heifer or cow section of the South Devon cattle and were looking forward to even better things.