THE New Forest Show is today getting the royal seal of approval for the second year in a row.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex are attending the popular show after the Queen rounded off her Diamond Jubilee tour with a visit last year.

The visit from Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in 2012 boosted the profile of the popular Show to its highest level yet.

Many have taken to Twitter to post pictures of the royal couple as they tour the grounds.

Traffic was reported to be slow moving through the New Forest earlier today with drivers facing journey times of 20 minutes on the A337 south and through to Lyndhust and 15 minutes from Christchurch to Lyndhurst.

The Royal Couple began their tour of the showground by visiting the Countryside area, where they both tried their hand at fly fishing.

They also visited the Wessex Ferret Club, but resisted the temptation to handle any of the animals they were shown.

After inspecting a batch of weapons on show at the Police Countrywatch stand, the Earl and his wife visited the pro hunting Countryside alliance.

But in keeping with the Royal tradition of never getting involved in politics, they avoided the thorny issue of whether the ban on hunting with hounds should be repealed. Countryside alliance member Alison Hawes said: “We talked about mobile coverage and broadband coverage.”

After the leaving the Countryside area the Royal couple split up, ensuring they saw the whole showground between them.

While the Earl headed for the food hall, his wife made her way to the discovery zone, where she watched a group of children enjoying a fencing lesson.

Later she visited the cattle area, stroking one of the cows and chatting to some of the people exhibiting their animals.

Horse drawn wagons trundled around the area as loud speakers played Abba songs and music from Grease.

Later, the Royal couple presented a series of awards.

Recipients included Lee Winter, 32, of Fritham, who was named Best Young Farmer and Commoner.

The award for best local produce went to Setley Ridge Farmshop near Brockenhurst which is run by Andrew Alvis and Jane Overall.

The Earl and Countess left by helicopter a few minutes later.

Yesterday, daring stunt riders, The Devil's Horsemen, wowed the packed crowds on the first day of the annual countryside extravaganza.

Thousands braved the poor weather conditions to get involved in one of the highlights of the rural calendar.

Going to the New Forest Show? click to view the weather forecast

Show Secretary Denis Dooley said: “The Devil's Horseman and the Heavy Horse Musical Drive are some of the most popular events, as they leave everyone speechless.

“There is so much going on, it's a really interactive show with a focus on educating youngsters about life in the forest.”

Children of all ages took part in a tug-of-war competition which tested how many people it would take to pull a four tonne tractor.

Steward Peter Bailey said: “We needed about 35 kids in each team, it's a great challenge for the youngsters.

Five-year-old Oliver Simmons said: “I've had so much fun today. I enjoyed seeing the cows the most.”

The three-day agricultural show runs until August 1.

See all our pictures from the New Forest Show in a gallery

Two of Britain's most distinguished poultry experts judged a record-breaking flock of 300 entries, more than double last year's exhibits.

Former Poultry Club president Mike Hatcher said: “I'm looking for a beautiful and healthy bird with lovely colours and good quality feathers. We've had huge interest this year.”

The country's best known lumberjack display team, Adams Axemen put on a jaw-dropping display to a captivated audience.

Founder Reg Adams who has been showcasing his skills at the New Forest Show for 54 years said: “A lot has changed since my first show in 1959 but I keep coming back for more.”