IT was the last stop on her historic Diamond Jubilee tour.

But clearly the Queen was saving the best until last.

Tens of thousands of people turned the New Forest Show red, white and blue to welcome Her Majesty on her final visit of her International Diamond Jubilee tour.

It was the hottest day of the year so far but even the sweltering sunshine was not enough to put off the crowds or the royal party as they gave exhibits in the showground the royal seal of approval.

Known for her love of the countryside and animals, she did not stop smiling throughout the afternoon in the New Forest.

And it was clear everyone – from little toddlers to pensioners – adored her.

She arrived in style in a helicopter with the Duke of Edinburgh to a rapturous welcome below.

It was the only thing people were talking about across the showground and people had begun lining her route on each blade of grass in a bid to catch a glimpse of the Queen as soon as they got through the show gates.

Met by the show’s president and television presenter Alan Titchmarsh and other local dignitaries the Royal couple meandered through the exhibits charming everyone they met along the way.

Their first stop was the old time farming and blacksmiths’ area where there were 60 static vintage tractors displayed to mark the Diamond Jubilee- some dated back to the start of the Queen’s reign in 1952.

She marvelled at the working forge in the blacksmith area, which was manned by both working blacksmiths and members of the armed forces including representatives from 17 Port & Maritime Regiment, based in Marchwood.

Next the Queen, dressed in the same outfit she wore for Zara Phillips’ wedding – a peach, blue and white silk dress with a peach overcoat teamed with a matching peach hat, made her way through the crowds to the members’ enclosure as well-wishers cheered along the way.

Here a string quartet played and the Queen paused for lunch with Alan Titchmarsh where they dined on pate and smoked salmon.

After lunch the Queen was handed a posy of flowers by 13-year-old George Payne, of Christchurch. She then met representatives from New Forest-based Furzey Gardens, which won a gold medal at this year’s Chelsea Flower show.

The exhibit at the prestigious show was created entirely by young adults with learning disabilities.

Next she had a tour around the Best of British tent admiring local crafts and produce and meeting their designers.

Alan Titchmarsh said: “It has been such a wonderful day and the Queen hasn’t stopped smiling.

'”She is a country woman at heart, country life is what she does best and I think she has enjoyed seeing everything the show offers. Not even the heat has stopped her. She is the cool customer.”