Sophie the Countess of Wessex was a delighted visitor to a Northampton school today.
Arriving by helicopter at the Racecourse, she visited Fairfields School, in Trinity Avenue, Kingsthorpe, to mark the site's 80th birthday.
Sophie - wife to Prince Edward - was given a rendition of 'Friends Forever' by the school's rock band and signing choir.
After applauding the performance, she signed 'thank you' before chatting with some of the children. Smiling, she told them they had done a great job with their signing.
Deputy headteacher Lesley Elder said: "It's about raising awareness of our school and celebrating the wonderful work we do.
"The children were very excited to have such an important visitor."
Later, Sophie received a bouquet of flowers and unveiled a plaque marking her visit and Fairfield's 80th birthday.
The school first opened in 1938 and was known as Open Air Recovery School. The pupils who attended at that time had health problems such as tuberculosis.
Headteacher Karen Lewis: "Our children's needs have changed over the past 80 years but that caring spirit has been a golden thread that remains.
"And that driving determination to make sure that every single child gets what they need to be as successful as possible has remained within our school."