Paul Burns/Clarence House
Just six months after her wedding, the Duchess of Cambridge has deputised for her father-in-law, Prince Charles, at an official function at Clarence House, his London home.
Wearing a swirling aqua blue chiffon gown with crossover silver shoulder straps by British designer Amanda Wakeley, and looking trim, tanned and toned, Kate wowed the assembled guests.
Charles was called away unexpectedly on a trip to Riyadh to present condolences to the Saudi Royal Family following the death of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Camilla was also absent.
Apparently, Charles asked both William and Kate to take his place but William was on the duty rota at RAF Valley in Wales and was reluctant to let his RAF colleagues down. So Kate agreed to her first solo royal engagement.
London’s Evening Standard, which first carried the story and pictures, quotes Charles as asking his "darling daughter-in-law" to step in.
The 30 charity workers and business leaders representing In Kind Direct, an organisation which redistributes goods to small charities, were thrilled to meet Kate, who had asked her parents to supply some additional gifts from their party paraphernalia company.
Robin Boles, chief executive of In Kind Direct, said, "We were delighted that the Duchess was able to step in at such short notice after our founder was unexpectedly called away. The Duchess hosted a very special evening with absolute professionalism and charm."
The Evening Standard quotes an unnamed Palace spokesman saying, “The Duchess very much enjoyed it and was very pleased to be able to help out her father-in-law, who has been very supportive of her."
Britain’s Daily Mail suggested that Kate wore a kind of hair extension known as a weft to add volume to her half upswept coiffure. However, the Palace said the suspect line was a “scar from a childhood injury”. The injury was serious and resulted in an operation, but no further details were given of the injury or when it happened. Coincidentally, William was struck on the head by a golf club in a childhood accident necessitating an operation and also bears the scar to this day!
Kate was wearing her diamond drop earrings and a diamond flower cluster art deco bracelet. This looks like the bracelet she wore at the BAFTA Brits to Watch event. There are rumours that Kate has been given more of Diana’s wonderful jewelry and is having pieces changed to suit her more modern style. We have already seen Diana’s sapphire earrings worn by Kate.