The Duchess of Cambridge has made her first public appearance of 2014 this evening, attending the National Portrait Gallery's Portrait Gala in London. The glamorous event has drawn an A-list crowd on the red carpet, including model and actress Elizabeth Hurley, photographer David Bailey and his wife and Kate herself, who is of course the night's guest of honour.
Causing quite a stir, the mother-of-one stepped out of her car wearing an off the shoulder ink blue silk tulle gown from Jenny Packham's Autumn Winter 2013 collection. The necklace was lent to her for the occasion by the Queen. Grandmothers-in-law certainly do have their uses! The v neckline of the gown perfectly showcases the dazzling crown jewels, while Kate's curls hang loose over her shoulders.
Kate is meeting with some of the authors of a series of 'pen portraits' in the gallery, and viewing their work. These include a portrait by Man Booker Prize-winning writer Hilary Mantel who previously received criticism when she referred to the Duchess as a "plastic princess" and "shop-window mannequin" whose "only point and purpose" was to give birth. Luckily she is not attending the event because that would have been a bit awks.
The 32-year-old royal is no stranger to the Portrait Gallery having visited in 2012 when she opened an exhibition of London 2012 athletes wearing a vibrant blue number courtesy of Stella McCartney. She made two further appearances in 2013 while she was pregnant with Prince George, once to unveil her official portrait when she wore a Whistles dress, and again in Emilia Wickstead for a charity reception.
Her night out in London isn't the only official engagement Kate has in her diary this week. Unfortunately she won't be enjoying a candlelit meal for two with William on Valentine's Day, as she is due to attend Northolt High School in Ealing, London in order to open the ICAP Art Room. The Duchess has been a patron of the charity, which offers therapy to children between the ages of five and 16, since 2012. At another event last year she said, "I am a firm believer in the power of art to make a difference, and The Art Room is providing this on a daily basis."
Take a look at Kate's fashion highlights in the gallery below...