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Dazzling Duchess and husband William make glamorous debut

10 JUNE 2011

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have attended their first official engagement as a married couple.

Husband and wife topped a star-studded guest list on Thursday evening to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) charity.

It was the Duchess' debut public outing as a member of the royal family.

She brought her usual touch of elegance to proceedings in a sparkling £4,000 blush–coloured Jenny Packham gown, which she accessorised with LK Bennett shoes and a clutch bag.



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Despite the presence of celebrities including Colin Firth, Jemima Khan, Elizabeth Hurley and Kevin Spacey, all eyes were of course on Kate and William at the black-tie function, tickets for which cost £10,000.

Regarded as one of the top events on London's social calendar, the bash was held in a giant purpose-built pavilion at Perks Field, behind Kensington Palace.

The royal couple – attending on behalf of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry - arrived in a blue Jaguar, and were warmly greeted by financier Arpad Busson and Ian Wace, the co-founders of ARK.

Following a drinks reception on an outdoor sundeck, guests were entertained by a team of Mexican divers performing an acrobatic routine.

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They then sat down for a sumptuous three-course dinner of yellow fin tuna carpaccio, roast Kobe beef fillet and a trio of desserts.

Joining the royal couple at their table were Oscar-winner Colin, designer Tom Ford, the Prince and Princess Pavlos of Greece, Mariella Frostrup, Jemima Khan, Laura Bailey, Elisabeth Murdoch and Baron and Baroness De Rothschild.

It was then time for William to make his address, during which he announced that Kate had joined him and his brother Harry as a patron of their foundation, which raises money for causes linked to young people around the world.

He also joked about relaying the evening's events to the Queen.



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"I would like to share with you the conversation I am going to have with my grandmother tomorrow as I try and describe this; the swimming pool outside and the men wearing the tightest speedos I have ever seen in my life," he said.

"Arki (Busson) did mention to me on the way in that if records are broken tonight he would actually don a pair of those speedos for the rest of the evening."

Towards the end of the night, guests took part in a charity auction – each place setting had a small computer for bidding – for lots including a trip for 10 onboard the world's largest yacht, the Maltese Falcon, and a luxury Kenyan safari.

DJ Mark Ronson and the Kings of Leon provided the musical entertainment, although the Duke and Duchess reportedly left the celebrations at 10.30, before the US rock group took to the stage.

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