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Kate dazzles in Alexander McQueen for formal reception in Paris

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were the guests of honour at a reception at the British Embassy in Paris on Friday evening. Kate looked stunning as ever for the occasion, wearing a black gown by Alexander McQueen. The Duchess accessorised the look with Gianvito Rossi heels, a stylish leather belt and a pair of pearl earrings. She wore her hair in loose curls, while Prince William looked smart in a blue suit and pale blue tie.

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William and Kate appeared in good spirits as they arrived at the reception at the British Embassy ahead of tonight's black tie gala dinner. They were greeted at the British Embassy, where the future King delivered a touching speech. "It is a pleasure for Catherine and me to be here this evening, in this beautiful, elegant, and global city," said Prince William, adding, "I have been reminded over the last few years, as Catherine and I have attended commemorations of the two World Wars, how much we have experienced together and have stood together in moments of great crisis."

"Our relationship is just as strong and enduring today. Our hearts went out to the people of France when you responded so bravely to the awful terrorist attacks of the last two years. I was very proud personally to have been present at the England-France football match just days after the Bataclan. Before I came here, Her Majesty The Queen reminded me of how much she has enjoyed her many visits to France. It is a feeling that Catherine and I entirely share, and look forward to this and many more visits in the years to come – to France our ally, our friend, our neighbour."

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The Duke and Duchess are on a two-day visit to Paris, marking William's first official visit to the French capital in his capacity as a senior royal. And it is sure to be a poignant visit for the future King, as it comes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, who was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris in August 1997.

HELLO!'s royal correspondent Emily Nash said of the trip: "Although William has visited Paris several times since the death of his mother, this is his first official trip there on behalf of the Government. While his and Kate's visit is very much about boosting UK-French relations, it will also be a poignant one, coming in Diana's 20th anniversary year."

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William and Kate will not be carrying out engagements linked to the late People's Princess, but they will be guests of honour at the British Ambassador's Residence, much like Diana and Prince Charles were in 1988. Emily added: "Although they won't visit any sites linked to her death, they will be following in Princess Diana's footsteps at Friday night's dinner at the British Ambassador's Residence, where she and Prince Charles were guests on a royal visit to Paris in November 1988."

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