Style evolution of a princess: Mette-Marit's flawless makeover on show in New York

As she once pointed out her former life as a single mum hardly called for fairytale gowns.

Having married into the Norwegian royal family, Princess Mette-Marit has been on a steep learning curve, which has seen her exchange a classic, unadventurous look for a truly show-stopping wardrobe that holds its own on the big occasions.

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Click on photos for more fabulous pictures of Mette-Marit's changing style

In New York this week, marking the 100th anniversary of the American-Scandinavian foundation she was radiant in a sensational creation by one of her favourite designers – Valentino.

All the weapons in her style armoury that royal watchers have come to expect had been brought into play – clever accessorising, flawless makeup and perfectly coiffed locks.

Her playful feathered heels – also by Valentino – showed her newfound penchant for statement shoes.

And as ever, the 37-year-old royal's outfit was finished off with a flattering hairstyle of glossy golden curls.

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Her daytime outfits – a belted suit for a children's opera and fashionable smart-casual ensemble for a visit to Ground Zero – were also perfectly judged.

And her husband Prince Haakon looked understandably delighted to escort her to the soiree.

Nine years after their glittering wedding – at which he told her before the watching world: "I have never been so in love as I am with you" – the dashing future king still looks thrilled with his choice.

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