Kate Middleton helps launch Britain's bid for sailing glory in America's Cup

The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, undertook her first solo engagement on Tuesday after her return from the royal tour to Australia and New Zealand in April.

The mum-of-one, who was last seen commemorating D-Day with her husband Prince William, has attended various royal engagements since the trip Down Under.



Sir Ben Ainslie and The Duchess of Cambridge

Kate was greeted by a group of wellwishers standing outside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. The royal was given a warm welcome by Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, who is seeking to enter and lead a British team to victory in the 35th America's Cup. The prestigious sailing race will be staged in 2017.

Taking advantage of the glorious British sunshine, Kate opted for a short-sleeved white Jaeger dress, with navy trim detail. She completed the fresh summery look with a small, gold pendant necklace and matched her sapphire and diamond engagement ring with diamond earrings.

Kate, who has previously been crowned best hair of the year, wore her trademark brunette locks loose over her shoulders.  


Duchess Kate and Sir Ben Ainslie


During her visit to the museum, she was shown the coveted America's Cup and posed with Sir Ben in front of the trophy.

"We want to bring it home, it would be an amazing thing for this country," said the Olympic star.

As an experienced sailor herself who has taken to the open seas regularly with her family in the Solent and has previously worked as a deckhand, Kate seemed thrilled to help launch Britain's bid to take the cup for the first time in the race's 132-year history.


Kate during her trip in Australia

The Duchess showed off her impressive sailing skills during her stay in Australia over Easter, when she beat Prince William twice in a yachting race around Auckland Harbour, competing in an America's Cup boat.

Tuesday's visit was not the first time that Kate and Sir Ben had met. The royal had previously watched Team GB competing in the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth.

"I don't think my small talk was great," said the athlete, who had won a gold medal the day before he was introduced to the royal. "I'm walking around like a zombie at the moment."

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