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Sofia Hellqvist attends first gala dinner as Prince Carl Philip's fiancée

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Sofia Hellqvist has been experiencing many firsts since her engagement to Prince Carl Philip of Sweden earlier this year. Just last month the couple made their first high-profile appearance together as an engaged couple, and on Tuesday night Sofia and Carl Philip stepped out again for their first gala dinner. The former model took royal watchers by surprise when she arrived at the palace in Stockholm, on the arm of her future husband. Sofia's attendance had been kept a secret up until the very last moment, and her name had not appeared on the official agenda given out by the royal family.

prince carl philip © Photo: Rex

Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip will marry in June 2015

Making her grand debut, Sofia, 29, proved a sensation as she wore a ravishing, floor-length lace dress. The lady in red stunned in her embroidered gown, which had echoes of another beautiful public figure – the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton. Sofia seemed to be taking style tips from Kate, who last week wore a black Diane von Furstenberg maxi dress when she watched the Royal Variety Performance in London.

kate middleton © Photo: Getty Images

Sofia Hellqvist's dress had echoes of the Duchess of Cambridge's from last week

As Sofia and Carl Philip, 35, made their way to the Swedish dinner, the couple, who are set to marry in June 2015, looked just as in love as when they announced their engagement. Once inside they were joined by Carl Philip's older sister Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel. The future queen of Sweden radiated in a silver gown, which featured a thigh-high slit and a keyhole neckline.

princess victoria © Photo: Rex

Crown Princess Victoria and Queen Silvia also donned their finest for the gala

Victoria, 37, donned a stunning tiara for the black tie dinner, and accessorised with pearl earrings and a matching silver clutch. Her mother Queen Silvia looked just as regal, opting for an emerald green gown that was finished with a pleated train. Tuesday's appearance came just a month after Sofia and Carl Philip attended the opening of the Swedish parliament in October.

Sofia's presence at the major event held much significance, showing that the prince's fiancée is now considered an automatic guest at public engagements that Carl Philip carries out.

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