kate middleton stuns in white at state banquet

Mystery surrounding Kate Middleton at the state banquet solved

A guest who the Duchess greeted has been named

Ainhoa Barcelona

The Duchess of Cambridge surprised royal watchers on Monday evening when she attended the state banquet at Buckingham Palace. Kate made her grand entrance alongside one of the 170 distinguished guests, Steve Mnuchin, the US Secretary of the Treasury. The pair filed into the exquisite ballroom, but before taking their seats, Kate stopped to greet one guest and shook hands with her.

The mystery woman who drew Kate's attention has now been revealed as Louise Linton, Mr Mnuchin's wife. Louise, a 38-year-old actress from Scotland, looked ravishing in a burgundy gown. She took to Instagram the following morning to share a photo from the white-tie affair and wrote: "Wonderful to be home in Britain! An honour to attend the State Dinner at Buckingham Palace. It was a beautiful evening. #statedinner #buckinghampalace."

Kate was accompanied by Steve Mnuchin, the US Secretary of the Treasury

Kate, 37, looked truly stunning at the formal event, which was held in honour of US President Trump. The Duchess turned to her go-to designer Alexander McQueen, wearing a gorgeous ruffled gown and debuting her sash and star of the Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order – an honour she was given from the Queen in April on the day of her and Prince William's eighth wedding anniversary. The dark blue sash edged in pink stood out against her white gown.

MORE: See ALL the best photos from last night's state banquet

Kate also donned her favourite tiara, the diamond and pearl Lover's Knot, which was also the preferred headpiece of Princess Diana. The Duchess' sapphire and diamond earrings were loaned by the Queen. She also wore her Royal Family Order, a portrait of the Queen on a yellow ribbon.

She wore sapphire and diamond earrings loaned by the Queen

Around 170 guests were invited to mark President Trump's visit to the UK. Both the Queen and the politician gave speeches at the start of the sit-down dinner, which saw Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne and other royals in attendance.

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"Your Majesty, Melania and I are profoundly honoured to be your guests for this historic state visit," the President said. "Thank you for your warm welcome, for this beautiful weather, your gracious hospitality, and Your Majesty's nearly seven decades of treasured friendship with the United States of America."

The state banquet was held in honour of President Trump

He concluded his speech by praising the monarch, saying: "From the Second World War to today, Her Majesty has stood as a constant symbol of these priceless traditions. She has embodied the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart. On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long-cherished and truly remarkable reign of Her Majesty, the Queen. Thank you."

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