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Kate Middleton and Prince William: why today is so special for the royal couple

The Duke and Duchess recently celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary

Gemma Strong

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will celebrate a special anniversary on 9 June. On this day in 2011, the royal couple made their first official public appearance as a married couple. William, 37, and Kate, 38, stepped out together for the ARK 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner at Kensington Palace. The Prince's new wife looked breathtaking in a pearlescent rose sequin gown by British fashion designer, Jenny Packham, which retailed at the time for £2,685. She paired the dress with suede rose pink sandals by L.K. Bennett and a coordinating Prada clutch bag.

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The black-tie function was regarded as one of the top events in London's social calendar, with tickets costing £10,000. It was held in a giant purpose-built pavilion at Perks Field, behind Kensington Palace. The royal couple – attending on behalf of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry - arrived in a blue Jaguar, and were warmly greeted by financier Arpad Busson and Ian Wace, the co-founders of ARK.

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The Cambridges made their first public appearance as a married couple at the ARK gala

Following a drinks reception on an outdoor sundeck, guests were entertained by a team of Mexican divers performing an acrobatic routine. They then sat down for a sumptuous three-course dinner of yellow fin tuna carpaccio, roast Kobe beef fillet and a trio of desserts.

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It was then time for William to make his address, during which he announced that Kate had joined him and his brother Harry as a patron of their foundation, which raises money for causes linked to young people around the world. He joked: "I would like to share with you the conversation I am going to have with my grandmother tomorrow as I try and describe this; the swimming pool outside and the men wearing the tightest speedos I have ever seen in my life.

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The royal couple were guests of honour at the glamorous event

"Arki (Busson) did mention to me on the way in that if records are broken tonight he would actually don a pair of those speedos for the rest of the evening."

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The look of love between the couple was evident at the event, less than six weeks after their spectacular wedding day. They tied the knot on 29 April, five months after their engagement was announced to the world.

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William and Kate met with the Obamas in May 2011, shortly after returning from honeymoon

While this was the couple’s first public appearance since tying the knot, they had met with Barack and Michelle Obama for a relaxed 20-minute chat at the end of May, shortly after returning from their honeymoon in the Seychelles. In a sign that despite the newlyweds' popularity they were not yet full-time working royals, no TV cameras or journalists were allowed.