The Duchess of Cambridge attended the annual Portrait Gala as part of her patronage of the National Portrait Gallery. The annual event is primarily a fundraiser to support the Gallery’s daily work. The National Portrait Gallery specializes in unique exhibitions and displays, educational opportunities and world class research. The event includes an evening reception, where guests can meet and mingle, and a formal gala dinner.
Kate became a patron of the National Portrait Gallery in 2012 and her first official portrait as a royal was revealed at the National Portrait Gallery in early 2013. The partnership – Kate and NPG – seemed only natural. The Duchess of Cambridge is passionate about the arts, both its creation and its preservation.
The event was a full-glitz, black tie affair. The National Portrait Gallery was transformed into a glittery venue, complete with a sparkly gold staircase. Guests included actress Liz Hurley, artist Grayson Perry, and Olympian Katherine Grainger, among other well known celebrities and professionals. The star-studded gala promised ballgowns and formal attire. This was especially exciting for Kate’s fans. Her first event of the new year proved to be one in royal style.
Kate repeated the ink blue Jenny Packham gown, previously seen at the 100 Women in Hedge Funds gala. The dress is a floor length chiffon with short sleeves and a ruched bodice. Kate accentuated her tiny waist with the dress’ velvet belt.
Kate accessorized with her Jimmy Choo “Cosmic” pumps and the earrings given to her by Prince Charles for her wedding. To pump up the glitz, Kate wore the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace, on loan from Her Majesty the Queen. The necklace was given to the Queen as a wedding gift, part of a full parure.
During the gala, Kate gave a small speech about the work and her patronage of the National Portrait Gallery. It is one of the few times Kate has publicly spoken, but she took to the stage like a true royal. In the picture provided below, we can see Kate speaking
but are obviously blinded by all those diamonds.
Here is a transcript of Kate’s speech:
I just wanted to say how delighted I am to be here this evening to celebrate the fantastic work of The National Portrait Gallery. The Gallery’s achievements are exceptional.They hold the most extensive collection of portraits in the world, and their unique and brilliant exhibitions never fail to inspire us all. But, it is more than simply a world renowned visitor’s attraction – the Gallery’s outreach and research programmes makes it one of the leading centres for the important study into Portraiture. I simply could not be more proud to be its Patron. Thank you for being here tonight and showing your support. I hope that you all have a wonderful evening.