Friday, 10 June 2016

Kate at SportsAid 40th anniversary dinner

The Duchess of Cambridge at a celebration for SportsAid last night

When the weather is fabulous and you have a 17th century palace to call home, the chances are a reception you host for a favourite charity is going to look pretty spectacular. And that's just what happened when the Duchess of Cambridge welcomed SportsAid to Kensington last night for a party to mark its fortieth anniversary.

Kate is patron of SportsAid which supports up and coming British athletes. Many of those it has helped will go on to take part in major sporting events and that was very much on the Duchess of Cambridge's mind as she opened up the doors of Kensington Palace.

During the evening, Kate looked ahead to the Rio Olympics which get under way in just two months time. In her speech, she said she couldn't wait to meet the new SportsAid champions who will 'remind us all of the magic and power of sport.''

The Duchess of Cambridge with some of her guests at the SportsAid 40th anniversary dinner

The evening had begin with a pre dinner reception in the grounds of Kensington Palace. As guests gathered around the Sunken Gardens there were displays of archery but any idea that Kate might be getting sporty were dismissed when she appeared in a floor length fitted evening gown by Roland Mouret.

The electric blue dress, featuring a hint of Mouret's famous bandage work at the waist, included cut away shoulders which is about as on trend as you can get right now.

The Duchess of Cambridge headed into the reception for a good chat with young up and coming athletes as well as past stars who have been helped by SportsAid and ambassadors for the charity. And having those rather lovely sunken gardens and weather that's playing ball was a big help as Kate and her guests posed for a very pretty group photo amidst the grounds of Kensington Palace.

The dinner itself took place in the King's Gallery of the State Apartments of Kensington Palace and included a speech by Kate. The Duchess told her guests that she loved cheering on sports and teams that she was passionate about and she touched on another of her big interests when she referred to the mental strength that sport gives so many people.

Kate praised SportsAid's 'understanding' of 'how much athletic competition gives' and outlined how its support had produced athletes who have gone on to motivate others to get involved, get active and become 'happier and healther'.

The evening is the first in a series of high profile appearances in the coming week by the Duchess of Cambridge who will join other members of the Royal Family at a Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen's 90th birthday on Friday and take part in Trooping the Colour the following day. On Sunday, Kate is due at more birthday events which will include the Patron's Lunch on the Mall while she is also scheduled to make her first ever appearance at Royal Ascot the following week. But her latest set of big engagements began with a cause close to her heart as, against the backdrop of an historic palace, she gave sport her full support.

Photo credit: Kensington Palace and Sports Aid Twitter

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