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Kate Middleton makes first solo appearance as royal

February 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The Duchess of Cambridge dazzled at her first solo public engagement as a royal at Britain's National Portrait Gallery.

Prince William's wife, the former Kate Middleton, attended a preview of a retrospective of the work of Lucian Freud.

It was recently announced that the duchess is a patron of the gallery and that she will pose for a portrait in the near future.

Her appearance comes while Prince William is on a six-week deployment to the Falkland Islands.

The exhibit features more than 100 paintings completed over 70 years, many of them nude studies of the artist's friends and family.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.