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Kate Middleton makes solo debut

2012-02-09 09:00
kate middleton

London - Prince William's wife Catherine made her first solo public engagement on Wednesday while her husband is away in the Falkland Islands on a Royal Air Force mission.

The former Kate Middleton, 30, visited a major exhibition of paintings by the late British artist Lucian Freud at the National Portrait Gallery in London, on the eve of its opening.

Catherine, a patron of the gallery and a former art history student at St Andrew's University in Scotland where she met Prince William, wore a grey tweed coat-dress as she visited the exhibition.

William is on a six-week tour of duty as a search and rescue helicopter pilot in the Falkland Islands - a deployment that Argentina, which claims the British-ruled archipelago as its own, has slammed as "a provocation".

Pose for a portrait

The visit of the woman whose official title is Duchess of Cambridge came as St James's Palace confirmed she is to pose for a portrait by an artist who is yet to be chosen.

"The Duchess is happy to do it some time in the future," a palace spokesperson said. "There haven't been any decisions about who the artist will be, this is being discussed."

The duchess wed William at a lavish ceremony last April which was watched by an estimated two billion people around the world.

The Freud exhibition, which opens to the public on Thursday, includes Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, a 1995 canvas which sold for $33.6m in New York in 2008 - a world record for a living artist.

Freud died in July at the age of 88.

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