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Kate Middleton dazzles in red sequin gown as Prince William hosts major state occasion without the Queen or Prince Charles by his side

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 1/20/2020 Harriet Johnston For Mailonline

Kate Middleton put on a dazzling display as she joined Prince William at the UK-Africa Investment Summit at Buckingham Palace today. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, opted for a glittering $533 red gown from high end high-street store Needle & Thread for the evening reception. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are posing for a picture: Kate Middleton, 38, donned a stunning cherry red £410 sequin gown by Needle & Thread as she arrived at the UK-Africa Investment Summit at Buckingham Palace this evening © Provided by Daily Mail Kate Middleton, 38, donned a stunning cherry red £410 sequin gown by Needle & Thread as she arrived at the UK-Africa Investment Summit at Buckingham Palace this evening

The mother-of-three's showstopping gown featured silver shimmering sequins inspired by vintage lace tablecloth - and she complemented her outfit with a pair of Gianvito Rossi heels costing $663.

The engagement, which marked William's first solo reception at the palace, comes after his brother Prince Harry jetted off to Canada to be with Meghan Markle after a deal was reached on their departure from the royal family.  

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are posing for a picture: The royal looked all smiles as she arrived alongside husband Prince William in the high-end high street brand - which is also loved by Princess Beatrice © Provided by Daily Mail The royal looked all smiles as she arrived alongside husband Prince William in the high-end high street brand - which is also loved by Princess Beatrice

Kate accessorized with a coordinating red clutch bag and completed her glamorous ensemble with a pair of dangling ruby earrings. 

The natural beauty wore her hair in her usual bouncy blow dry, and kept her make up natural for the occasion. 

a group of people standing in a room: Kate (pictured) completed her outfit with a glamorous clutch bag and a pair of Gianvito Rossi heels, costing £510 © Provided by Daily Mail Kate (pictured) completed her outfit with a glamorous clutch bag and a pair of Gianvito Rossi heels, costing £510

The royal's brand of choice - Needle & Thread - is well-known within the royal family because it's a favorite of Princess Beatrice. The 31-year-old has stepped out in the brand, which is well known for its embroidered and lacy styles, from the retailer several times in the past few years.

Kate's husband Prince William coordinated with his wife perfectly in a smart navy suit and a matching red tie. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge wearing a suit and tie standing next to a woman: Kate's showstopping gown features silver shimmering sequins and according to the website, is inspired by vintage lace tablecloth. Pictured, alongside Prince William © Provided by Daily Mail Kate's showstopping gown features silver shimmering sequins and according to the website, is inspired by vintage lace tablecloth. Pictured, alongside Prince William

Tonight is seen as another stepping stone for William in the long preparation for him becoming king and will showcase the royal family's new order post-Harry.

The Duke of Cambridge is being supported by his wife Kate, Prince Edward, his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Princess Anne, as they welcome 21 African delegations to the Queen's London home. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge et al. standing in a room: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed a guest to a reception at London's Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit (pictured) © Provided by Daily Mail The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed a guest to a reception at London's Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit (pictured)

The Queen and Prince Charles will not be in attendance at the reception to mark the start of the UK-Africa Investment Summit and Prince Harry is expected to fly to Vancouver imminently, in order not to overshadow his brother's big night.

Harry had agreed to attend today's summit before the Sussexes 'stepped back' from royal duties 11 days ago. Prior to that decision, he would almost certainly have been there to support his older sibling, who for the first time was asked by the Queen to host a major state occasion.

Today it was claimed the Queen and Prince Charles decided not to strip Prince Harry of their HRH titles and Duke and Duchess of Sussex rank to avoid looking 'petty'. 

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