Kate Middleton: Duchess of Cambridge goes for dove grey as she supports GREAT campaign

Elegant Kate goes for dove grey and a new side-chignon up-do as she steps out solo for cocktail reception
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a dress by Serbian-born, London-based designer Roksanda IlincicThe event at he Royal Academy of Arts in London, was to support the British Government’s GREAT Campaign
Kate was greeted on arrival by Prime Minister David Cameron

|

UPDATED:

07:33 GMT, 31 July 2012

The Duchess of Cambridge was flying the flag last night at a glitzy cocktail bash to promote the best of Britain.

Elegant Kate, who was without her husband, Prince William, was attending a Creative Industries reception at the Royal Academy of Arts in London’s Piccadilly to support the Government’s GREAT Campaign.

Wearing a dove grey dress by designer Roksanda Ilincic, Serbian born but a graduate of Central St Martin's, the Duchess swept down the red carpet prompting a battery of camera flashes.

Scroll down for video

Polished: The Duchess of Cambridge wore an elegant pale grey dress tonight for a Creative Industries reception at the Royal Academy of Arts

Polished: The Duchess of Cambridge wore an elegant pale grey dress tonight for a Creative Industries reception at the Royal Academy of Arts

Polished: The Duchess of Cambridge wore an elegant pale grey dress, and a sleek chignon up-do for a Creative Industries reception at the Royal Academy of Arts this evening

She first sported the designer
outfit, which has an unusual slashed neckline, when she arrived in LA
last year on her inaugural royal tour.

She was greeted by the Prime Minister David Cameron, the first time the two have apparently been photographed together.

The Duchess completed her outfit with a pair of the palest pale grey
suede heels, tan tights and hooped Kiki McDonough earrings.

Unusually she
wore her hair swept back in an elegant chignon showing off her new
earrings, which she also wore to the Olympic Games opening ceremony on
Friday, to their best advantage.

New look: Kate wore her hair up in an elegant side-chignon, showing off her Kiki McDonough earrings

New look: Kate wore her hair up in an elegant side-chignon, showing off her Kiki McDonough earrings

Opening the event, the Prime Minister David Cameron made a short speech
and revealed a fascinating conversation he enjoyed with Prince William
at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games with Prince William.

Turning to the Duchess, he said: 'My favourite part of the opening
ceremony was when your husband leant over and said to me 'I don't know
if you know, Prime Minister, but my grandmother is a great fan of Dizzee
Rascal.'

The comment prompted howls of laughter, not least from the Duchess.

Duchess of Cambridge

Guest of honour: Kate was greeted on arrival at the Royal Academy of Arts by Prime Minister David Cameron and RAA President, Christopher le Brun

Guests of honour: Kate walked the red carpet with Mr Cameron and RAA President, Christopher le Brun

Going solo: The Duchess, who attended the event without her husband, Prince William, walked the red carpet with Mr Cameron and Mr le Brun

Aides said they were confident that the prince made the quip – but less sure as to whether it was true.

Dizzee Rascal is a London-born rapper famed for his high voltage hits
such as Bonkers and while the Queen is known to have diverse tastes, it
would certainly be an unusual choice for her iPod.

The star-studded bash was thrown by The Founders Forum to celebrate UK
culture, creativity, art and entertainment on the back of the GREAT
initiative, which is itself designed to showcase Britain’s capabilities
and to promote our economic potential abroad on the back of both the
Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games.

Holly Valance and Nick Candy

Fearne Cotton

Holding their own: Holly Valance, with fianc Nick Candy (left), looked stunning in a black leather shift, while Fearne Cotton (right) went for an elegant white-and-cream look with turquoise platforms

Raising the style stakes: Fashion designer Stella McCartney (left) and supermodel Lily Cole (right) both arrived at the event in bold primary hues

Raising the style stakes: Fashion designer Stella McCartney (left) and supermodel Lily Cole (right) both arrived at the event in bold primary hues

Raising the style stakes: Fashion designer Stella McCartney (left) and supermodel Lily Cole (right) both represented their industry in bold primary hues

Michelle Ryan

Edith Bowman

Arlene Philips

Colour me beautiful: Actress Michelle Ryan (left) and dancer Arlene Phillips (right) both went for hot pink, while presenter Edith Bowman (centre) wore white

Some 800 people, including representatives of the UK’s leading creative
companies, industry figureheads, as well as guests from overseas
businesses and organisations interested in investing in or buying
creative services from the UK, attended the event.

Among them were a host of famous names including model Lily Cole, Fearne Cotton, Sir Terence Conran and Roger Daltry.

Several of the cast of Downton Abbey, dancer Arlene Phillips and singer Lulu also joined the crowd.

Tracey Emin

Lulu

Star turns: Artist Tracey Emin (left) and singer Lulu (right) were also among the evening's attendees

Kimberley Wyatt

New Zealander singer Hayley Westenra

Tessa Jowell

Dressed to impress: Former Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt (left), Kiwi singer Hayley Westenra (centre) and MP Tessa Jowell (right) were among the unlikely names to rub shoulders at the reception

Dapper: Radio host Nick Grimshaw and fashion designer Henry Holland were also present at the RA last night

Dapper: Radio host Nick Grimshaw and fashion designer Henry Holland were also present at the RA last night

Miss Phillips said: 'We have so much to be proud of in this country, so
much to offer. We have the best arts, best dance, best music, I just
want to shout it from the rooftops.

Repeat performance: Kate has worn the dress once before, when she arrived in Los Angeles on her tour of North America in July last year

Repeat performance: Kate has worn the dress once before, when she arrived in Los Angeles on her tour of North America in July last year

'And what I really want is to see Kate and William dancing. We all know
that Harry has got the moves, he has showed us those! Those hips don't
lie! But I would love to see William and Kate take a spin round
together.'

As well as the Prime Minister there were speeches from Christopher Le
Brun, President of The Royal Academy, and Jonathan Goodwin, co-founder
of The Founders Forum and founder of Lepe Partners.

The Founders Forum was set up by Goodwin and Brent Hoberman of
lastminute.com as a community for the best global entrepreneurs in the
areas of media and technology.

The organisation brings together more than 1,000 of the world’s most
dynamic businessmen and women for brainstorming sessions as well as
talent-spotting candidates to showcase their new ideas to founders,
investors, journalists and future entrepreneurs.

Kate has no formal role with the organisation but was persuaded to
attend by UKTI, the Government’s trade body, in order to ‘fly the flag
for Britain’.

‘Although the Duchess doesn’t have or plan to have a formal role with
UKTI, she was very much involved in their work when she and the Duke
visited LA last year, as was Prince Harry when he went to Brazil,’ a
spokesman said.

‘She is very happy to do what she can to promote UK PLC.’

Afterwards the Duchess mingled for around half an hour, chatting to
guests including designer Stella McCartney and Apple inventor Sir
Jonathan Ive, designer of the iPhone and iPad.

Best of British: The star-studded bash was thrown by The Founders Forum to celebrate UK culture, creativity, art and entertainment on the back of the GREAT initiative

Best of British: The star-studded bash was thrown by The Founders Forum to celebrate UK culture, creativity, art and entertainment on the back of the GREAT initiative

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said afterwards: 'I was just watching the
men's gymnastics in front of Prince Harry and Prince William so I've
gone from the Duke to the Duchess.

'What the royal family are brilliant at doing is showing we have the traditions but also we embrace the future.

'And there's something about Prince William and the Duchess that is so
about the future and an exciting future for us as a country and
obviously the creative industries we're celebrating tonight are part of
that.'

VIDEO: Duchess sparkles at star-studded reception

DM.has('rcpv1762832931001','BCVideo');