Kate Middleton‘s tour de force of style continues! The Duchess of Cambridge dazzled in New Zealand on Thursday, April 10, in a stunning LBD by one of her favorite and most trusted designers, Jenny Packham. She and her husband, Prince William, were on hand at Government House in Wellington to unveil a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Duchess, 32, looked slim and gorgeous in her festive frock, a bespoke black Jenny Packham number with a hand-stitched silver fern on the shoulder to honor New Zealand’s symbol. She was accompanied by the Duke, 31, who looked handsome in a smart dark suit and colored tie.
After greeting each of the 198 guests in attendance at the reception, the royal couple partook in a cocktail hour with wine and canapes. The menu included parmesan and horopito shortbreads, smoked and potted Lake Taupo trout, oysters on ice, braised Cardorona Merino lamb tarts, Paua fritters, South Island rabbit pies, and Windsor Blue and beetroot risotto balls.
PHOTOS: Kate Middleton’s best Jenny Packham looks
A little later in the evening, Prince William took center stage to address the crowd and unveil his grandmother’s portrait, which was commissioned in 2012 by the New Zealand Portrait Gallery and painted last year by emerging artist Nick Cuthell.
The Duke began by first thanking New Zealand’s Governor General, Prime Minister, and other dignitaries for their hospitality in hosting him, his wife, and his 8-month-old son, Prince George. “I hope that George doesn’t keep you up!” he joked in his speech. “He’s at his most vocal at 3 a.m., as you may have noticed. I swear I heard him doing the haka this morning!”
“He’s a bonny lad,” the proud first-time father added, “and you’ll be pleased to know that he’s currently preparing for life as a prop forward!”
“I cannot tell you how happy I am to be back here in God’s Own Country — as I have learned to call it — and this time with my wife and son,” he continued, noting his previous visits in 2005 and 2011. “On this visit, I have no doubt that it will be Catherine, and not just me, who falls for New Zealand.”
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