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Kate Middleton Visits National Portrait Gallery

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It's hard to imagine that Kate Middleton can walk among the commoners unnoticed these days — but that's exactly what the Duchess did when she visited the National Portrait Gallery in London Wednesday.

The 29-year-old spent the afternoon touring the contemporary collection downstairs with a small group of curators, an onlooker tells Us Weekly exclusively.

"She was dressed all in black — she must have been boiling because it was a really hot day in London — in knee-length black boots, black tights and a slim-fitting black dress," the onlooker says. "She had her hair up, completely pulled up into a twist at the back."

Related: PHOTOS: How to dress like Duchess Kate

Middleton, who studied art history at St. Andrews (where she met future hubby Prince William, 29), wasn't fazed by some of the more controversial pieces, including Marc Quinn's Self, a self-portrait cast of the artist's head made from his own blood and then frozen.

"She was asking lots of questions and talking to the experts at length about the piece," the onlooker tells Us. "She seemed completely fascinated by it."

Related: PHOTOS: How Kate prepared for life as a royal

Because the gallery downstairs is split into many side rooms, Middleton was able to move around without too many people noticing her — though one tourist did attempt to snap a photo of the Duchess. "Her security guard suddenly appeared and told the man he should delete the photo, but other than that she wasn't bothered at all."

Middleton — who has broken tradition by not posing for her own post-wedding portrait — viewed a portrait of William and Prince Harry, 27, on her way out.

Related: PHOTOS: Aww! Kate Middleton's childhood album

"She didn't spend a huge amount of time looking at it," the onlooker notes. "She just smiled and admired it briefly."

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