The Duchess of Cambridge has stepped out for her first solo public engagement, attending a Lucian Freud preview at the National Portrait Gallery.
Kate, 30, who is now patron of the gallery, attended the event in London on her own while her husband William is on a tour of duty in the Falklands.
The visit on Wednesday night came as St James's Palace confirmed the Duchess has agreed to pose for her first official portrait.
A Palace spokesman said: "The Duchess is happy to do it some time in the future. There haven't been any decisions about who the artist will be, this is being discussed.
Kate arrived in a chauffeur-driven car and was wearing a double-breasted 1950s-style grey dress by Jesire, a high street clothing range.
She was joined at the event by Jane Asher, Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian Holm and
photographer Mary McCartney, daughter of Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.
Andrew Parker Bowles, the ex-husband of Kate's mother-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall, whose portrait was painted by Freud and is part of the exhibition , was also there.
For the first time, the Duchess was on her own as she met a line-up of dignitaries including Freud's daughters Bella and Esther and the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The royal, who has a degree in history of art, became a patron of the Gallery last month after visiting the institution last year to learn more about its work.
She spent an hour looking around the exhibition, which is now open to the public.
Following her visit, gallery director Sandy Nairne said: "The Duchess was extremely attentive and I think really interested in not just the chance to see the full range of Lucian Freud's work but very interested to see the differences in technique.
"Because the early work is very fine in particular and then of course the work changes and becomes much more painterly.
"She was full of good questions for the curator Sarah Howgate about how the paintings were made and how they developed."
:: The Duchess of Cambridge has topped a fashion buzzword list for a second year running.
The Global Language Monitor, which tracks print, electronic and social media for top words and phrases, said "The Duchess Effect" was its top fashion word for 2012.