On an evening out, she usually likes to let her hair down. But the Duchess of Cambridge raised the style stakes last night – opting for an intricate chignon instead.

The elegant knotted bun, put in place by a team from the Richard Ward salon in Chelsea, showed off the elaborate design of her teal Jenny Packham dress to full effect.

The tiny gems in the delicate lace across her back and shoulders shimmered as she arrived at a gala at the Royal Albert Hall to mark the countdown to the London Olympic Games.
While the bun was a departure from her usual style, Kate opted for the same £450 ‘Vamp’ sandals from Jimmy Choo that she wore earlier in the week – and even appeared to be sporting the same crimson pedicure.

Kate and her husband, Prince William, arrived at Our Greatest Team Rises, a black tie gala evening to mark the final countdown to the London 2012 Games and raise critical funds to support the competitors.

They turned up at the majestic Royal Albert Hall in London to roars of approval in glorious evening sunshine.

Ahead of them on the red carpet were Olympic legends past and present including Sir Steve Redgrave, Jayne Torvill and Denise Lewis OBE.

Dame Kelly Holmes also caught the photographers’ eyes in a stunning glittering gold column dress by Bruce Oldfield and joked: ‘Well you have got to make a bit of an effort when those two are here.’

Also present were some of the 67 athletes so far selected to compete in the Games across five sports. Team GB’s final line-up is  expected to include 550 athletes across all 26 Olympic sports.

A total of 101 Paralympians have also been selected thus far, with the final team expected to include approximately 300.Inside the foyer, William and Kate were introduced to Lord Colin Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, Andy Hunt the Team GC Chef de Mission and his Paralympics counterpart Craig Hunter.

Moving forward they then joined a small group of fellow Team GB Ambassadors including Sharon Davis, Tessa Sanderson and Steve Backley for a low-key reception.

Prince William gave a witty speech to the 3,000 guests in which he likened his physique to that of a pigeon.

From the runway to the red carpet: The Duchess’ teal gown is from Jenny Packham’s spring/summer 2012 collection albeit a touch altered. The Jimmy Choos are the very same Kate wore earlier this week to a ‘secret’ engagement while the custom-made clutch is fashioned from the same  brocade as the inside panel of the dress. The stunning royal wore silver backed, diamond encrusted drop earrings to compliment her updo. And her make-up was more typical of her usual look, a shimmery eyeshadow the only addition to her signature smoky black mascara and eyeliner. On her lips she wore a clear gloss.

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