Kate Middleton Dazzles in a Red Beaded Dress for a Reception at Buckingham Palace

The Duchess of Cambridge is setting the fashion bar high for 2020.

On Monday night Kate Middleton and Prince William hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace on Queen Elizabeth’s behalf in honor of the UK-Africa Investment Summit. For the occasion, Middleton donned a dazzling red beaded and sequined dress by Needle & Thread, according to the blog What Kate Wore, while Prince William coordinated in a dark suit and maroon tie. The Duchess of Cambridge had the $500 “Aurora” gown hemmed to midi length and completed her look with her signature blowout, Gianvito Rossi red suede pumps, and a red geometric clutch.

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During the event, Prince William delivered a speech about his personal connection to Africa, including a sweet part about proposing to Middleton in Kenya. “The African continent holds a very special place in my heart,” he said, continuing, “It is the place my father took my brother and me shortly after our mother died. And when deciding where best to propose to Catherine, I could think of no more fitting place than Kenya to get down on one knee.”

The Kensington Royal Instagram account shared several photos from the night, explaining that the summit which “brought together Heads of State and Government and senior representatives from African countries” was to “demonstrate the strength of the relationship between the UK and Africa.”

Princess Anne, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie were also in attendance. It seems red was the unofficial color of the night with the Countess of Wessex also wearing the hue in a scalloped-trimmed dress for the reception. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were notably absent from the event as it came just days after Queen Elizabeth confirmed the pair would be stepping down as senior royals. While the Duke of Sussex was not at the reception, he did attend summit meetings with leaders from Malawi, Mozambique, and Morocco during the summit “touching on investment in renewable energy, jobs, tourism, and environmental issues,” according to an Instagram post by Sussex Royal.

The reception also comes just a day after Harry delivered an emotional speech about his and Markle’s decision to forfeit their royal titles, revealing that “there really was no other option.”

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