NEWS
29/05/2012 15:49 BST | Updated 30/05/2012 06:10 BST

Kate Middleton Makes Buckingham Palace Garden Party Debut In Rose Pink

The Duchess of Cambridge dazzled guests at Buckingham Palace garden party on Tuesday, looking every inch the English Rose in a soft pink dress.

She joined the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and the Queen for tea and cakes for the annual celebration. The grounds of the royal residence were filled with 8,000 guests, a small taster of the crowds due over this weekend's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Kate attended the event without William, the Duke of Cambridge, who instead remained at RAF Valley on Anglesey where he is a search and rescue pilot.

With the relaxed confidence that is fast becoming her trademark style, the Duchess wore a rose dress by London-trained designer Emilia Wickstead, with matching Jane Corbett hat, a designer who is becoming well known for being 'milliner to the Middletons'.

Kate Middleton enchanted guests with her easy elegance.

Kate's been spotted in the rose pink creation before, at a Royal Sovereign's lunch held at Windsor Castle on 18 May.

However at £1,200, an unusually heavy price tag for the Duchess, it seems Kate is keen to get her money's worth.

She wore the same dress less than a month ago, this time accessorised with a broach

It was the second Palace garden party of the year and the diverse guests were united in enjoying another warm day.

The band struck up the National Anthem as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh appeared at the top of the steps and a hush fell over the assembled crowd.

Then applause broke out as the couple, along with Charles, Camilla and Kate, made their way towards their waiting guests, who were invited after nominations by institutions, charities and businesses.

There was applause as the jubilee couple appeared at the top of the stairs

Among the palace guests to greet Kate was fashion designer Sarah Burton, who designed her dress for last year's Royal Wedding.

Kate spent almost an hour chatting to some selected guests and revealed she had picked up a few Welsh words during her time living in Anglesey.

Royal Navy Lieutenant Warren Haynes and his wife Bethan, who is originally from the Welsh island, said the Duchess had spoken of how she was enjoying her time living there.

Mrs Haynes, who now lives in Portsmouth, said: "She said how much she loves living in Wales and had picked up a few Welsh words. She'd learnt 'araf' which means slow and 'heddlu', meaning police.

"She was very confident, beautiful and elegant."

Captain Lee Roberts, from 4th Battalion The Rifles, and wife Joanne were invited to the palace as the Duchess of Cornwall is Royal Colonel for the regiment.

Mrs Roberts, from Bulford, Wiltshire, said: "We asked Kate how much she was enjoying married life? She said it was fantastic and she was busy every day.

"She loved her first garden party and said everyone looked lovely. We could have chatted to her for ages."

While Kate joined Charles and Camilla to greet guests, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh continued alone along the rows of people in the palace gardens.

Cautious Prince Charles and Camilla brought umbrellas, unwilling to be caught in the unsettled British weather

The Queen wore a lilac and white floral silk dress with a lilac silk wool coat by Peter Enrione, with matching hat by Angela Kelly.

She revealed her grandchildren's love of choir-singing after she was introduced to Lincoln Cathedral's director of music Aric Prentice.

He said: "The Queen was wonderful. She said how much she likes Lincoln and was pleased to hear about our orchestra, where boys and girls sing together. She mentioned that her grandchildren go to a choir themselves."

The Queen was also joined at the garden party by the Countess of Wessex; the Princess Royal; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; the Duke of Kent; Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy.

Garden parties typically take place two to three times every summer at Buckingham Palace, as well as one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

They were first held in the 1860s, when Queen Victoria started holding what were known as "breakfasts", although they took place in the afternoon.

At a typical garden party around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are served by some 400 waiting staff.

Take a look at some more shots from the Buckingham Palace garden party below: