As far as comebacks go, this was pretty spectacular. The Duchess of Cambridge, who hasn’t been seen in public since announcing her second pregnancy, made her return to royal duty by playing a leading role in the state visit of Singapore’s president.
Looking radiant, healthy and stylish as ever in a grey Alexander McQueen coat with a Jane Taylor hat – Kate joined her husband Prince William in welcoming President Tony Tan and his wife Mary to Britain.
The 32-year-old royal looked to have made a full recovery from the debilitating morning sickness which had resulted in her cancelling a string of engagements since 8 September.
While Mr Tan was the centre of Tuesday’s event, royal watchers all over the world were firmly focused on the Duchess, neé Kate Middleton, who was making her first public appearance since August.
Those hoping for a first glimpse of Kate’s baby bump no doubt had their eyes firmly trained on her elegant dress coat, looking for signs of a pregnancy tummy.
To complete her stylish look, the brunette royal had styled her tresses back into a ponytail – something of a departure from her trusted style of loose curls tumbling over her shoulders.
It’s thought the Duchess is now past the 12-week mark of her pregnancy – after the announcement this week from Clarence House that the new royal baby is expected in April.
Kate’s role in greeting Singapore’s leader this week was significant not only because it marked her first appearance since the happy news she’s expecting, but also because it is a major honour for the royal.
The occasion is the first time she has been invited to join William in taking a formal role during a state visit to Britain, of which there are usually only two a year.
Kate and William received the president and his wife at the Royal Garden Hotel, which is close to their Kensington Palace home.
They then accompanied the VIP visitors to in travelling by car down Horse Guards Parade for a ceremonial welcome, presided over by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
UPDATE: Two sightings in one day—which also means two outfits. And forget the baby bump for a second, because this Jenny Packham gown is all about LEG. As she ascended the steps to the 2014 Wildlife Photography Awards, the Duchess simultaneously channeled Elsa from Frozen and Angelina Jolie:
After the welcome, William stayed for a private lunch hosted by the Queen.
Photos: GETTY Images