Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, made her first official solo appearance in an engagement Wednesday night since she joined the Royal family.

Middleton, 30, attended the National Portrait Gallery in London for a preview of the Lucian Freud exhibition - one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the year.

Her visit came as St James's Palace confirmed that Kate agreed to attend after Sue Tilley had requested her to join the exhibition.

The duchess is happy to do it sometime in the future. There haven't been any decisions about who the artist will be, a palace spokesman said.

The Duchess stepped out from her chauffeur-driven car wearing grey tweed coat dress by High Street label Jesire. The Jesire coat had a large shawl collar and a black belt around her waist.

Middleton's outfit was completed with a chunky diamond bracelet and vertiginous four-inch Jimmy Choo heels.

Last year, Middleton attended a private fundraising dinner on behalf of Prince Charles but the visit to the exhibition was the first time in public she was seen without her husband, Prince William, by her side.

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is currently positioned in the Falkland Islands as an RAF Search and Rescue co-pilot for six weeks.

The exhibition guest list also included Jane Asher, Sir Ian Holm, photographer Mary McCartney, daughter of Sir Pauly, and Brigadier 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.

The exhibition curator, Sarah Howgate, told The Telegraph: The Duchess studied art history so I'm sure she will find the exhibition absolutely fascinating. I'm sure she is already familiar with Lucian's work but she won't have seen this body of work before. I think she will thoroughly enjoy it.