Kate Middleton shines Sun Military Awards strapless velvet dress diamonds

Duchess Kate brings some festive sparkle to bravery awards in velvet strapless dress and diamonds she got as a wedding gift
By Alanah Eriksen

Just hours before, she joined her husband for a Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace with the Queen.

But it was just the young royal set at the Sun Military Awards tonight.

The Duchess of Cambridge was the belle of the ball in a strapless black velvet dress as she walked the red carpet with her husband Prince William, who looked dapper in black tie.

Letting her hair down: The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Imperial War Museum in London for the Sun Military Awards in a strapless black velvet dress

Prince Harry was two steps behind his older brother at London's Imperial War Museum, also donning a suit.

Kate's black Alexander McQueen gown - the same designer as her wedding dress - had frill trim around the bust and a fishtail-style skirt.

It was so long on the five-foot, 10-inch Duchess, that she had to keep hitching it up to keep it from scraping on the ground.


Dressed to impress: The dress was made by a designer for Alexander McQueen and featured frill trim around the bust


As slim as ever: The tiny Duchess' waist was on show in the dress
which had a fishtail-style skirt

Classic: Kate, whose shiny brunette locks were styled in loose curls, wore a chunky silver necklace and matching earrings and a bracelet which she received as a wedding gift

She held a matching black velvet clutch and donned black pumps.

The 29-year-old accessorized with jewellery she received as a wedding present - a chunky diamond necklace and a matching bracelet and earrings.

Her shiny brunette locks had been styled into loose curls with a side parting for the night.

Kate and her men: The Duchess arrives on the red carpet with her husband,
Prince William and Prince Harry

The best sister-in-law: Kate shares a laugh with Harry on the red carpet
as the cameras snap away

Leading the pack: Kate walks two steps ahead of the princes on the red carpet

Kate was still sporting the 'Scousebrow' - thick eyebrows made famous by the Liverpudlian show, Desperate Scousewives.

And she donned her trademark thick black eyeliner around her green eyes.

A lashing of light pink lipstick and her look was complete.

The royal arrival: The young princes looked dapper in black tie at the event


Gorgeous couple: Kate continued to hitch up her dress so as not to let it scrape on the ground

Big night ahead: The couple are escorted to their seat in the museum
to watch the award show

Among the celebrity guests was David Beckham and his two eldest boys Brooklyn,12, and Romeo, nine.

The trio - looking dapper in suits - looked as though they had caught up on sleep after flying in from Los Angeles this morning with the rest of the family.

The Beckhams have returned to London for a British Christmas at 'Beckingham Palace' in Hertfordshire which Victoria is said to have decorated.

Leading the night: The Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha


Two different worlds: Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon looked gorgeous in this strapless beige dress, while reality star Amy Childs wore a more Essex-style purple gown

Life of luxury: Little Mix are enjoying their new found fame after winning The X Factor

Coronation Street star Brooke Vincent looked glamorous in a floor-length, long-sleeved black gown.

It featured a scooped cowl-neck in green sequins.

It is the same dress that Strictly Come Dancing runner-up Chelsee Healey wore for the show's after-party on Saturday.

David Cameron launched the awards today with a message to the heroes: 'The whole country wants to say thank you.'


Glitz and glam: Future Dancing On Ice host Christine Bleakley wore this eye-popping black T-shirt dress while Louise Redknapp wore this long-sleeved silver number


Glam: Coronation Street star Sacha Parkinson showed some leg while her co-star Brooke Vincent sizzled in this black and green number


Different strokes: Coronation Street sat Catherine Tyldesley and Katie Price's ex-husband, Australian singer Peter Andre


Stylish: Strictly star Ola Jordan looked glamourous in this grey number while singer Myleene Klass chose an odd dress with dandelions on it

Speaking at a Downing Street reception, the Prime Minister and Deputy PM Nick Clegg joined forces to heap praise on the 'Herculean bravery' of the phenomenal men and women across the services.

More than 80 nominees and their partners packed into the historic No10 state room where the politicians mingled with the guests.

Among those invited was Sergeant Duncan Slater, 32, and his wife Kim, reported the Sun.

The soldier was blasted 30ft from his vehicle by a Taliban bomb, breaking several bones in his body — including his back.

Last year Sgt Slater chose to have both legs removed when the breaks did not heal but went on to cycle the length of Britain in aid of his wounded comrades.

Mr Cameron said at the event: 'I think the Military Awards is now a really brilliant event in the annual calendar — it's an opportunity for the whole country to say a very big thank you to people who've shown enormous bravery and courage in our Armed Services.

'So it's a delight to have you here at lunchtime at No10 Downing Street.

'We have a lot of parties here at No10 — for all sorts of charities and organisations — but I can't think of a more deserving group of people to come and have something to drink, eat and celebrate with today.'

Mr Clegg said: 'You shouldn't just be proud of the servicemen and women with you in your work, and you shouldn't just be proud on behalf of your families and communities but I hope you do also know that you make the whole nation very, very proud indeed.'


Suited up: Gordon Ramsay also attended with his wife Tana along with Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson and his wife Frances Cain