Prince William and Duchess Catherine share a sweet moment together during first public appearance since #Megxit deal

These photos are just lovely.
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Prince William proved he is more than up to the task of representing the monarchy on his own, with Duchess Catherine by his side, as he hosted his first official reception on behalf of The Queen at Buckingham Palace on Monday.

William and Kate, who stepped out for their first royal engagement since Harry and Meghan’s #Megxit deal was finalised on the weekend, greeted foreign officials at the Palace to mark the start of the UK-Africa Investment Summit.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also joined by Earl and Countess of Wessex, Sophie and Prince Edward, as well as the Princess Anne.

The event marked the first time Her Majesty has asked her grandson to host a major state event at the Palace. Queen Elizabeth is currently still in Sandringham.

During the reception, William apologised for The Queen’s absence and spoke of the deep connection between the royal family and Africa – a continent that was hugely important to Wills’ mother Princess Diana, as well as his brother Prince Harry and wife Duchess Meghan.

“My grandmother is sorry not to be here this evening, but she has asked me to pass on her warmest wishes to you all,” William said in his speech.

“The African continent holds a very special place in my heart. 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.

“Throughout my life, I have been lucky enough to spend time in many other parts of Africa. I’m also honoured to be the Patron of the Royal African Society. And as Catherine and I have said to several of you here tonight, we hope to have the chance to visit many more countries in the future and share our mutual love of your continent with our children.”

William and Kate looked regal during the official Palace event.

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The couple shared a laugh together.

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The look of love.

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Still making each other laugh, after all these years.

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Kate, 38, looked absolutely stunning in a long-sleeved red sequinned dress, the $765 “Aurora Gown”, by luxury womenswear brand Needle and Thread.

The “Kate effect” is still clearly in full swing. At the time of writing, the dress had almost completely sold out on the brand’s official website, with just two sizes out of eight options still available.

Kate paired her look with red Gianvito Rossi pumps and a matching red clutch by Jenny Packham, one of her favourite designers.

How gorgeous is the beading on this dress?

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Kate and William sharing a cheeky moment together.

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Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan were noticeably absent from the event, just days after The Queen confirmed their resignation as “senior” members of the royal family, and hours after Harry gave an emotional, unprecedented speech detailing his “great sadness” at the state of affairs.

WATCH BELOW: Kate and Wills share a laugh over a parenting joke. Story continues after video.

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While Prince William and Duchess Catherine are yet to comment publicly on the split, last week UK newspaper The Times shared an emotional update about how Prince William feels “sad” about his separation from his brother.

“I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more; we’re separate entities,” the Prince reportedly told a friend.

“All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we’re all singing from the same page.”

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