Filling in for her father-in-law Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cambridge performed her first official engagement on her own, a private reception for Kind Direct at Clarence House.
Prince Charles founded the charity, which distributes surplus goods around the world, and was originally scheduled to host the event. But at the last minute, he was unable to attend, as he was traveling to Riyadh to offer his personal condolences to the Saudi royal family on the death of the Crown Prince.
A palace aide said the affair went “very well,” reported BBC News.
The Duchess, said the aide, “was so pleased that her first solo engagement was for the Prince of Wales, who has shown her so much support over the years.”
In other royal related news:
• Photos of the Duchess at the reception showed for the first time a scar running several inches on the left side of her head, visible under her hair on her temple.
“It is a scar from a childhood operation,” a Palace spokesperson told People magazine but would not elaborate further, citing the Duchess’s privacy.
The news means that the royal couple have head scars in common. In 2009, Prince William told the BBC that he calls the scar he has on his forehead from a childhood golfing accident his “Harry Potter” scar. “I call it that because it glows sometimes and some people notice it – other times they don’t notice it at all,” he said.
• The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be traveling together to Denmark next week, on their first overseas visit since they went to Canada this summer. The royal couple will visit UNICEF’s emergency supply center in Copenhagen to view operations aimed at alleviating severe food shortages in East Africa. They will be accompanied by Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary.
The brief trip was made on short notice because of the worsening food crisis in Africa, which is threatening 13 million people, according to a press release issued on the Prince of Wales’ website. The timing of the trip also had to be coordinated with William’s RAF commitments, St. James’s Palace said.
• Zara Phillips’ husband Mike Tindall is again grabbing tabloid attention over a photo. Only this time, it was intentional. Tindall joined his rugby teammates who posed pin-up style – think a combination of Abercrombie & Fitch and Chippendales – on a calendar for the charity Rugby for Heroes. Tindall is a patron of the charity, which raises money for servicemen.
Tindall, posing in just his undies, is Mr. June.
“This is Mike Tindall as you’ve never seen him before – oiled, shirtless and looking moodily into the distance as an underwear model,” writes Hello! magazine. “Zara Phillips’ husband shows off his buff physique for a charity calendar in a black and white photo that leaves little to the imagination.”
• The Queen is in now in Perth, the last leg of her Australian trip. Before heading east, she made a four-hour whirlwind visit to Melbourne, where she opened the new Royal Children’s Hospital and even took a private ride on the city’s public transportation. She and the Duke of Edinburgh took a specially refitted “Royal Tram” from Melbourne’s Federation Square to Government House.
“Like any other passenger the Queen had to pay her way – although her Australian equerry Commander Andrew Willis had the job of buying her ticket,” The Telegraph reported.
The newspaper said that the royal couple used a pre-paid travel card, but didn’t know whether they’d paid the regular or senior citizen fare.
The Telegraph offered this video of Queen’s Melbourne visit: