Kate joins the arts crowd for dinner at the Natural History Museum

The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, was the belle of the ball at a lavish arts dinner on Wednesday evening (July 6). Hosted at the the Natural History Museum, the royal guest of honour presented the Art Fund Museum of the Year Award in a sultry, skin-bearing ensemble.

The Duchess looked glamorous for the occasion in a $2,650 Barbara Casasola off-the-shoulder cream jersey dress and $235 pink heels.

TAP TO VIEW GALLERYDuchess Kate in Barbara Casasola dress Kate presented the Art Fund Museum of the Year award

Kate was attending in her role as patron of both the National History Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. The Duchess met with representatives from the shortlisted museums, along with Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar.

Five organisations had been shortlisted to receive the $167,500 award, which is the largest museum prize in the world. The fund is given annually to one outstanding museum which has shown exceptional innovation, imagination and achievement.

The five shortlisted museums were the Arnolfini in Bristol, the York Art Gallery, the Jupiter Artland in Edinburgh, the V&A in London and the Bethlem Museum of the Mind in Kent.

Duchess Kate in Barbara Casasola dress walking up stairs The Duchess looked glamorous for the event at the Natural History Museum

Kate also mingled with artists including Grayson Perry, Michael Craig-Martin and Antony Gormley at the prize giving event, which was hosted in the museum's central Hintze Hall.

Around 370 guests from the arts and culture sector attended the dinner, with "Dippy" the dinosaur - the museum's famed Diplodocus skeleton – providing a breath-taking centrepiece to the event.

Kate last carried out an engagement at the Natural History Museum in October 2014 when she presented Carlos Perez Naval with the Young Wildlife Photographer of The Year award.

However, Prince William's wife also visits the museum in her private time. She was famously spotted at the iconic tourist attraction with her son Prince George in October last year. The pair were spotted exploring Hintze Hall, which houses the 292-bone cast of a Diplodocus dinosaur skeleton.

Kate has long been passionate about painting, photography and the arts. She graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2005 with a 2:1 in History of Art. It was there that she met her future husband Prince William, who enrolled on the same degree before switching to Geography.

After joining the royal family, Kate chose to support charities and patronages that reflect her arty interests. She is patron of The National Portrait Gallery and The Art Room, a charity that works with children to increase their self-esteem, self-confidence and independence through art.

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