The Duchess of Cornwall took a page from Marilyn Monroe's style book as she arrived at the National History Museum on Tuesday (Feb. 2) with her husband, Prince Charles. She was the epitome of elegance in a deep-blue, intricately beaded lace gown by Bruce Oldfield, which she topped off with a dazzling diamond necklace and eye-catching earrings.
Among the 450 guests who joined the royal couple at the glittering reception were stars from the worlds of TV, film, music and sport, including Simon Cowell, Leona Lewis and the evening's host, BBC comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar.
Guests dined on a sumptuous Indian banquet including chicken, mini poppadums with mango chutney, dhal and vegetarian courses of korma and mango and passion fruit cheesecake.
Charles, who is president of the British Asian Trust, which he founded in 2007, gave the keynote speech in which he announced a new £3-million fund dedicated to work in Pakistan.
During his address, the prince touchingly referred to his wife as "my darling Mehabooba," which means beloved, as he praised his trust's "remarkable" work in disadvantaged communities.
"The fund will support the exponential growth of my Trust's work in Pakistan on livelihoods and mental health, ensuring that we reach even more of Pakistan's most vulnerable people in the years ahead," he said.
"I am particularly proud that my Trust does not shy away from them and contributes, in its own way, to resolving some of the most difficult issues of our time."
Charles founded the organization to take action against the widespread poverty and hardship he saw in South Asia. Since then it has supported programs in education, livelihoods, mental health and anti-trafficking, and has made a difference to the lives of more than three million people in the region.