1. Headline
  1. Headline
Matt Dunham  /  AP
The choice of a cancer charity for Middleton's first event is seen as a possible indication of the type of charities she may focus on as she develops her royal role, which remains undefined. Little is known about her interests.
updated 12/19/2010 4:55:38 PM ET 2010-12-19T21:55:38

Kate Middleton made her first public appearance Saturday night since announcing her engagement to Prince William, joining him at a cancer charity fundraising event in Norfolk.

It marked a transition for Middleton as she made the first of what are expected to be many public appearances for a variety of good causes.

Middleton, 28, is not officially part of the royal family until her marriage April 29, but this week she joined Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the family's inner circle at a pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace, signaling her new status.

‘She looked absolutely beautiful’
She wore an elegant black and white dress cut just above the knee to the charity event, risking high heels despite the slippery conditions as much of England was blanketed with snow. The outfit was topped with a fitted black jacket and a small black handbag.

Middleton and William received some applause as they walked past well-wishers into the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, where he was the guest of honor.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Happy 1st birthday, Bao Bao! Find out how the panda bear is celebrating

      Bao Bao, a panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, is celebrating her first birthday on Saturday. The little lady has com...

    2. Adorable toddler denies eating chocolate doughnut
    3. Quick fixes for your worst period cramps and pains
    4. Dorm decor: 10 twin-size duvets and comforters for less than $30 each
    5. Pat O’Brien releases memoir about his struggle with alcoholism

"She looked absolutely beautiful," said Sophie Pinsent, who portrayed an elf at the charity event and got a close-up look at the royal couple. "She was really lovely and they looked so happy together, so it was really nice. I thought it was so exciting."

It had been rumored for days that Middleton would attend, adding to the excitement surrounding the annual event, which was threatened by the icy road conditions and the frigid weather.

Royal role coming into focus?
Money raised from the show will be used to help pay for construction of a special cancer unit at a hospital in Cambridge.

During intermission, William and Middleton planned to meet with a group of young cancer patients from the greater Norfolk region.

The choice of a cancer charity for Middleton's first event is seen as a possible indication of the type of charities she may focus on as she develops her royal role, which remains undefined. Little is known about her interests.

The couple are to be married at Westminster Abbey on April 29 after a lengthy courtship. They met when they were freshmen at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Designers sketch Kate’s wedding gown
Is America obsessed with Britain’s royals?
It's a date! Royal wedding set for April 29

William's brother, Prince Harry, was in Berlin on Saturday to receive a reward for his humanitarian work.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Timeline: A history of British royal weddings

Take a look back at the gorgeous and famous British royal weddings in the last 80 years.

Photos: A royal couple's long courtship

loading photos...
  1. William and Kate

    On April 29, 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton were married, eight years after they first met at university. The prince popped the question five months earlier to his longtime girlfriend during a vacation to Kenya. Take a look at their top moments.

    Official wedding photo The online version of the royal wedding's official program includes a never-before-seen portrait of the couple, shot by Mario Testino. Testino also shot their official engagement pics. (Mario Testino / Art Partner) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A pre-wedding outing

    Kate Middleton, or the Duchess of Cambridge as she is known after the wedding, waves as she walks with Prince William in Darwen, England, on April 11, less than three weeks until the royal wedding. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Royal couple mania!

    Excited fans line up to see Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton arrive at the Darwen Aldridge Community Academy in Darwen, England, on April 11. The prince was in the town to officially open the school. (Lindsey Parnaby / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Weather or not

    Heavy rain didn't prevent Kate Middleton and Prince William from thrilling the crowd that gathered to see them as they arrive at the Darwen Aldridge Community Academy in northern England on April 11. (Phil Noble / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A perfect flip

    Prince William looks on as Kate Middleton tosses a pancake during a visit to City Hall on March 8, 2011, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Indigo / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Wedding blooms

    Britain's Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton, speak to wedding florist Rachel Gibson during a visit to the Greenmount Agriculture & Food College, in Antrim, Northern Ireland, on March 8, 2011. (Paul Faith / Pool via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Remembering Christchurch

    Prince William looks on as his fiancée Kate Middleton signs the book of condolence in memory of those who lost their lives in the Christchurch earthquake at the New Zealand High Commission in London. (David Parker / WPA Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Romantic homecoming

    Prince William and Kate Middleton returned to the university where they met and fell in love on Feb. 25 with an official visit to St. Andrews on the east coast of Scotland. (Danny Lawson / WPA Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Pouring some bubbly

    Prince William and his blushing bride-to-be Kate Middleton performed a bit of royal duty, making a rare public appearance in Anglesey, Wales to christen Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station’s brand new lifeboat, the "Hereford Endeavour" on Feb. 24, 2011. (Phil Noble / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Official engagement portraits

    The couple pose in their official engagement portraits, taken by photographer Mario Testino in the Cornwall Room at St James's Palace in London on Nov. 25, 2010. (Mario Testino / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Engaged at last

    William and Kate pose for the media at St. James's Palace in London on Nov. 16, after they announced their engagement. The couple are to wed April 29, 2011. (Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Diana's ring

    This close-up shows that the engagement ring Prince William gave Kate Middleton was the one that had belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. The ring is an oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds. (Paul Hackett / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Royal couple

    Months of speculation about William and Kate's engagement grew more intense when the couple attended Harry Meade and Rosie Bradford's wedding at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul on Oct. 23, 2010, in Northleach near Cheltenham, England. (Indigo via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Chic chapeau

    In an eye-catching hat, Kate Middleton attends the wedding of Nicholas van Cutsem and Alice at The Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks on Aug. 14, 2009, in London. Middleton had been named to Vanity Fair's international best-dressed list in July 2008. (Indigo via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Wedding guests

    Prince William and Kate Middleton attend the wedding of friend Chiara Hunt in Salzburg, Austria, on Sept. 6, 2008. Two years and two months later, it was announced that the prince and his longtime girlfriend had finally become engaged. (Ikon Pictures via Rex USA) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A jolly good time

    Prince Harry, Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall laugh together as they watch the Order of the Garter procession at Windsor Castle on June 16, 2008. (Tim Graham / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Together again

    Prince William and Kate Middleton at a Royal Air Force graduation ceremony held at RAF Cranwell, England on April 11, 2008. Middleton's accompanying the prince as he was awarded his RAF wings was a clear indication that the couple had reconciled after a widely reported split a year earlier. (Michael Dunlea / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. A day at the races

    Kate Middleton attends a horse race at the Cheltenham Festival in Gloucestershire, western England, in this March 16, 2007, photograph. (Eddie Keogh / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. On the slopes

    Prince William and Kate Middleton were spotted skiing in Klosters, Switzerland, on March 19, 2008, one of a number of public appearances together that showed that they had reconciled after a reported April 2007 breakup. (Rex USA) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. They're off!

    Prince William and Kate Middleton on the first day of the Cheltenham Race Festival in Gloucestershire, on March 13, 2007. One month later, the media reported that Middleton and the prince had broken up. (Stephen Lock / Rex USA) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Separate seats

    Prince Harry (front left) and Prince William (on Harry's left) are clearly enjoying a performance at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London on July 1, 2007. So is Kate Middleton (upper right corner). At the time, rumor had it that William and Kate had reconciled after their split in April 2007, but they sat separately, insisting that they were "just good friends." (Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Sports fans

    Prince William and Kate Middleton attend a rugby match in London in this Feb. 10, 2007, photo. (Richard Heathcote / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Paparazzi prey

    Photographers snap pictures of Kate Middleton as she leaves her Chelsea home on Jan. 9, 2007, her 25th birthday. The growing media attention that she attracted at this time prompted warnings to the press from Prince Charles, Prince William and Middleton's lawyers. As a result, two newspaper groups decided to cease publishing paparazzi photos of Middleton. (Solo via ZUMA Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Lady in red

    Kate Middleton arrives at the Sovereign's Parade at The Royal Military Academy in Camberley, west of London, on Dec. 15, 2006. (Ben Gurr / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Guest of honor

    Kate Middleton is seen at the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles and Harry Lopes at St Cyriac's Church, Lacock on May 6, 2006, in Wiltshire, England. (Tim Graham / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Model behavior

    Kate Middleton models on the catwalk at a student fashion show attended by Prince William on March 26, 2002, in St. Andrews, Scotland. The prince reportedly paid 200 pounds to sit in the first row and watch Middleton model a sheer dress over a black bandeau and bikini bottoms. (M Neilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Heads on a platter

    In November 2006, British retailer Woolworths showed a china plate representing Prince William and Kate Middleton as a commemorative gift for their wedding. Four years later the prediction finally came true when the royal family announced that the couple were engaged. (Woolworths via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Video: Kate Middleton gets queen’s lunch invite

  1. Closed captioning of: Kate Middleton gets queen’s lunch invite

    >>> kate middleton doesn't become an official member of the royal family until april 29 . but she took a big step toward that on thursday when she attended her first family reunion . stephanie gosk is at buckingham palace with details.

    >> reporter: good morning, matt, on a rare snowy day in london. it's intimidating for anyone to meet the future in-laws anywhere, but imagine meeting the entire extended family . aunts, uncles, cousins who also happen to be dukes, duchesss, princes and princesses and the party's being thrown by your fiance's grandmother, the queen of england. kate middleton isn't officially a member of the royal family yet, but an invitation to the queen's annual christmas lunch -- -both kate and william attended the annual gathering at buckingham palace on thursday.

    >> this is the first time she met the entire royal family in one place at the same time and royal experts say it had to be an extremely daunting experience.

    >> and kate has only met the queen once before.

    >> the whole notion that kate and the queen have had lunches together or cups of tea by themselves is not true. really kate has had very little interaction with the queen because the queen stays busy.

    >> reporter: kate is smiling from ear to ear, perhaps a sign that everyone went well, perhaps a sign that the future princess was relieved it was over.

    >> there's so much that the go wrong, so the fact that she emerged from this meeting with a smile from ear to ear is an indication of how it went.

    >> it is quite a stuffing environment. the royals at christmas is a very regimented, what is the day before christmas eve and the day itself is run like clock work with precision.

    >> reporter: but this year, prince william , a rescue pilot for the royal air force will be on duty at his air base in wales. convenient for kate who will get to spend the day with her family. once a princess, there will be no escaping a royal christmas . the palace has been asked for new guidelines for wedding paraphernalia. they only want things that are permanent and significant. no the doubt that tea towel news is going to come as a crushing blow for women across this country.

    >> and for some of us men too, thanks, stephanie. we've

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments