A smiling Princess Kate joined husband Prince William on official duty Tuesday at the request of Queen Elizabeth, and beamed with delight at well wishers watching her arrival back on the royal stage.
The couple had the privileged job of welcoming the president of Singapore, Tony Tan Keng Yam, to London at a hotel just yards from their home at Kensington Palace.
For Kate, who wore a grey Alexander McQueen coat and matching hat by Jane Taylor, it was her first public appearance since her pregnancy was announced – and a welcome moment out and about.
"I've been looking forward to getting out of the house – that's for sure," Kate, 32, told Dr. Tan's wife Mary.
Fans outside were excited to have caught a glimpse of the couple. "She has been through a tough time, but she is looking lovely," said Jane Law of Boston, who is visiting her son in London. "She looked absolutely beautiful. She's a classy, beautiful woman. And William looks delightful, too."
"I think she is very, very cool," said Jenny Fretwurdt, a teenage student from Germany. Added her pal Laura Steudte: "She never looks upset or stressed."
After the brief meeting at the exclusive Royal Garden Hotel, they made the short drive to Horse Guards Parade, where the Queen led a ceremonial welcome.
Shrugging off the severe pregnancy sickness that has plagued her since early September, Kate rode in a carriage along the Mall, evoking memories of her wedding day.
Matt Dunham / WPA Pool / Getty
"She looked radiant, stunning," said Joan De Beer, visiting from northern England. "It was so easy to see them. I was here for their wedding and am about the most ardent royalist you will meet."
The carriage went to Buckingham Palace, where William was due to join the Queen for lunch but Kate wasn't.