FLYING SOLO: So what’s a girl to do when her other half is carrying out search-and-rescue missions in the Falkland Islands? Go to a show, of course. The Duchess of Cambridge carried out her first solo public engagement on Wednesday evening, at the National Portrait Gallery in London. She toured “Lucian Freud Portraits,” a show of more than 100 works by the British painter who died last summer, and chatted briefly with two of the artist’s daughters, Esther and Bella Freud. The duchess wore a dark gray, Fifties-style coatdress with shawl collar by the high street brand Jesire. Kate, who has a degree in history of art, became the gallery’s patron last month.

On Wednesday night, a Clarence House spokesman also confirmed that Kate has agreed to pose for a portrait at the gallery’s request. “The Duchess is happy to do it sometime in the future,” the spokesman said. “There haven’t been any decisions about who the artist will be. This is being discussed,” he told the Press Association.

This story first appeared in the February 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Next Tuesday, Kate will make another solo visit, traveling to Liverpool in support of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the charity Action on Addiction, of which she is also a patron.

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