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Kate, Wills to attend first official public engagement as couple

June 9, 2011 - London

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will make their first official public appearance, as a married couple, at a lavish 10,000-pounds-a-head fundraising dinner.

The two will attend the 900-guest black tie Ark Gala dinner at Kensington Palace, where William will make his first public speech as a married man.

But the Royal couple's attendance at the annual event has drawn criticism from some quarters, after extensive efforts had been made to distance their April wedding from over-extravagance.

The Prince is expected to use the event to announce a collaboration between his and Prince Harry's 'Prince's Foundation' and Ark (Absolute Return for Kids), co-founded by 48-year-old Swiss financier Arpad Busson.

Busson, whose event charges upwards of 50,000 pounds for a table of ten, has an on-off relationship with actress Uma Thurman and has two children with former supermodel Elle Macpherson.

The Ark charity helps to raise money for projects helping some of the world's poorest children.

The glitzy dinner, which will feature DJ Mark Ronson and band Kings of Leon, will also hold an auction, which could see the rich and famous part with millions of pounds.

"Over the past ten years Ark's programmes in the UK, Southern Africa, eastern Europe and India have transformed the lived of more than 200,000 children," Sky News quoted a spokeswoman for Ark as saying.


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