Chris Jackson/Getty
Simon Perry
June 13, 2011 12:35 PM

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was all smiles Monday as she took her rightful place among her new family for the fourth set-piece royal event in five days – though it took a quick assist from Camilla for the crowd to get a good look at her.

The occasion was the annual Order of the Garter ceremony, where Prince William – smiling himself, somewhat bashfully, before turning to chat with his father, Prince Charles, at his side – marched down the hill from Windsor Castle.

Wearing a dove gray long coat and matching fascinator, the Duchess arrived in a burgundy Rolls-Royce and then, with Camilla, greeted some family friends and walked under a canopy over the chapel’s Galilee Porch, only to slip out of public view.

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It took Camilla’s guiding hand to bring her back before the appreciative crowd – which cheered and applauded. The two women even posed for a camera-bearing female member of the entourage.

“She was a little bit nervous to start with,” observed Sandy Fullicks, from Surrey, “but she was quite comfortable. She fits in beautifully.”

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives for the Garter Service
Chris Jackson/Getty

Adds Irene Mason, from Purley-on-Thames: “To start with she was tucked away, but she came to the fore and looked very elegant and composed. She held her own.”

William was made a Knight of the Garter, becoming the 1,000th member of the Order – founded more than 600 years ago by Edward III, who sought to institute a band of knights similar to those on King Arthur’s Round Table. Membership is restricted to Royals and 24 others, such as former prime ministers.

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