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"When deciding where best to propose to Catherine, I could think of no more fitting place than Kenya to get down on one knee," William said in a speech

By Stephanie Petit and Simon Perry
January 20, 2020 03:05 PM
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Prince William and Kate Middleton are on palace hosting duty tonight!

The royal couple held a reception at Buckingham Palace on Monday on behalf of Queen Elizabeth to mark the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit, taking place in London.

Kate wore the Aurora Sequin Gown by Needle & Thread in red for the event, hemmed to a midi length. (Princess Beatrice is also a fan of the brand, having worn one of their dresses for her engagement party in December.) She completed the look with her signature bouncy blowout and matching red heels.

In his speech, William offered some personal words about the couple’s personal connection to the region.

“The African continent holds a very special place in my heart,” said the royal dad, 37. “It is the place my father took my brother and me shortly after our mother died. And when deciding where best to propose to Catherine, I could think of no more fitting place than Kenya to get down on one knee.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at a reception at London's Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit.
Credit: Yui Mok/PA Images
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome guest to a reception at London's Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: Yui Mok/PA Images

Accompanying William and Kate were Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who was celebrating her 55th birthday. Edward, who is Prince Charles’ younger brother, and his wife are considered full-time working senior royal family members, and they often take on official royal duties on behalf of the Queen. The Queen’s daughter Princess Anne was also in attendance.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex arrives at a reception at Lonadon's Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit.
Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex
| Credit: Yui Mok/PA Images

The palace reception saw the royals welcome heads of state and government, their spouses or partners, delegates members of U.K. government and U.K. and African business figures to mark the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit.

“The summit will demonstrate the strength of the relationship between the U.K. and Africa, showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa, and highlight the U.K.’s commitment to supporting economic development in Africa, including through the creation of jobs and new partnerships,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

The Summit is meant to demonstrate the strength of the relationship between the U.K. and Africa, showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa and highlight the U.K.’s commitment to supporting economic development in Africa.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome guest to a reception at London's Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit.
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Yui Mok/PA Images
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess Royal and the Earl and Countess of Wessex join Heads of Government, Ministers and members of NGOs attending the UK-Africa Investment Summit for a group photograph at London's Buckingham Palace. Back row, from left: Tunisia - Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Sabri Bachtobji; Mauritania - Minister of Economy and Industry Sheikh El Kebir Moulaye Taher; Ethiopia - Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen Hassen; Angola - Minister of State for Economic Development Manuel Nunes Junior; Algeria - Minister of Finance Abderrahmane Raouya; World Bank - President David R Malpass; UN Economic Commission for Africa - Executive Secretary Vera Songwe; IMF - Director, African Department, Abebe Aemro Selassie; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - President Suma Chakrabati; African Union - Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat; African Development Bank - President Akinwumi Ayodesji Adesina. Middle row, from left: Uganda - President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni; Sierra Leone - President Julius Maada Bio; Senegal - President Macky Sall; Rwanda - President Paul Kagame; Nigeria - Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama; Mozambique - President Filipe Nyusi; Morocco - Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani; Mauritius - Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth; Malawi - President Peter Mutharika; Kenya - President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta; South Africa - Foreign Minister Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor. Front row, from left: Guinea - President Alpha Conde; Countess of Wessex; Earl of Wessex; Ghana - President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Duchess of Cambridge; Duke of Cambridge; Prime Minister Boris Johnson; Egypt - President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi; Princess Royal; Democratic Republic of the Congo - President Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo; Cote d???Ivoire - President Alassane Ouattara.
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Yui Mok/PA Images

Earlier in the day, Prince Harry stepped out to continue with his royal duties, just two days after he and Meghan Markle reached a final agreement for their exit from a front line role with the royal family. The 35-year-old royal took part in meetings with leaders from three countries at the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit.

Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Harry, who has a deep connection to Africa and the concerns of the continent, met with HE Saadeddine Othmani, the prime minister of Morocco, HE Arthur Peter Mutharika, president of Malawi, and HE President Filipe Nyusi, president of Mozambique. The leaders are attending the summit, which is working to showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa, and highlight the U.K.’s commitment to supporting economic development.

During the summit, Harry also privately met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Harry, Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry
| Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images

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Meanwhile, Prince William entertained the Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda and and Presidnet Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana at Buckingham Palace earlier in the day.

Up in Scotland, where he is staying, Prince Charles hosted Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria.