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Kate carries out first solo public engagement

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a preview of Lucian Freud paintings at the National Portrait Gallery on February 8, 2012 in London, England. The exhibition, which officially opens to the general public on February 9, 2012, features 130 artworks spanning the length of Freud's painting career from the early 1940s until his final, unfinished work. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, attends a preview of Lucian Freud paintings at the National Portrait Gallery on Feb. 8, 2012, in London.

(CBS) Kate took on her first solo public engagement on Wednesday, while Prince William is away in the Falkland Islands.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 30, visited the National Portrait Gallery in London, one of the charities she has chosen to support, to view a special exhibit of Lucian Freud's work.

Pictures: Kate, Duchess of Cambridge
Pictures: Kate's royal looks

Kate stepped out for the event in a gray tweed coat dress with a shawl collar and black belt, by Jesire, according to the Daily Mail.

She reportedly mingled with photographer Mary McCartney and Freud's daughter Bella during the visit.

The Duchess, who studied art history at St. Andrew's University, was recently named royal patron of the National Portrait Gallery.

Next week, she'll travel to Liverpool on Valentine's Day to visit an alcohol-free bar linked to one of her other charities, Action on Addiction, and will also visit Alder Hay Children's Hospital.

William left for his six-week deployment to the Falklands last week.