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Prince William and Kate Middleton Honor South Pole Trekkers Ahead of Anniversary Celebration

Duchess Catherine, Prince William Tim Whitby/Getty Images
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The ray of sunshine that is Kate Middleton was no doubt a welcome sight this morning for a group of soldiers who earlier this year braved the elements by re-creating an expedition to the South Pole.

Kate and Prince William, in their second public event in as many days and just ahead of their own presumptively quiet weekend anniversary plans, turned up for a royal reception in London this morning honoring the men who completed the epic challenge back in January.

As for the connection to the couple, the grueling fundraising adventure benefited the Royal British Legion, of which the duke is a patron—a backing for which the Legion was understandably chuffed.

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"It was first of all really great for the personnel taking part in the race to know they had the Duke's backing, it was a huge morale boost," Robert Lee, the spokesman for the Legion, said of Wills.

"The fact that he's here today with the Duchess of Cambridge is a great recognition of the contribution these Army personnel have made to the charity and a great boost to the fundraising effort."

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Indeed, William had long been following the group's progress. At the start of the year, two groups of soldiers saw fit to retrace the exact routes of the famous Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race in which the South Pole expedition teams carried copies of the explorers' diaries and adhered strictly to the conditions under which the original journeys were carried out. That included going unsupported for the duration of their whopping 70-day trek.

At the end of it, they were greeted with a congratulatory message by Wills and the promise to greet them in person, hence today's reception.

For the special outing, Will donned a sharp blue suit, while Kate, fashionable as always, wore a poppy brooch—in honor of Britain's armed services' enduring poppy appeal—and a blue tweed boucle skirt suit from Rebecca Taylor. Because you know you were gonna ask.

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