Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton

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The games are afoot. And so is the hype machine.

And since Prince Harry is still in Brazil and Prince William is otherwise engaged in the Falklands, it fell to Kate Middleton to help ramp up the excitement (something she's preternaturally good at, incidentally), as the ambassador of the London Olympics made a private visit to the city's Olympic Park this morning to meet up with Team Great Britain's women's hockey squad.

Having played the sport herself (and even serving as her school's captain) back when she was younger, the ever-game duchess wasted no time in joining in with the ladies. So how'd she do?

Like everything else she seems to try her hand at these days, Kate proved herself to be a total natural.

Middleton dropped by the Riverside Arena in Stratford Thursday morning, swapping her blazer and heels for a gray Team GB sweatshirt, coral jeans and Adidas sneakers after meeting up with the coaches and players. And despite her nerves, she did finally head out onto the pitch.

"I was really looking forward to coming here, but now I am here and have discovered I have to play," she told the men's and women's teams. "I am not feeling confident...The last time I played was 2005, maybe. It feels like I haven't held a stick for 10 years. This is going to be so embarrassing. My brain thinks I can do all these wonderful things, but my body just doesn't play ball.

"Oh, please don't tell me I have to do it in front of all these people," she joked. "I don't want anyone to watch!"

Incidentally, her fears were slightly founded, as she missed the first three of her goal attempts (proving, finally, that she is actually capable of the odd bout of imperfection) but ultimately scoring when she moved to center field—to rapturous applause, of course.

And just when we thought she couldn't get any more endearing, she went and proved that while you can take the fashionista out of fashion, the other way around doesn't quite work.

"The color of the pitch is, well, eye-catching," she said of the so-called blue Smurf-turf. "My trousers really clash."

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