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Kate gets into the Royal Olympics spirit
By Tony Jones
22:24 AEST Thu Jul 19 2012

The Duchess of Cambridge showed her support for London 2012 on Thursday by wearing an Olympic-themed necklace.

With excitement growing ahead of the start of the Games, Kate stepped out for a viewing of Team GB and ParalympicsGB athlete portraits in the jewellery which featured five rings - the symbol of the global sporting event.

In pics: Kate Middleton hits the hockey field

Her large gold-coloured chain had a ring on each shoulder, another further down on each side and a large hoop at the bottom.

She completed her Olympic look with a blue crepe dress by Stella McCartney - who has designed a range of clothing the athletes will wear when competing, training and relaxing.

London's National Portrait Gallery was the venue for the exhibition, Road To 2012: Aiming High, the third and final instalment of a three-year project that has showcased world-class Olympic and Paralympic athletes and those working behind the scenes.

Last year the Changing Pace exhibition was staged and in 2010 Setting Out was the name of the inaugural event.

Among those photographed for the exhibition are the British men's rowing eight, UK taekwondo fighter Jade Jones, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor, who co-created the Orbit sculpture at the Olympic Park.

The portraits have been taken by photographers Jonathan Anderson & Edwin Low, Nadav Kander and Jillian Edelstein.

The Duchess has a close connection with the National Portrait Gallery as she is its patron and has a formal role with the Olympics as an Ambassador for Team GB and ParalympicsGB.

A St James's Palace spokesman said of the necklace: "It's a personal piece which she's had for some time. It's not an official Olympic item but it's appropriate to wear it."

During the exhibition the Duchess came across an image of herself - a black and white photograph taken when she visited the Olympic Park in March to meet and practise with the GB hockey squad.

The picture of a smiling Kate dressed in casual clothes was taken by Edelstein, who was commissioned to produce a range of portraits for the event from Boris Johnson to Anish Kapoor.

Ms Edelstein said after meeting the royal: "She said she didn't expect so many people to be watching her play hockey.

"She just thought it would be her hitting a few balls with the players - the word she used was 'unexpected'."

Kate, who is known to be a keen photographer, also chatted to some of Edelstein's sitters including Philip Sheppard, a composer who has scored 205 national anthems for London 2012.

The cellist was pictured in a Suffolk field with his instrument for his portrait and joked about how British medal winners will have to be prepared for the presentation ceremony.

He said: "I've managed to sneak two verses into the national anthem, so all the athletes will have to learn two verses for the medals ceremony."

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Opening Ceremony
Archery
Athletics
Badminton
Basketball
Beach Volleyball
Boxing
BMX
Cycling
Diving
Equestrian
Fencing
Football
Gymnastics
Handball
Hockey
Judo
Modern Pentathlon
Rowing/Canoe/Kayak
Sailing
Shooting
Swimming
Synchro
Table Tennis
Taekwondo
Tennis
Triathlon
Volleyball
Water Polo
Weightlifting
Wrestling
Closing ceremony
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