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Kate and the Queen host British Olympians at Buckingham

Oct 26, 2012, 9:38 AM EDT

reg_1024.KateMiddleton.mh.102312 Getty Images

Hours before Team GB’s world was torn asunder Tuesday night by the theft of two Olympic medals while the athletes were partying at a London night club, the classy part of the evening took place at Buckingham Palace with a reception honoring the U.K.’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

The event was hosted by Queen Elizabeth, and there was plenty to celebrate: Great Britain had its most successful Summer showing in over 100 years, winning 65 medals, including 29 golds, while the Paralympians shattered expectations with 120 medals, including 34 golds of their own.

The queen who was accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh (no, the queen’s husband is not the king… it’s complicated). Princess Kate was there too, glowing in a black and gold Alice Temperley dress that was outdone only by her smile.

The athletes buzzed around the duchess and the men brazenly showed their medals, forgetting she’s married to a guy who’s about to be king. It was her first public appearance with the queen since indecent paparazzi photos of Kate were splashed about the Internet in September (the photographer is being sued).

Clearly OlympicTalk’s invitation got lost in the mail (looking into it), but judging by all the pictures it was a lovely evening indeed – lots of polite conversation and gentle handshaking with the queen. The night may have gone downhill from there, at least for two unfortunate athletes, but for a few brief hours the UK’s Olympic heroes got to bask in their glory yet again.