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Friday, June 10, 2011

Here come the girls: Elizabeth Hurley, Holly Valance and Sophie Dahl lead the glamour at Ark gala dinner

By Sarah Bull

Glamour girls: Elizabeth Hurley and Holly Valance led the glamour at the Ark gala dinner at Kensington Palace

Elizabeth Hurley, Holly Valance and Sophie Dahl led the glamour at the Ark gala dinner this evening.

While Hurley opted for a grey Roberto Cavalli dress, Patrick Cox shoes and a Jimmy Choo bag, Valance looked stunning in a navy blue full-length dress with beaded detailing along the neckline and at the waist.

Meanwhile, Sophie Dahl made her first public appearance since the birth of her baby girl Lyra in March.

New parents: Sophie Dahl made her first public appearance since the birth of her daughter Lyra, and was accompanied by husband Jamie Cullum

The 33-year-old model appears to have sprung back into shape after her pregnancy and showed off her figure in a black lace dress as she arrived at the event with husband Jamie Cullum.

And motherhood is clearly suiting Sophie, who looked radiant as she posed for photographers outside Kensington Palace.

A statement released shortly after the birth of their daughter, read: 'Musician Jamie Cullum and his wife, the author and presenter Sophie Dahl, have become parents.

'Their daughter Lyra was born on March the second. They are over the moon.'

Dates for the evening: Hurley attended with shoe designer Patrick Cox while Holly was accompanied by businessman boyfriend Nick Candy

Leggy lady: Hurley stuck to her age-old formula and flashed some leg in her dress, which was split to the thigh

And while Dahl was accompanied by husband Cullum, there was no sign of Hurley's boyfriend Shane Warne, and the mother-of-one instead attended with shoe designer Patrick Cox.

However, Warne spoke about his relationship with Hurley in a radio interview earlier this week, telling the interviewer: 'She's a lovely lady. We get along very well and things are going great.'

Former pop singer-turned-actress Valance was accompanied on the red carpet by her businessman boyfriend Nick Candy.

Metallic: Jemima Khan shone in a bronze full-length number while Laura Bailey looked ethereal in nude

Standing out from the crowd: Mariella Frostrup wore florals while Tracey Emin wore a bright pink dress with a black train

The event was the 10th anniversary gala dinner of the charity Absolute Return for Kids (Ark), co-founded in 2002 by financier Arpad Busson, who hosted the evening.

Other celebrities to make an appearance at the event included Jemima Khan, who looked stunning in a bronze Grecian-style dress, and model Laura Bailey, who chose to wear an ethereal nude frilled number.

Mariella Frostrup went for a more colorful outfit, however, in a floral-print dress while artist Tracey Emin also stood out from the crowd in a bright pink number.

The Duchess dazzles: Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, attended

Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were also in attendance, on behalf of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry - an organisation which raises sustainable funds for charitable grants.

The Duchess looked stunning in a shimmering dusky pink cap-sleeve gown by designer Jenny Packham which she teamed with pink suede LK Bennett sandals.

With her hair down and her outfit accessorised with tiny drop earrings, Kate appeared relaxed and William looked smart in a dinner jacket and bow-tie.

The gala dinner was held in an enormous luxury marquee which appeared more like a small building.

As the guests arrived, a troupe of divers entertained them by diving acrobatically into a specially constructed pool.

Hand-in-hand: Elizabeth Murdoch and Matthew Freud (left) and Anish Kapoor with his partner arrive for the event



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