Royalty and statesmen

William's sweetheart gets swept up in the excitement of the polo action
Photo: Rex
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Kate was watching her boyfriend and his brother Harry competing in a charity match at Gloucester's Beaufort Club, where the royal party later celebrated Wills' 26th with an evening of dancing
Photo: Getty Images

The attractive brunette was joined by Harry's equally photogenic partner Chelsy on a day filled with lighthearted fun
Photo: Rex

Kate enthusiastic in support for polo-playing birthday boy Wills

23 JUNE 2008
There was a party atmosphere all day long as Prince William celebrated his 26th birthday with his girlfriend Kate Middleton on Saturday. The young royal kicked off the fun by competing at polo one of his favourite sports - alongside brother Harry, who was also cheered on by his love Chelsy Davy.

Laughing and throwing their hands up at particularly intense moments during the action, the girls led the Princes' fan club at Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire. Wills and Harry were working up a sweat in aid of wildlife charity the Tusk Trust.

After their exertions the boys and their partners stayed on for an evening of dancing. The future king, now casually dressed in a shirt and jeans, whirled his pretty brunette sweetheart energetically around the floor to a string of hits including Rihanna and Bon Jovi.

Onlookers reported the twosome "looked really happy, just larking around and letting off steam". "Kate looked amazing in a floor-length clingy dress and William couldn't take his eyes off her," one told a British newspaper.

The couple's willingness to show their affection more openly and Kate's involvement at high-profile Windsor family occasions has led to speculation among royal commentators that an engagement will take place within six months. William, serving with the Royal Navy, is thought to be planning a proposal at Christmas ahead of a wedding next year when his military attachments are completed.