Princess Charlotte was put to the test for her first royal engagement to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as a day out to see how swimming turned into handshakes, scientific testing and earning Team England medals.
The seven-year-old princess made a rare official appearance with her parents for the Commonwealth Games.
Usually accompanied by Prince George, her older brother, when allowed on engagements, the princess made the most of her school holidays with a trip to Birmingham to cheer on Commonwealth competitors.
She said her own favorite sport is gymnastics, but seemed fascinated by the live swimming heats and hockey game right in front of her.
She wore a navy blue and white striped dress with a white collar and sandals and had her hair in neat braided pigtails for the outing.
Her mother, in a white Alexander McQueen suit, had left her eye-catching engagement ring at home in case the opportunity arose to join a gym workout, but wore her more discreet wedding ring for the family outing.
Both Duke and Duchess kept a close eye on their well-behaved daughter and encouraged her to participate in conversations and activities around the featured Commonwealth sport.
At one point, the princess’s knowledge was tested with a nutrition challenge, where she helped group foods into food categories — successfully assigning chicken and beans to the protein section.
With a lifetime of plaque unveiling ahead of her, she was also tasked with celebrating Team England’s success, updating their model board by pinning a bronze from the men’s team table tennis event, and a silver from the men’s lawn bowl pairs.
Tim Lawler, the chief executive of SportsAid, a partner organization of the Team England Futures programme, hosted the visit to the University of Birmingham.
He said: “I’ve noticed that the Duke and Duchess, as we tried to bring Charlotte into the conversations. We were very aware of that and it was really very clear that the Duke and Duchess were doing that to, I think, involve her and reassure her.
“She was charming, very willing to put the medals on the medal board, and she asked the right question: ‘Where exactly should I put this?’ It was up to date and she checked it.
“She really loved to watch the swimming. But she is interested in gymnastics and although they try many different sports at home, I understand that when I asked her about sports, she answered very easily and said, ‘It is gymnastics that I like’.
Once official duties were completed, the Cambridges joined the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James, Viscount Severn to watch the swimming and hockey.
Princess Charlotte, who received helpful commentary on what was going on from both her parents, pulled a series of animated expressions during the match and at one point gave a thumbs up.