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Duchess shows off new hairstyle

At a gallery opening at London's Natural History Museum all eyes are on the Duchess of Cambridge and her retro-inspired hair.

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It's not the kind of haircut your boyfriend will notice. ("You look different. Is that a new dress?") But it's enough to set onlookers-in-the-know into overdrive: the Duchess of Cambridge has a new hairstyle.

As much as many hoped for something more radical, true to form, the brunette mane remains conservatively demure, ladylike and strictly Middleton-esque.

Overall, I really like the feeling of it. Kate is blessed with beautiful hair and we know she loves her locks, so I like that she hasn’t done anything too drastic 

While the 30-year-old's long-overdue change, unveiled at the opening of the Treasures Gallery at the Natural History Museum on Tuesday, may lack drama, the usual tumbling curtain has been given a heavy fringe. The colour appears more tonal and layers have been added to lighten up the look.

Cut above the rest ...  ... Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has a new hairstyle.

Cut above the rest ... ... Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has a new hairstyle. Photo: Reuters

Paired with her emerald silk Mulberry dress - complete with peace motifs and a tightly buttoned collar - the look is altogether retro, a touch Farrah Fawcett, a smidgen Jemima Khan.

As to its reception, the jury's out - a quick straw poll is divided. One colleague said it's "a bit play teacher, a bit Diana, even". Another said it is retro in a daring way. A friend added that it "seems to add weight to Catherine's face".

Sydney stylist Brad Ngata, of Brad Ngata Hair Direction salons, is impressed with the look, subtle as it may be.

Catherine in the same dress at a Jubilee function in November 2011, left, and, right, on Tuesday at the Natural History Museum.

Catherine in the same dress at a Jubilee function in November 2011, left, and, right, on Tuesday at the Natural History Museum. Photo: Getty Images

“Kate's hair is more of a tweak than major change, with some nice soft layers, a part that’s more in the middle and a colour refresh.

"Overall, I really like the feeling of it. Kate is blessed with beautiful hair and we know she loves her locks, so I like that she hasn’t done anything too drastic. I love the 'Princess' blowdry and it looks healthy, shiny and warm.”

The major litmus test of any hairstyle is its uptake. We all remember the Rachael, the Farrah Flick and the Posh.  Will 'the new Kate' become the latest look du jour?

Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday. Click for more photos

The Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle

Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.

  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.
  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.
  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.
  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.
  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.
  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.
  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.
  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.
  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.
  • Duchess of Cambridge's new hairstyle, unveiled at the Natural History Musuem on Tuesday.

"There is a bit of a '70s movement happening in fashion at the moment and this cut is a fresh take on it without being a total slave to trends", says Ngata. "Kate’s hairstyle has been a favoured style for women all over the world – so I would expect there will be some die hard fans who run straight to their hairdressers. It will be quite a simple one to copy if you already had 'the Kate' and even still if not.

"It’s really just a few simple layers and a different way of styling it. Sometimes a small change is all a style needs to completely change it.”

It's no bob, but it makes for a refreshing break from the style we have all come to know so well, even if William, and most men, may not notice any difference whatsoever.