Drop the hemlines: No more "Kate". Photo: Getty Images
The Duchess of Cambridge is the pin-up girl for youthful sophistication, always polished and poised but never without a touch of the common. However, with the birth of her son and a royal tour of Australia coming soon, is she preparing to kill off ''Kate'' for good?
Royal correspondent for the Mail on Sunday, Katie Nicholl, recently reported the Queen has issued some dictums as to how Kate, the now fulltime royal, should dress. The mother of the heir to the throne, it is understood, has been instructed to drop the hemlines, ditch the costume jewellery and embrace her inner beauty pageant queen by wearing more tiaras.
Kate, the woman in possession of the best pins in the Commonwealth and lover of Topshop and Zara, is soon to be laid to rest ahead of her official Australian debut.
Australian monarchists can expect to see less high-street and more high-end wardrobe choices plus more crown jewels on the Duchess when she sets down for a 3½-week trip of the Commonwealth's most southern colonies in April.
According to Nicholl, this new chapter in the look book of the Duchess's life is part of ''a subtle but significant regal makeover supported by the Queen''.
As most days will call for more than four outfit changes, the Queen's dresser, Angela Kelly, will be deployed, along with steamer trunks bursting with couture sporting mid-length hemlines, which is thankfully, de rigueur for the upcoming autumn/winter season.
Before the trip Kelly will also help Kate chose a selection of ''statement jewellery and gemstones from the Queen's personal collection''.
Fingers crossed Kate's official Australian hairstylist, Joh Bailey, is well versed in tiara placement when he's called up to report for royal blow-wave duty.
Some of Australia's style and etiquette experts are applauding The Firm's fashion intervention.
''I'm delighted the Queen has asked her to lower her hemlines,'' deportment educator June Dally-Watkins told PS. ''I think Kate will listen to the Queen; she's an intelligent and ladylike person who doesn't appear to be a rebel. Kate will soon be coming forward within the royal family, so the Queen, like most grandmothers, would want her to be the best she can be. She appears to be the sort of person who would take advice from a grandmother. Even if that grandmother wasn't the Queen, she would still listen and take it on board.''
Dally-Watkins said despite one of Kate's best looks being a thigh-skimming blue polka dot babydoll dress by Jenny Packham, she now needs to conduct herself like a professional royal.
''I'm appalled by what fashion is supposed to be these days. There are so many tacky movie stars out there now, so it's great we have Kate. She's a great influence on women everywhere,'' she said.
One of Australia's most sought-after stylists, Pip Edwards, renowned for her cutting-edge personal style, also agrees with Her Majesty.
''The Queen has a point. She wears a lot of heels and heels make everything three inches shorter,'' said Edwards, who is also General Pants Co's design director.
''Even though she's got great pins, she's a mum now, so it all depends on her footwear, the audience and the occasion. I'm a mum, and sometimes shorter hemlines are great in certain situations and settings like Bondi when teamed with Converse sneakers.''
She said winter's midi-hemline length could be Kate's saving grace in the eyes of the fashion press.
''If you look at the international collections, the midi length and florals are not going anywhere for a while so expect that to really hit here in the coming months.''
RIP Kate, we will miss you, but bring on the next chapter: ''Duchess Down Under''.
Andrew Hornery is on leave. Jenna Clarke is the editor of TheVine.com.au.