A Brief History Of Kate Middleton’s Most Iconic Hairstyles

A lot has changed since Kate Middleton, who turns 38 today, waltzed down a charity runway in a sheer dress as a young undergrad at St. Andrews. Between moving into Kensington Palace, becoming a mom of three, and completing countless royal tours, the young royal has gracefully stepped into a very public-facing role — while staying true to who she is.

While bikini-baring dresses no longer necessarily fly under the palace's strict appearance standards (which famously even dictate what nail polish is deemed appropriate), Middleton has continued to experiment with her look — especially when it comes to her signature glossy brown hair.


From her classic full-volume blowout to barrel curls under a pillbox cap, find the most memorable hairstyles Middleton has mastered over her royal tenure, ahead.

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

Bouncy Blowout

A few months after their wedding was broadcasted around the world, Middleton was full-fledged royalty, debuting her signature bouncy blowout at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships.
Photo: Arthur Edwards/WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Side Fringe

The following year, Middleton proved she was a true princess of the people and tried side bangs.
Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

Smoothed Straight

For Prince George's birth announcement in 2013, and mere hours after labor, Middleton debuted a windblown, pin-straight style on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital in London.
Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage.

Barrel Curls

Middleton ushered pillbox caps into the modern age with tousled barrel curls and heavy black liner.
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.

Swingy Ponytail

With softly curled ends, smoothed flyaways, and pearl droplet earrings, Middleton instantly upgrades an easy ponytail for palace life.
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.

Gradual Layers

To give her long hair extra body, Middleton had her stylist cut seamless and gradual layers through her mid-shafts and ends.
Photo: Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images.


The half-up hairstyle never looked more elegant than on a 2017 Kate Middleton.
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.

Velvet Bow

The hair accessory of 2018, a black velvet hair bow, basically became a royal mandate once Kate wore it that year.
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.

Warm-Brown Highlights

Last year, we detected a lighter, honey-tinged highlight glazed over Middleton's dark-brown hair. Though we can't confirm for certain — the colorist's NDA is ironclad — we can say her warmer waves seem to almost radiate sunlight.
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