Kate Middleton Debuts Hair Change After Celebrating Her 40th Birthday

Kate Middleton is sporting a new 'do following her 40th birthday. Stepping out Wednesday for her first public outing of 2022 with her husband Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge debuted a slightly darker brunette hue and shorter hairstyle, styled in a signature blowout in a departure from her recent curly stylings. Visiting the Foundling Museum in honor of the U.K.'s first children's charity, Middleton paired her new hairstyle with a black turtleneck and pants paired with a long blue coat. 

To mark her 40th birthday milestone on Jan. 9, the royal starred in three portraits to enter the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, of which she is Patron. Photographed by Paolo Roversi, Middleton looked radiant in Alexander McQueen gowns as well as earrings that once belonged to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, and others that were loaned to her by Queen Elizabeth.

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(Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Roversi opened up to Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera about working with Middleton, explaining he wanted to keep the portraits "contemporary" by using "only natural light, little makeup and no hairstyle." The two collaborated to create the final look for the portraits, drawing on royal portraits from the past, including those of Princess Alexandra of Denmark to Kate's grandmother-in-law Queen Elizabeth.

Until its permanent display at the National Portrait Gallery in London, one of the portraits will be sent to Berkshire county, which is where Middleton grew up. Another will be able to be viewed at St. Andrew's, where she went to university as well as where she met her future husband, the Prince. The third will go to Anglesey, the place where she and William spent much of their time as newlyweds. Upon releasing the portraits, Middleton thanked everyone for their "very kind birthday wishes," thanking the photographer for helping to create "these three special portraits."

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The Royal Family also made sure to celebrate Middleton's 40th, sharing photos from throughout her life to social media. "Wishing The Duchess of Cambridge a very happy 40th birthday today!" the royals wrote alongside the series of shots. On the Clarence House official Instagram, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, shared their own similar tribute to Middleton also.