Kate Middleton Debuts New Hairdo on Return From Maternity Leave

Kate Middleton made her first royal appearance after giving birth to her third child in April, with the Duchess of Cambridge stepping out on Tuesday, Oct. 2 to visit the Paddington Recreation Ground in Ewhurst, England to spend time with local school children.

The mom of three arrived debuting a new hairdo, a short, slightly more layered look than fans have seen previously that she wore in her usual curled style.

For the outing, Middleton wore a gray sweater over a collared shirt, a green jacket, Zara jeans that she has previously worn before and her well-loved pair of Penelope Chilvers boots, proving her relatable royal status yet again.

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(Photo: Getty / Samir Hussein)

The Duchess spent her day at Sayers Croft Trust Forest School and Wildlife Garden exploring the area, which aims to give inner city children a "unique opportunity to learn about and engage with the natural world," according to Kensington Palace.

Middleton went on a walk with staff to learn more about the facility and later greeted eager schoolchildren who had lined up to meet her, speaking with them and offering hugs.

She also sat in on storytime with the children, with Kensington Palace's Twitter account sharing shots of Middleton with one particularly rapt pupil.

Middleton, who is an avid supporter of mental health awareness, was on hand to learn how the school helps to improve the children's emotional and physical well-being.

Royal reporter Rebecca English shared that the Duchess also helped the children craft leaf crowns, planted some seeds and even took part in a mini beast hunt.

Though she was absent from official royal duties after giving birth to Prince Louis on April 23, Middleton has attended multiple family events including the weddings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, this year's Trooping the Colour celebration and Louis' christening. She also attended the Wimbledon tennis tournament this summer with her sister-in-law Meghan Markle.

PEOPLE shares that the Duchess of Cambridge will return to royal engagements with a lighter schedule this fall and holiday season before fully diving back into things after the New Year.

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Photo Credit: Getty / Samir Hussein