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Kate Has Cut Her Hair! Duchess Debuts New-Do At ICAP Charity Day

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Welcome to the ICAP Charity Day: Cambridge Edition, aka the most awkward charity event Kate has done all year.  I say that tongue in cheek, and I know it is all in good fun. Everyone involved had a ball, but this still has to have been one of the more unusual and in some respects challenging things the Duchess has done.


This is the 23rd annual ICAP Charity Day. As you can see from the pictures, employees come to work in dress-up, or as the Brits would put it, Fancy Dress, and they get celebrities in to work the phones and close pre-arranged deals with big donors. 


Commissions and sales for the day got to various charities. Kate got to play aggressive stock broker, and although by most accounts, she is privately a feisty and cheeky personality, her public demeanor is quite soft spoken. The perfectly poised Princess might suffer due to impeccable manners in this industry. ;)


Paul Windibank, an ICAP employee, took a snap of Prince William playing the broker at his desk:



Rebecca English described the difference between the two royals approaches to the job on Twitter:


Even if Kate might have been stretching her comfort zone at first, she is a real professional and she was smiles and laughter throughout. It looks like she really warmed to the job.


Kensington Palace shared a video of Kate on the phone:





A little more in her wheelhouse, Kate played William in a game of table-tennis, as you can see this was the station of one of her charities, SportsAid.




Kate chose to recycle a favorite ensemble today. She dusted off the teal LK Bennet suit, which isn't actually a suit, but we call it one anyone. This is LK Bennett's Jude jacket and Davina dress. Kate bought them before her first Christmas at Sandringham in 2011. We don't know if she wore them at any point during her stay in Norfolk, but she certainly wowed us in early 2012 when she paired the vintage looking ensemble with a Lock & Co. hat to take everyone's breath away. 


Today, she wore the blazer with the belt it originally came with, rather than the black belt she substituted in 2012. Obviously, she wasn't wearing a hat, and she has trimmed her hair to one of, if not the, shortest lengths we have seen her wear. I believe this is also the first time we have seen her wear the Empress set from Mappin & Webb together.



My verdict. I love this suit. It still looks great on her! I think that the belt really added a pizazz that I miss now it is gone. The definition of the contrasting color was perfect in 2012, and the store-included belt falls a little flat by comparison. The asymmetric collar and the folds of the jacket make the entire top a busy area, so I think this is also an ensemble that doesn't need a necklace. If one were to wear a necklace with it, better a piece that is larger and holds its own against clothes. In this photo, the pendant has slipped beneath the dress, and I prefer this to the dangling pendant in some of the other photos.


It was by no means a subpar appearance, it is after all, almost impossible to beat that first time. The debut in Leicester could not have been improved, it was that perfect. It was fun to see this ensemble as it was bought, that is with the original belt, and without the addition of the hat. It really highlights how styling can change an ensemble. In 2012, Kate looked vintage. Today, she looks contemporary chic. Different, but both lovely. This was a very interesting recycle!


We see Kate again tomorrow, but before I go it is time to announce the winner of the StyleRocks $500 credit giveaway. The lucky winner of this shopping spree is:


Jessica, I will be emailing you to get you in touch with Pascale and StyleRocks so you can build a beautiful piece of jewelry, whether it is Downton inspired, Duchess inspired, or all your own. A big thank-you to sponsor StyleRocks for hosting this giveaway. Certainly, I always appreciate it when blog readers spend their money with advertisers who support this space, so if you have holiday shopping in the fine jewelry department to do, you know where to go! If you are just tuning in, or missed the post that explains how StyleRocks operates, pop back to this post: StyleRocks Downton Abbey Christmas Giveaway! 



57 comments:

  1. Hair is cute, but I wish she'd been just a bit bolder and cut a few more inches off. I still think the "haircut that wasn't" from 2012 or so when her hair was tucked into her coat was one of her best looks!

    http://www.popsugar.com/celebrity/photo-gallery/21888706/image/21888712/Kate-Middleton-took-her-dog-Lupo-walk

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    1. She may be easing us into it. Too much change could cause a kerfuffle in her adoring public. Her hair "brand" has been so consistent that a drastic change might rock the boat too much and cause a decline in public trust (and yes, she's a royal, not an elected representative of the public...but still). Public figures should, in principle, be able to evolve their look, but the reality is that when you become known for something distinctive, you want to be careful with big changes. It can erode people's sense that they know "the real you." Consistency builds trust, even with something that SHOULD be superficial and changeable. Unfortunately, for someone like the Duchess of Cambridge, her appearance is dissected every time she goes outside and she probably doesn't want to set off a firestorm with a drastic change. Not like the rest of us who can probably chop some bangs ourselves after too much wine...and go about our day. With Kate it makes headlines! I think she probably manages her personal branding (of which appearance is a major component) very, very carefully and proactively.

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  2. Shorter than this length is a pain to deal with in terms of different styles. It can not be easily put in a ponytail if you have any layers, it often is always bumping against your shoulders and looking a bit messy. She also needs the length and volume for her face and nose in my opinion.

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    1. I agree. It's probably better to keep the length, especially because she has to wear it in formal up-dos so often.

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  3. I really like the new cut. It isn't drastic, but just enough to be fresh and youthful. I don't imagine she had it "done" again today - probably just took down the updo from last night and good to go. So who knows what it might look like freshly "done" for an engagement. Will be interested to see how it looks tomorrow.

    She looks very professional and lovely today. Looks like she and William had a great time. Her expressions and animation are so wonderful to see. I'm reminded of Charlene of Monaco who always looks like she's sedated when she's out and about (IMHO). Kate is so the opposite of that.

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  4. Kate looks great in all looks... i just love her. This haircut is nice but i prefer long hairs.. well she done a great job i just love her style
    Waiting for your post as you get free

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  5. Kate looks great in all looks... i just love her. This haircut is nice but i prefer long hairs.. well she done a great job i just love her style
    Waiting for your post as you get free

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  6. I didn't notice the change at first but it looks great. Hope we get to see it in a ponytail
    - Ruby

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  7. What is your opinion on her hair, Jane? I prefer the long layers by a mile. She has trademarked that style and I feel like it looks a bit messy today..perhaps let down from last night's event. I do believe she will grow it out again, I miss the newly-wed Kate with the luscious and full blow-out! The "suit" is a hit, except I preferred it the first wear with the large belt. It also didn't hurt that she had the longer hair and gorgeous hat. Hopefully the long layers return - no one does hair like her!

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    1. Umm, I don't know. I liked it when I first saw it. It was a little messy in a few shots, but that is mostly due to the bangs. It also wasn't as short as it first looked. Viewed from the side, it just isn't quite as short as it I thought. I like it. I got my hair trimmed to about that length and I LOVE it this way right now. I thought it looked modern and cute on Kate, but I agree with other posters who miss the 2011 waving blowout. :)

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    2. I love Kate's new haircut! I think that her hair were too much long and almost hide her! They had even lost the lust and glow of the first years... Although my haircut is very similar to hers, so I maybe a bit biased! ;-)

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    3. Martina I have often thought Kate may have liked hiding behind the long hair - she knows she is always the centre of attention. With get shorter hair I feel that her bangs are what can help hide her, offer moments of protection from all the exposure.

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  8. The hair makes it a fresh repeat and I have always loved this suit so much. I agree about the belt. Didn't she wear the earrings and necklace together at Charlotte's christening?

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    1. Yes! You are correct. Charlotte's christening. I loved it all together with that dress. I will amend the blog.

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  9. Oh, I love the new haircut! I'm excited to see how she will style it. I'm sure she was sick of the same long curly hair. Glad she is trying something new. Kate has, in fact, worn the necklace and earrings together before, at Charlotte's christening. I love the set, they are so pretty!

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    1. I love it, too. It was perfect with the christening ensemble!

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    2. Ditto, re the haircut! The thing which bothered me most about her bangs was that they looked so strange with her very heavy, very long hair. Much more balanced this way, and, IMO, more flattering to the shape of Kate's face. The way her hair looked, initially, with the bangs, reminded me of very hairy poodles ears because of the way she invariably brought the sides of her hair to the front. Much more sophisticated this way--and it makes her look younger and livelier, too. Good move, Kate!

      JC

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    3. I'm with you JC. I think the cut is fresh and makes her look younger. I wouldn't mind a bit more layering, but I am happy to see more of KATE.

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    4. I agree, JC, the bangs look much better with the new cut. I've not liked the bangs at all before and now they look much better. Her hair also looks much more healthy as well. Sometimes long hair just needs a good extra inches trim to revive it.

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  10. I suppose the new, shorter hair is sensible, particularly in windy weather, but have some regrets over the longer, gorgeous hair. However, there were times when it hid her lovely face, which was a pity. I suspect the shorter hair will be easier to secure the chignon---it certainly stayed in place last night
    Liked the suit and prefer it with the self belt---the colour is great for her.
    They work so well and happily together.
    Prince William certainly fills his time off from flying

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  11. Not a fan of the jacket.. The dress is great though, I would have loved to see it on her without the jacket.
    I don't think the hair feels very different to us, although I know, it may feel very different for herself personally.. This is always a problem with long hair..you cut it A LOT and people won't even notice, because the facestyle doesnt change, although you yourself feel the difference very much, esp. when you try a ponytail etc. Her bangs.. why does she still support these..? It seems to me that her hair is constantly in her way and especially the bangs.
    Love the jevelry, already fell on love with it on the christening, but I like it more with this ensemble.
    Alice

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  12. Sonja from BavariaDecember 9, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    I really like the new hair length.
    Onto thr outfit: I loved it with the black belt and hat, it was a bit vintage like and just beautiful. However, I think this time is a bit more boring as the belt is also petrol and there is no contrast against the jacket & dress to highlight her slim waist.
    However, it was great to see Kate as a 'businesswoman' :)

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    1. I agree Sonja. The first wear was so perfect that any adjustment, I feel, just will never be able to top it. Nevertheless, I was excited to see this outfit again. It was on my wish list :-) I'm a big fan of the 2011-2012 James Pryce hair era but do not dislike the new cut. I do, however, still dislike those bangs.

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  13. Ok, can someone explain why the men are all wearing high heels?! Some sort of British joke I'm not in on? Lol!

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    1. There's an advert on British TV where a man in hot pants and stiletto heels struts down a street---but have absolutely no idea what he is advertising!

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  14. Here's a thought....Kate may have preferred her first wear of it, too, with the bolder belt. However, she may have stood in the mirror thinking she had to do something different. I'm sure I'm not the only one who sometimes thinks the first or previous wear was best, but you try to do SOMETHING different - doesn't mean it's bad, just means sometimes it's hard to follow-up on a killer, stunning combo.

    I'm a bit choked she is still committed to those bangs, especially when styled with a down-do. I think we just have to adjust to the slightly shorter length - with her thick hair, over time she may have to add more layers to thin it out and lighten it up, if she keeps it shorter.

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  15. I didn't like be rhait today at all..it looked like she didn't finish styling it.

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  16. I loved this look but I feel like the arms of the jacket look a bit baggy on her. It doesn't look quite as sleek due to the fit. However, I'd imagine it's less noticeable in person than in a still photograph.

    I personally love the shorter hair. I wonder if we'll get any candid "paparazzi" shots to show how it looks when it's not blown out. Naturally curly hair can look quite a bit shorter when it's left to air dry because the curls contract.

    That first photo is hilarious. That man looks gigantic next to Kate and one of his "manly" legs seems about as big as her whole torso.

    One final comment...watching the video of Kate taking the call made me realize what she's dealing with during these engagements. Imagine trying to hear someone on the other end of the call, focus on making the deal, taking instructions from her helper, and looking decent for the zillions of cameras that are trained on you every moment. So much pressure!

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    1. Ditto on the insight video provides into what she encounters. I heard all the photographers camera shutters going off and was like "why don't they turn the shutter sound off!!". My camera has the shutter volume off, so I know it's possible.

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    2. Maggie - MinneapolisDecember 10, 2015 at 1:19 AM

      It's hard for them to be able to tell if the pictures are taking without the shutter sound probably.

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    3. In some countries it is illegal to be able to turn off the volume...the idea being you can't photograph someone without their knowledge if there's a shutter sound.

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  18. I noticed Kate's hair immediately and thought it looked fabulous. Her long hair had start to seem heavy and almost as a weight upon her head. This look is fresh and spunky.

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  19. Guys, I am going to disagree with the popular opinion here...I really, really dislike this haircut. I feel like it's sort of nothing - it's not long, it's not short, it's not the crisp shoulder length style Gwyneth Paltrow does so often. It just feels a bit like nothing or possibly a bit like Kate felt she couldn't handle long hair but didn't want short hair.

    I think perhaps I'm overreacting because I like her long hair so much :)

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    1. I think if the bangs were gone and it held a little more of the style, you might like it more. but that is me projecting. :)

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  20. Jane... She isn't wearing her wedding band?

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    1. Good eye. I noticed that, too, and wondered who else would. My guess is that she took it off while pregnant with Charlotte and maybe even isn't quite ready to get it back on? Recall it is very, very slim band. William had trouble getting it on at the wedding. I'll look through other photos and see how long--if at all--it has been missing. It might be too tight and it might bother her. Hard to say. I will poke about.

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    2. I noticed this to, and I've noticed it the last while (I just can't remember the last time I recall seeing it).

      If it has to do with her ring size changing during pregnancy, she could be waiting a while to see if that self-corrects. But she also has a royal jeweler, I am sure, at her disposal to resize if necessary.

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    3. I know I've seen it recently so I went back and looked...I believe she consistently wore her wedding band until the Remembrance holiday (at least). It's very recently that it's been missing. I don't think pregnancy is the only, or top reason, based on how often she has worn it post-Charlotte. I think there are possibilities like it is lost/misplaced. Something we're unaware of. Most mom's love simple bands, so I think it would be more likely that in her personal time she wears her two bands and keeps the engagement ring in a ring box until she goes out publicly.

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    4. I didn't see it at first, but it is very much on her finger in a couple of these photos. :)

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3352323/Kate-Middleton-Prince-William-attend-ICAP-charity-day.html

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    5. Royalfan is right! I zoomed in on my full size photo and you cannot see it! But, I think it is so tight, and her hand is up, (i.e. gravity is pulling the big engagement ring down) that it is obscuring the small wedding band. It is there in those DM photos, and I might be able to make out the shadow of it in this photo, but only super zoomed in.

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    6. All three rings are there. Jane did you see that Kate, William and Harry attended a reception for their Royal Foundation on Wednesday evening.

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    7. It is there just hard to see in quite a few of the photos. I have never thought her engagement ring fits her well. Perhaps it is just that I prefer a ring not to flop around on my finger, but hers is constantly shifting position. With a setting that size, it would really irritate me. I notice in old photos of Diana that the ring was always perfectly positioned on her finger which makes me wonder if it was never sized for Kate. Alas, something we will never have an answer for.

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    8. It would drive me nuts, too! This ring was too big for Kate when she was given it. They didn't cut it down, though, for obvious reasons, instead they added bumps to the interior that are supposed to tighten it up and keep it in place. Not entirely working, I guess. :)

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    9. I'm open to correction but I think the way to figure out which rings she's wearing is that she wears her wedding band the traditional way, above her wedding ring (and hence, for the romantics out there, closer to the heart...) and she wears her eternity band below the ring. She hasn't always done it like this - there was a stage when ring order from the top of the finger down went wedding band, eternity band, engagement ring, but she recently seems to have taken to wearing her eternity band below the wedding ring.

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  21. I love this outfit. It was perfect the first time around, and very close this time too. I miss her long hair. I think she should have stayed with her long hair and just put it up in a pony tail or had it in a chignon more often for engagements.

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  22. Hello all...short on time but I love this Kate community so have to jump in.

    Well...many will be delighted with this cut given how much complaining about her "too long weighty" locks there has been in the past. I like her long hair and never agreed with those that thought it was too long. But I like this cut as well....feel fresh and updated. Having said that this...this could hardly be considered short. If you look at the picturss from the back..it is still way past her shoulders. Still not a fan of the fringe....but shortening the rest of her hair...makes the fringe alot less extreme hin comparison. Also FYI - I have read that Richard Ward has confirmed he did this cut. (Hope I got his name right!

    Love love the suit. Liked the belt last time but only becuae it had the hat. Without the hat ..the belt would have seemed odd and maybe to heavy. I much prefer the belt she wore today. Agree totally with Jane on the necklace...and in fact I always found the jacket over the asymetrical neckline of the dress to be a little off. Even if that is what LK Bennet intended. I have this dress in two colors and only wear a classic blazer with it and even that doesn't feel quite right.

    Overall..what a crazy fun event and I look forward to tomorrow. As always..thanks Jane. Great job. Hope the studies are going well.

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  23. Great new haircut! I'm so glad she felt she could let go of some of her "protective blanket".
    And a good rewear of the suit.
    I'm not sure but it looks like the jacket is a more roomy fit than the first time she wore it. The fabric color is gorgeous, obviously it looks very nice but there's a bit too much playing with the fabric with symmetrical/asymmetrical folds, pleats and the belt rouching. And the peplum.
    But overall it's a great look and I love how she seems to really enjoy what she is doing.

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    1. Others have been commenting on how her recycled outfits seem a bit larger on her than their original wear. I'm inclined to agree, now that I've had it pointed out. Even looking at today's recycled Emilia Wickstead dress, I couldn't help but think she isn't filling it out as much as she was the first wear. I am NOT saying she is unhealthy or too skinny, just that I think she is skinnier now (although I also agree weight can shift, especially post-baby, so perhaps her hips are a big larger). You can definitely tell in her upper body and arms.

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  24. I have and love long hair. This doesn't do it for me, kinda like when I cut my hair and panic. She should have gone full bob or left I alone, but hey hair grows!

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  25. What?! No mention of the Harry & Pip romance??? I soon hope it is true!!! Quite the fairytale if true. Pip deserves her own happily ever after. And Harry is adorable.

    Hate Kate's hair, makes her look old. I blame those that always wanted her to cut it. Kate's hair was her crowning glory and part of her beauty. Now she looks like a Midwest mom. Blech. (And I am from the Midwest, I see this hair everyday!!)

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    1. Are you talking about the OK magazine cover? I love how they claim KATE caught them snogging in the bathroom at the wedding reception. If nothing else, it's a good laugh :-) It would make juggling families much easier if both Windsor boys married girls in the same family.

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  26. I like the new cut, and I liked it longer. What I don't like are the bangs. But then I dislike bangs on everybody. I don't know why, but in my mind they cannot be elegant. Chic, maybe. Elegant never.that's the thing that bothers me about Carole. Specially at the wedding, with that hat, they seemed so out of place. So I won't mind if in 20 years time Kate dresses like her mother, looks like her even but I hope she never, never has her hairstyle.

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  27. I think the hair looks a little "mom-sy" but she looks happy & healthy, so yay!

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  28. SO glad she cut her hair. She still kept enough length to show off how beautiful it is. Just like when she wore her skirts so short, time to leave the 20's behind. :(

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  29. Love the new haircut, love the pendent and earrings set, don't love the dress and jacket. This wasn't one of my favorites the first time because of the strange neckline on the jacket, and with the drab green belt it's missing the mark all the way around. I also had to look really hard for the wedding band but it's there.

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  30. I've noticed Kate had something in her right hand on her way oout with William. Anybody who knows what it is? (Last two pics)

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