Kate Middleton's new hairdo: it can only mean one thing...

Nov 30, 2012
Vanessa Keys

Duchess of Cambridge's new fringe says she's either channeling Farrah Fawcett – or she's expecting

Getty Images

THE sign that royal baby-bump watchers have been waiting for so feverishly presented itself this week at the Natural History Museum, of all places.

There, at the opening of the new Treasures Gallery, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, sported a new fringe, flopping across her eyes. Never mind the shapeless (and recycled, observed the eagle-eyed fashion pack) Burberry dress she chose for the occasion: the hairdo was the evidence they needed to surmise that Kate was absolutely, definitely, without-a-doubt expecting.

After all, cooed Amanda Craig at the Daily Mail, "We ladies know that a woman's hair is a barometer for her emotions and that a cut often signals a radical shift in an individual's life. Younger women change their look when something drastic has happened to them... and if she is keeping a Very Important Secret, then that demure long fringe is perfect for hiding behind."

Liz Jones weighed in a few days later with a worrying dissection of the duchess's new do. "Oh dear. Oh please God, no," the columnist despaired. "She'll soon see that the new cut just isn't right for royal life. I worry, too, that, given this untimely fringe, Kate will succumb to the sort of sartorial thinking that existed in the Sixties: that once a woman is married, pregnant or over 35, she must cut her hair."

Seemingly overnight, the scrutiny of a simple snip has spiralled from a frivolous discussion over Kate's sartorial choices to a heated media investigation into what it all "means".

Over at The Guardian, assistant fashion editor Simon Chilvers asked: "Is the Duchess of Cambridge referencing disco? Or has she been studying the catwalk?" Pregnancy rumours don't even cross his mind. Is she stealing style cues from the Queen of the Floppy Flick herself, Farrah Fawcett? Or has the whole chop has been orchestrated to detract attention from the fact that Kate is recycling her clothes? "Old dress, new look: clever," writes Chilvers.

In the end, he deemed the haircut "less a statement about fashion and more an exercise in appropriateness, the sort of controlled grooming favoured by Tory wives. Perhaps what Kate is really doing here is mashing up her own references, blurring the lines between an Elizabeth Hurley va-va-voom glossy centre-parted mane with the sensibly appropriate chic of Samantha Cameron."

Perhaps the most laughable hypothesis is that Kate is simply trying to emulate her late mother-in-law, Diana. While Buzzfeed ran a series of tongue-in-cheek photo captions that poked fun at the ridiculousness of the whole assay, New York Magazine's fashion site The Cut took it one (serious) step forward, compiling a multi-zoom analysis that dissects the do from every angle.

"Kate's feathery, eye-skimming bangs are awfully Diana-esque, minus the bowl cut," they write. "If she starts adopting Diana's tendency to tilt her head forward and peek out from beneath her hair, then we'll never hear the end of it from Tina Brown."

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I saw that and didn't understand. I still don't...but it seems it was right. Insider info? Palace betting scam?