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Do Blondes really have more fun? That may be a matter of opinion, but one thing is for sure - they definitely get more attention. And if the forthcoming exhibitions at London's leading galleries are anything to go by, blonde ambition has finally conquered the British capital.

The National Portrait Gallery is playing host to a new show entitled British Blondes, paying tribute the UK's most memorable fair-haired phenomenons. Highlights of the show included portraits of Princess Diana, Twiggy, Joely Richardson, Diana Dors and Margaret Thatcher.

The exhibition has been curated by Joanna Pitman who has made platinum locks the focus of her career for the last year. The art critic, who herself went blonde in the name of research, says times have changed for the world's golden girls.

"The dumb blonde joke seems to have disappeared. People take blondes more seriously," she says. "In the early Eighties, Thatcher had this helmet of lacquered hair in her imperial bouffant look. It was pretty terrifying. She became more blonde the more powerful she became."

Joanna has also published a book, On Blondes, charting the changing image of society's blonde leading ladies through history.

London's Getty Images Gallery is also sporting a new "do" with its exhibition, simply entitled Blondes. Its show concentrates on platinum princesses of the silver screen. The collection of photos – which includes such legendary figures as Janet Leigh, Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe - even suggests that the advent of freely available peroxide may have been the key to some sirens' success.

Photo: ©
Jean Harlow strikes a memorable pose in 1933Click on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
The original blonde bombshell Diana Dors explodes onto the scene in Cannes, 1956

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