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Princess Kate surprises with new It-girl bangs on latest engagement

The Princess of Wales debuted a brand new hairstyle for her visit at HMP High Down ahead of Addiction Awareness Week

Catherine, Princess of Wales arrives at HMP High Down on September 12, 2023 in Sutton, England.
Georgia Brown
Georgia BrownLifestyle Writer
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The Princess of Wales stepped out for a poignant outing on Tuesday, surprising prisoners at HMP High Down men's prison in Surrey. 

The royal, 42, was acting in her role as patron of The Forward Trust, a charity that supports those in the criminal justice system to manage and recover from their addictions. Princess Kate not only spoke with inmates at HMP High Down, but also learned what it's like for families to visit their loved ones who are prisoners. 

HMP High Down is home to around 1,100 prisoners and the royal visit comes ahead of Addiction Awareness Week which will take place from 28 October to 4 November, and whose theme is 'Everybody Knows Somebody', to highlight the vast array of people across society who are affected by addiction.

The Princess of Wales visits HMP High Down in Sutton, Surrey© James Whatling
The Princess of Wales visits HMP High Down in Sutton, Surrey

Looking effortlessly put together and immaculate as always, the wife of Prince William wore a slick tailored trouser suit in a rich aubergine hue. The royal layered her fitted jacket over a ribbed, cream top and rocked towering navy heels.

Kate Middleton rocks Alexander McQueen tailored suit© Getty
Kate Middleton rocks Alexander McQueen tailored suit

The dramatic silhouette of Princess Kate's Alexander McQueen power suit was defined but its retro padded shoulders,  which featured a sharp pointed structure and slightly fluted sleeves. It's not the first time the royal has worn the vampy purple ensemble. Kate proved her sartorial prowess in the designer number once before, when she and Prince William stepped off the plane for their Boston royal tour in December last year. 

Most striking about the mother-of-three's outing, however, were that her luscious brunette locks were swept into a bouncy curled style, as she elevated her natural beauty with her usual combo of a peachy blush, golden bronzer and defined, fluffy brows. 

Did Princess Kate just get the It-girl haircut of the season?© Mark Cuthbert
Did Princess Kate just get the It-girl haircut of the season?

The Princess of Wales appears to have succumbed to the latest It-girl hairstyle of the season, having had bouncy 70s bangs cut into her Rapunzel-like locks. 

Royal fans were quick to pick up on the royal's new 'do. Taking to Twitter, one wrote: "LOVE Kate’s new curtain bangs hairstyle, which is so on trend today. She really suits it!"

Another wrote: "Wow. The Princess of Wales looks so good today," as a third chimed in: "Her new hair looks unreal."

Does the Princess of Wales have hair extensions?

There's no denying that Princess Kate's hair is, quite literally, a mane worthy of a Disney princess. The royal's luscious brunette locks have long been a topic of conversation of royal fans who can't quite determine whether the mother-of-three uses hair extensions to accentuate her naturally thick and glossy mane. 

The Princess of Wales' hair is curled and worn in a navy bow
The Princess of Wales' hair is usually preened to perfection

Back in 2022, HELLO! spoke to extension expert Olia Cutz, Founder of The Extensionist, to settle the debate. "Kate could easily have had tapes or ultra bonds, which are incredibly tiny strands of hair extensions. They can add thickness and length to any hair type, but are so subtle they are incredibly hard to detect."

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits LEYF (London Early Years Foundation) Stockwell Gardens Nursery & Pre-School on January 29, 2020 in London, England.
Does the Princess of Wales have hair extensions?

"Although the transformation is very subtle, it does look like Princess Kate has enhanced her natural length with few pieces of hair extensions," says Olia. "There are several undetectable hair extension methods these days," she added. 

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