Catherine, Princess of Wales, may as well be Princess of Barrel Curls, because the 40-year-old has been sporting her signature style for well over a decade. And with good reason—her shiny waves are impervious to the elements and always ready for a photo opp. Were it not against royal rules, I have no doubt she would’ve scored a Pantene sponsorship the second she entered the public eye. The Dyson Airwrap could never.
All this is to say that when Kate Middleton arrived to the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, December 6, her otherwise innocuous blowout was legitimately striking. So long, iconic curls. Hello, straight-hair era.
The Diplomatic Reception, which is held annually by the royal family to honor members of the Diplomatic Corps in the palace’s State Rooms, was a white-tie affair—meaning tiaras were very much expected. For the occasion, the princess chose the Lotus Flower tiara, marking the first time she’s worn the piece since 2015; she wore it for the very first time back in 2013. Notably, this is also the first time Kate has styled a tiara with her hair down. She typically tucks the tiaras into romantic updos.
The princess paired the tiara with matching tear-drop diamond earrings and a long-sleeve crimson Jenny Packham gown with delicate floral beaded embellishments.
The occasion marks the second time Kate has worn a tiara as the Princess of Wales. She wore the Lover’s Knot tiara in November; before that, she hadn’t worn a tiara since 2019.
Whether the straight hair is here to stay or simply a fleeting style choice, Kate Middleton’s hair inspo remains unmatched. Long live the Princess of Good Hair days.