The Princess of Wales, 41, visited HMP High Down prison in Surrey, England on Tuesday, making the stop as patron of The Forward Trust ahead of Addiction Awareness Week in the U.K. Princess Kate stylishly arrived in a navy Alexander McQueen suit (the day after it was announced her wedding dress designer Sarah Burton was leaving the label a creative director) and wore waves in her new haircut — giving a better glimpse of the hair change.
Over the weekend, Kate debuted the new ‘do at the Rugby World Cup 2023 Group Stage match between England and Argentina. The princess (who serves as patron of the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League) appeared to refresh her tresses with subtle curtain bangs, face-framing layers and a middle part. While she still had some bright highlights, her hair hue appeared slightly darker than during the summer months. Kate had a few soft curls in her hair during the rugby game and turned up the volume for her latest outing.
The Princess of Wales wore a bouncier blowout with more curls (plus a bandage on her hand!) for the visit to the incarceration center on Tuesday, where she learned more about how inmates and their families are being supported through addiction. Addiction was one of the first issues Kate adopted after she married Prince William in 2011 and led to her championing mental health awareness, especially related to youth.
At HMP High Down, she saw firsthand how Forward Trust, of which she is the royal patron, helps those in the criminal justice system manage and recover from addiction. She shadowed the experience of a family visit to the facility, starting with the required security process, and heard about efforts to improve visits for kids. High Down, a men's prison with around 1,100 inmates, has been working to try to ensure that it is a more positive experience, for children in particular.
Kate has been working with addiction charities for more than a decade, helping her understand “the complexities of mental health and has informed much of her work on the early years,” her office at Kensington Palace said. “Experiences in early childhood, before the age of five, are proven to have significant impact on adult lives, including resilience and the ability to cope with adversity.”
Kate’s fall fringe and darker hair color is a shift from how she had her hair over the summer. At the Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Charity Polo Day, Wimbledon and a surprise family field trip to the Royal International Air Tattoo, she wore her hair straight with a subtle side part — a simple style for busy days.
However, Kate has had practice with bangs in the past, and seems to get them cut every few years. She previously wore fringe in 2015 and 2012, as well at her 2005 graduation from St. Andrews University, where she and William met.
The Princess of Wales might have a standing appointment for a fall hair refresh, as she changed her hair around this time last year. In September 2022, she stepped out with shorter, layered tresses than she had had over the summer to attend a preview day with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis at the Lambrook School.
Kate and William’s kids enrolled as new pupils at the private prep after the family relocated from London to Windsor, and the preview day photos were released to mark the milestone of a new school.
Kate has also tried her hand at hair styling herself! During a 2021 video call with fellow parents, the royal mom opened up about taking on several new roles amid the coronavirus pandemic, including the one that her kids were less than thrilled about.
"As parents, we have day-to-day elements of being a parent but, I suppose, during lockdown we've had to take on additional roles that others in our communities or in our lives would have helped us with," she said. "I've become a hairdresser this lockdown, much to my children's horror."