Kate Middleton’s Best Haircuts Of All Time Are Surprisingly Varied

They’re all fit for a queen.

Written by Amanda Ross
Originally Published: 
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Kate Middleton side-bangs

No matter how you slice it, Kate Middleton’s been one of the most influential women on the planet from the day she started sporting that instantly-recognizable 12-carat sapphire on her left hand. There are plenty of reasons to admire the Princess of Wales — including her humanitarian efforts, polished ensembles, and steadfast chin-up poise — but nothing’s comparable to the attention heaped on her glossy brunette hair. Middleton’s best haircuts ever are all so timeless, yet consistently infused with just enough contemporary edge and trendiness to keep her millions of admirers on their toes. And while her overall aesthetic hasn’t shifted much over the years, her creative styling and ever-evolving haircut keeps her look feeling so fresh.

Part of what makes Middleton so beloved is her relatability factor. She originally comes from wealth, for sure, but ultimately shares the same “commoner” (so to speak) DNA and background as the rest of us — she’s has wild university years, thankless internships, inter-family drama, and even serious regrets over cutting bangs. If that’s not a royal for the 21st century, what is?

Ahead, take a look back at some of Kate Middleton’s all-time best haircuts, from her bouncy layers to sleek all-over lengths, and some surprising shakeups in between.

Lots Of Layers

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Talk about va-va-volume. With these long layers strategically cut to yield maximum fullness, Middleton’s reflective brunette hair looks impossibly bouncy and thick. Then, it’s all amplified by her large, brushed-out curls.

Extra-Long Ends

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Could Middleton’s hair be enhanced by a set of royal extensions, perhaps? The near waist-length of her spiral curls suggest that might indeed be the case. Either way, this look marks her longest hair yet.

In-Between Cut

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Not quite a lob but not too terribly long either, you could call this flipped-out style-cut combo the ideal in-between. Falling just a few inches past her shoulders — officially disqualifying it from both bob and lob status — the look is perfect for those who don’t want to commit too hard in either direction.

The Y2K-Friendly ‘C-Cut’


Though a staple of the early 2000s, choppy-layered c-cuts have been a celebrity favorite ever since — especially with the look’s resurgence in the 2020s. Middleton’s version features the shortest layer curling gently under her chin, adding some subtle definition to her already-chiseled bone structure.

Shoulder-Length Curls

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Believe it or not, this breezy cut, seen at Wimbledon, is the shortest Middleton’s ever gone. Falling just past her shoulders, it was a pretty significant departure from the rib-skimming curls she usually prefers.

Coquettish Side-Bangs

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One of the best things about curtain bangs is how easy they are to shift into an entirely different look. With Middleton’s fringe grown out a bit and trimmed just right, she’s able to part them into side-bangs and toss it all over one eye for a sweet-meets-sultry look that suits truly everyone.

All-Over Length

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One of Middleton’s most low-maintenance haircuts, her extra-long look almost completely belies the subtle layering toward the very bottom. Leaving a more defined cut in the past, this manageable cut makes it easy for her to wear her hair blow out, curled, straightened, and even natural (see below).

A Curl-Friendly Cut

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If you know, you know — naturally curly and even very wavy hair requires its own, spiral-friendly cut, lest you end up with a poofy triangle of half-formed curls where your beautiful texture used to be. Middleton’s shown off her air-dried hair a few times over the years — including during her younger university days — but these very long layers allow her thick waves to form in peace.

Bouncy Curtain Bangs

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Although Middleton reportedly regretted getting these full bangs back in 2015 because they were too “mum”-ish (and rumors swirled that the Queen didn't like them, either), there's no denying the face-defining pieces work well on the Duchess. The full, voluminous styling just brings more attention to her eyes, too.

Shoulder-Clearing ‘Bob’

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Fine, this one is kind of cheating. While Middleton didn’t actually cut her hair into a short, traditional bob, she brilliantly faked it by tucking her curls up and underneath themselves. Though Middleton seems to love her longer lengths too much to ever really go for it, at least she knows it would look incredible thanks to some simulating styling.

Mid-Length Perfection

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In 2019, Middleton opted for the perfect girl-next-door look with mid-length strands, blunt ends, and a sweeping side part. A classic for a reason, it’s as straightforward and versatile as it gets.

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