Kate Middleton Debuts Bouncy (and Lighter!) Hair at Princess Charlotte's School Drop-Off

Kate Middleton has a new look for fall!

Princess Charlotte may have perfected the “adorable first day of school” look, but mom Kate Middleton had something to show off too — a brand new fall-ready hairstyle!

The new style, which she debuted on Thursday while walking her two children to school, is shorter and appears to have lighter, warmer highlights. Styled not in her usual waves, but with a voluminous, bouncy straight blowout, the royal mom looked glowing as she smiled for the cameras.

With Prince William holding Prince George’s hand, the foursome made a stylish entrance into Thomas’s Battersea. Looking a little nervous, a shy Charlotte walked on her tip toes in her new navy school pinafore, red and navy school cardigan and new school shoes from Amaia, wearing her hair neatly tied back in a low ponytail.

<a href="https://people.com/tag/kate-middleton/" data-inlink="true">Kate Middleton</a>
<a href="https://people.com/tag/princess-charlotte/" data-inlink="true">Princess Charlotte</a>
Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte. Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images
<a href="https://people.com/tag/princess-charlotte/" data-inlink="true">Princess Charlotte</a>'s First Day Of School
Princess Charlotte and Kate Middleton. Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images

When it comes to her much-coveted hair, Kate has been loyal to the Richard Ward salon in London’s Chelsea for nearly two decades, having first discovered the award-winning salon during her time in college. While she still uses the salon’s stylists for both her cut and color, she also calls upon freelance hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker for royal tours and special occasions — such as after the birth of her three children.

Wearing a floral dress from Michael Kors (the same one she wore to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding rehearsal dinner last May), the royal mom added a belt and navy Prada heels to the polished look, smiling broadly as she greeted Helen Haslem, head of the Lower School. The dress, from the brand’s MICHAEL Michael Kors collection, which is aimed at a younger demographic then their main line, was part of the line’s Spring 2018 collection.

<a href="https://people.com/tag/princess-charlotte/" data-inlink="true">Princess Charlotte</a> to begin school
Princess Charlotte, Kate Middleton, Prince George and Prince William. Press Association via AP Images

In July, a source told PEOPLE that Kate had been working on a style overhaul, trying new brands and looks to freshen up her look. “Kate felt like she was in a bit of a style rut and thought she needed a little edge,” the source said, adding: “She’s consciously worked on getting her look to be a bit younger and more modern, and it’s worked!”

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