Duchess Kate adds a new twist in her hairstyle

Kate museum
Catherine, Duchess  of Cambridge attends the official opening of the Natural History Museum's Treasures Gallery at Natural History Museum on November 27, 2012 in London, England. (Getty Images)

The dress was familiar, but there was definitely something different about the Duchess of Cambridge as she stepped out for a solo engagement on Tuesday night.

No, didn't notice any baby bump, but those familiar brown locks of hers were definitely different. Darker, fuller, more wavy. Not enough of a change to qualify as a complete makeover, but surely enough to make the Kate watchers take notice.

Kate exhibitCould be her Christmas 2012 look, which she augmented nicely with a $2,200 green Mulberry dress, the same one she wore a year ago at a Diamond Jubilee reception.

Something old, something new ... a perfect combo for a museum. In this case, Kate toured the newest exhibit at London's Museum of Natural History. It's called the Treasures Gallery and she was escorted through 22 rare pieces of natural history, each one specially chosen for Treasures because of its historical and scientific significance.

Included are a couple of books -- first editions of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" and "Audubon's Birds of America."

Some of the other exhibits are very much older, including a Archaeopteryx fossil which dates back about 147 million years and reveals the link between small dinosaurs and modern birds. Even older are ammonites, small spiral shell fossils that were the mollusks of their day (200 million years ago). Among the other treasures for the new exhibit are a dodo skeleton, Blaschka glass models and a moon rock.

"William and I are just two of millions of people who have passed through these doors and marvelled at the spectacular wonders of the natural world, housed in this beautiful gallery," Kate said in her remarks to officially open the exhibit.

"I care passionately about what this museum stands for. Being here tonight, seeing some of nature's finest treasures, reminds me just how precious and awe-inspiring the natural world is."

While she kept William at home for this event, the two are back as a combo for several engagements over the next few weeks heading into the holiday season. On Wednesday, they visit -- at last -- the town they take their title from -- Cambridge. Next weekend, Dec. 8-9, they'll be at the Winter Whites Gala at Royal Albert Hall, then attend the British Military Tournament. On Dec. 12, they'll be at the London movie premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

Kate close Kate rugby






NOW AND THEN: Left, Kate at the Museum of Natural History on Tuesday night. Right, Kate at rugby game in Wales on the weekend.

Kate walk
Kate arrives at the Natural History Museum in London on Tuesday to officially open the new Treasures Gallery. (AFP/Getty Images)

Kate plate
Kate views a plate from Audubon's Birds of America alongside Special Collections Manager Judith Magee during a visit to officially open the new Treasures Gallery at the Natural History Museum in central London. (AFP/Getty Images)


Queen sheikh

It was all about pomp and pageantry on Tuesday at Windsor Castle as Queen Elizabeth welcomed Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, for a three-day state visit.

The 83-year-old Amir (above left) received the full royal treatment, from an Honour Guard, to a royal procession (below), to a state dinner. The Queen even worked in a little tour for the visiting royal, showing him a gold sword (above) that was presented to her for her coronation in 1953. The last state visit from Kuwait was in 1995. The Queen visited the oil-rich Kuwait in 1979.

Queen castle

Queen parade
(Getty Images)

Queen dinner
Queen Elizabeth smiles before giving a speech as she sits with Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah. Prince Charles and Camilla sit on either side of the visitors during the state banquet in Windsor Castle. (Getty Images)



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