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Princess Catherine of Wales | Source: Getty Images
Princess Catherine of Wales | Source: Getty Images

'That's Not Her': Princess Catherine's Hair Shocks Royal Fans amid Chemo Treatment

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
Jun 17, 2024
04:50 A.M.

As Princess Catherine of Wales made her grand return to the public eye after months of hiatus, netizens buzzed over her appearance, particularly her hair—an unexpected sight for someone undergoing chemotherapy.

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Six months after announcing her cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy treatment, Princess Catherine of Wales made a striking appearance at Trooping the Colour for King Charles III's official birthday parade in London, drawing significant attention to her dress and hair.

Princess Catherine of Wales arrives at Buckingham Palace before the King's Birthday Parade "Trooping the Colour" in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine of Wales arrives at Buckingham Palace before the King's Birthday Parade "Trooping the Colour" in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

The King's special occasion marked Catherine's first public event. At the event, she dazzled in a white dress with black trim and ribbon embellishment on the neckline.

Princess Catherine of Wales smiles as she arrives at Buckingham Palace before the King's Birthday Parade "Trooping the Colour" in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine of Wales smiles as she arrives at Buckingham Palace before the King's Birthday Parade "Trooping the Colour" in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

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The dress the Princess of Wales wore for Charles's birthday festivities was actually an upcycled version of an outfit she wore at one event at Buckingham Palace in May 2023.

Princess Catherine of Wales and New Zealand's Prime Minister Chris Hipkins attend lunch at Buckingham Palace on May 5, 2023. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine of Wales and New Zealand's Prime Minister Chris Hipkins attend lunch at Buckingham Palace on May 5, 2023. | Source: Getty Images

Adding to her upcycled look, Catherine completed her outfit with a white hat, pearl studs, and the Irish Guards Regimental Brooch, reflecting her honorary role. She had her hair styled in a low bun with intricate detailing.

Prince William looks at Princess Catherine as they observe the Royal Air Force flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Prince William looks at Princess Catherine as they observe the Royal Air Force flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

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Catherine's style may have captivated royal observers online, but many questioned her hair, considering she had chemotherapy. Some believed it was not the Princess of Wales. "That's not her," a netizen said in disbelief, while another stated, "That's not Kate."

One user expressed genuine curiosity, stating, "Want to know how she's keeping her hair through chemotherapy... This is a serious question. I am not making a dig or anything like that..."

Princess of Wales,  Catherine, arrives with Prince William, and their children to Buckingham Palace before the King's Birthday Parade "Trooping the Colour" in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Princess of Wales, Catherine, arrives with Prince William, and their children to Buckingham Palace before the King's Birthday Parade "Trooping the Colour" in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Adding to the discussion, another pondered the medical aspects, asking, "You can have chemotherapy and not lose your hair?" Concern for her well-being was evident in queries such as, "Was William with her? And if she's having chemo how come she still has her hair?"

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Despite these questions, admiration shone through as one admirer remarked, "Always admire this elegant lady, how did her hair grow back so soon after chemotherapy??"

Princess Catherine reacts as she watches the Royal Air Force flypast with Princess Charlotte from Buckingham Palace in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine reacts as she watches the Royal Air Force flypast with Princess Charlotte from Buckingham Palace in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Seeking clarification respectfully, a user questioned, "Can I ask an honest question. I mean nothing rude or mean in asking this but, I though you lost your hair during chemo???? Do u think it's a wig or maybe not all chemo makes u loose your hair. Again honest question, I'm not trying to be rude(sic)."

Princess Catherine of Wales looks down as she departs Buckingham Palace in a Glass Coach to attend Trooping the Colour in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine of Wales looks down as she departs Buckingham Palace in a Glass Coach to attend Trooping the Colour in London on June 15, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

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However, skepticism lingered as one commented, "I don't know why I can't believe that she's illness(sic)." Despite the confusion, positivity emerged from a supportive fan, saying, "Going through chemotherapy and still looking radiant!"

Before Catherine's appearance at the King's birthday parade, she opened up about her courageous battle with cancer in a touching Instagram post.

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She shared a heartfelt photo on social media, her first public appearance since announcing her battle with cancer. Captured by photographer Matt Porteous, the image depicts the Princess beside a majestic tree, symbolizing resilience amidst her treatment.

In her Instagram caption, the Princess expressed profound gratitude, "I have been blown away by all the kind messages of support and encouragement," acknowledging the significant impact of these gestures on her and Prince William.

Princess Catherine happily looks at Prince William as they attend the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2023 in London on February 19, 2023. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine happily looks at Prince William as they attend the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2023 in London on February 19, 2023. | Source: Getty Images

She discussed the realities of chemotherapy, stating, "On those bad days you feel weak, tired and you have to give in to your body resting. But on the good days, when you feel stronger, you want to make the most of feeling well."

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Despite the numerous challenges she has faced, Catherine remains optimistic and appreciative. She concluded with, "Thank you so much for your continued understanding, and to all of you who have so bravely shared your stories with me."

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The absence of Catherine from the public eye sparked widespread concern this year amid speculation among the public and media. Unsurprisingly, the public's response to her Instagram post was overwhelmingly supportive.

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In the post's comment thread, one user wrote, "Wishing you lots of health and a steady recovery. Sending you lots of strength and patience ❤️." Another called her a "brave woman."

Princess Catherine of Wales attends the opening of Evelina London's new children's day surgery unit in London on December 5, 2023. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine of Wales attends the opening of Evelina London's new children's day surgery unit in London on December 5, 2023. | Source: Getty Images

Catherine's hair and cancer diagnosis weren't the only topics buzzing among netizens; her recent portrait and her earning a historic royal title also sparked discussions online.

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A new portrait of Princess Catherine for the July 2024 cover of Tatler magazine has sparked an online backlash. British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor painted the portrait, and it showed Catherine dressed in an elegant white gown with a cape, blue sash, and crown.

Princess Catherine of Wales at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022, in London, England | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine of Wales at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022, in London, England | Source: Getty Images

The cover completes a royal triptych, following Tatler’s previous portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III. However, many netizens expressed strong opinions about the portrait. One user bluntly asked, "Is this a joke?"

Another asserted, "This is not HRH The Princess of Wales. God knows who it is, but it is not HRH." Even those who aren't particularly fans of the princess found the artwork offensive, with one stating, "I am not a Kate fan but that portrait is an insult."

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Princess Catherine of Wales at the Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022, in London, England | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine of Wales at the Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022, in London, England | Source: Getty Images

Additionally, a commenter highlighted their unmet expectation for art to capture the essence of its subject, "I don't necessarily expect art to resemble A photo of the subject but this has captured nothing of her essence- not even her dimples! Btw I personally love the new red painting of the King!"

Princess Catherine of Wales at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022, in London, England | Source: Getty Images

Princess Catherine of Wales at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022, in London, England | Source: Getty Images

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The criticism of Catherine's portrait came after Charles unveiled his all-red portrait by artist Jonathan Yeo, which showed the King wearing the red uniform of the Welsh Guards.

King Charles III unveils his portrait by artist Jonathan Yeo, dated May 2024. | Source: Instagram/theroyalfamily | Instagram/jonathanyeo

King Charles III unveils his portrait by artist Jonathan Yeo, dated May 2024. | Source: Instagram/theroyalfamily | Instagram/jonathanyeo

The King's painting left many feeling uneasy, casting a shadow over what should have been a regal representation. "One of the creepiest royal portraits I've ever seen. Horrible!" exclaimed one observer.

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Before the buzz and backlash over royal portraits, Charles honored Catherine with a significant title. In April, he appointed her a Royal Companion of the Order of the Companions of Honour at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Catherine Middleton, Princess of Wales, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023 in London, England.  | Source: Getty Images

Catherine Middleton, Princess of Wales, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Catherine is the first member of the royal family to receive this distinction. The prestigious award, founded by King George V in 1917, recognizes outstanding contributions to the arts, science, medicine, or government.

Catherine Middleton, Princess of Wales, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023 in London, England.  | Source: Getty Images

Catherine Middleton, Princess of Wales, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

The Order of the Companions of Honour, considered a junior class to the Order of Merit, is limited to 65 members at any one time. The order acknowledges long-term contributions of national importance and includes notable figures such as Dame Maggie Smith and the late Stephen Hawking.

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