Kate Middleton in Jenny Packham

Kate Middleton wearing a mullet hem Jenny Packham dress last month

Rex

We don't know about you, but here at InStyle we've noticed that Kate Middleton's style has taken a new direction of late, veering towards a younger, more fashion forward approach to royal dressing. Hemlines are shorter, fabrics slightly sheerer.

Perhaps the Duchess of Cambridge is celebrating the fact that her severe morning sickness has finally passed and she can wear something other than, presumably, a pair of tracky bums and a T-shirt (that's what we'd be wearing, anyway).

Or maybe Kate's renewed style is down to the fact that she's bagged herself a new personal dresser.

According to reports, the expectant mum has recruited her former personal assistant, 27-year-old Natasha Archer, as her new stylist – and we reckon it's an appointment that's paid off.

Kate Middleton in Templerley

Tash, as she's known at Kensington Palace where she has worked since 2007, reportedly first started helping Kate out with her wardrobe back in April during the royal tour to Australia and New Zealand, alongside the Queen's personal dresser Angela Kelly, who was brought on board to give Kate a 'more regal' look. Which apparently translated as knee-length skirts and dress coats.

Now that three-week tour is over, Kate is keen to wear clothes more befitting her 32 years, and has employed Ms Archer to help with a slightly younger look.

While Kate is still looking to the same designers for now – Jenny Packham and Temperley are still firm favourites – we've certainly never seen her rock a mullet hem before like she did at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards, or the tricky cut-out trend she wore to another gala in London last month.

'Natasha shops a lot for Kate online, and calls in hundreds of dresses for Kate to try on,' said Vanity Fair's royal reporter Katie Nicholl. 'She has persuaded Kate to take some more risks. The hemlines are shorter and Kate's really pushing the boat out in the fashion stakes.'

Does this mean the end of the dress coat? We're not taking bets yet...

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By Olivia Marks