While Princess Kate won’t be the next European royal lady to trade pin thin pumps for bedazzled Ugg boots or Naked Wolfe platforms — she has recently stepped out of her style comfort zone more than ever before. While the duchess of yore wouldn’t think of wearing bold opera gloves or chain chokers, Princess Kate 2.0 is ready to embrace an edgier, exciting and more modern style as she prepares for the throne.

Here are 10 Signs Proving Kate Middleton is Taking More Style Risks:

1. A Good Skort

Proving she’s not afraid to bare a little leg in pursuit of a better tennis score, Kate showed off her enviable form and equally enchanting gams during a tennis match with Roger Federer. Bidding goodbye to baggy sweats and colorblocked track pants, Kate is now in favor of super short skorts and athletic mini skirts.

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2. Chain Reaction

Gone are the days of sparkling diamond bib necklaces in favor of far more fierce curb chain chokers — Kate has recently traded her sparkly beaded collar necklaces for  chunky gold chains from Laura Lombardi. Ancient Egyptians felt chain chokers symbolized social status and had healing and protective powers. The necklaces have long been associated with empresses and queens and today chokers are said to demonstrate confidence, authority and power.

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3. Flower Fanatic

While once resigned to wearing tiny and timid royal jewels like citrine flower diamond drops from Kiki McDonough — Kate is now embracing statement earrings in a big way. The princess recently appeared in budget-friendly Zara cascading earrings with large metal flower charms for the BAFTA Awards in 2023.

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4. Tangerine Dream

Though the late Queen Elizabeth regularly wore bright orange dress coats with matching top hats, Kate has mostly shunned ‘citrus chic’ styles in favor of more earthy tones and soft colors. Yet, recently she’s followed the fashions of her predecessor and embraced more orangey hues and spicy shades.

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5. Slingback Story

Once upon a time, the Princess of Wales would never have worn cut-out stilettos or pearl adorned slingbacks. Yet, the old Kate has been replaced by a less sheepish style maven; the princess has evolved into a fashion titan and royal trendsetter. Kate’s days of slingback cork wedges are long gone but now she rocks kitten heels with pearl accents and suede slingbacks with ribbon buckles.

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6. Couture Clutches

While the princess has regularly rotated Emmy London envelope bags and Jenny Packham box clutches for nearly her entire royal career, as of late, Kate has ditched her cache of modest and minimal clutches in favor of some stunning new handbags. In just the last year, the princess has stepped out carrying a Jennifer Chamandi buckle clutch, Chanel quilted flap bag with logo lock closure and a new Hermes Rio envelope clutch.

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7. Pantsuit Passion

In years past, Kate’s most daring ‘executive glam’ looks consisted of tailored skirt suits and pretty peplum blazers. Today, Kate has reinvented her royal wardrobe to include a trove of trouser suits, girl boss blazers and even workwear staples like pinstripe pants.

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8. Glamorous Gloves

Making full use of her royal credentials, Kate has embraced satin evening gloves to add a bit of princess polish to her ensembles. Made famous by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, these formal evening gloves denote the regency time period (think Bridgerton) and elevate any gown moment from basic to bold. The ladylike gloves add a movie star air to Kate’s regal red carpet ensembles.

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9. Vest Dressed

Perhaps one of Kate’s most surprising recent wears came in the form of a simple sweater vest — while the princess has worn leather waistcoats and quilted utility vests in the past — she’s never appeared in a knitted vest for royal duty.

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10. Cream of the Crop

Call it Kate’s riskiest and most daring denim move ever — the Wales matriarch stepped out in ‘Mother’ Denim Dazzler jeans with an unusual hem. Forgoing her equally tricky high-waist jeans (from & Other Stories) in favor of this mid-rise style — the ankle inseam caught royal watchers off-guard. The cool girl crops are surprisingly short and offer the wearer a chance to show off their shoes and socks!

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