Behold Kate Middleton, Brazen Royal, Publicly Wearing Shorts

For the first time ever since becoming a duchess.

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Take Part In The King's Cup Regatta
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Newcomers to the royal family can’t so much as take a breath without being accused of breaking with tradition—just ask Meghan Markle. But this week, it was the usually uber-proper Kate Middleton who sent shock waves through the British press by boldly going where few royals have gone before. In other words, on Thursday, Middleton wore a pair of shorts.

Middleton’s husband, Prince William, reportedly wore shorts exclusively until he was eight or nine years old. So, what’s the big deal with Middleton taking a page from his style book? Apparently, because it’s the first time she’s been photographed wearing shorts since she officially became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. And because… well, actually, that’s it.

At first, Middleton’s appearance on Thursday seemed to be perfectly ordinary; she arrived to a sailing race for the King’s Cup Regatta charity wearing a striped shirt and a nautical pair of navy trousers.

Kate Middleton arrives at The Royal Yacht Squadron during the inaugural Kings Cup regatta hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on August 08, 2019 in Cowes, England.

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But Middleton soon proved she wasn’t messing around. When it came time to venture offshore, she changed into a white polo, an athletic jacket, a baseball cap, a pair of New Balances, and—most important—some navy shorts, the better to show off her muscles as she took on the role of skipper for the regatta.

Kate Middleton attends the prize giving during the King’s Cup Regatta on August 08, 2019 in Cowes, England.

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Alas, they didn’t seem to make much of a difference, seeing as she ended up losing the race to six others, including none other than Bear Grylls. Still, you might be seeing more of Middleton in shorts soon, given how much fun she appeared to have over the course of the several hours that she rocked the look.

Princess Charlotte and Kate Middleton attend the presentation following the King’s Cup Regatta on August 08, 2019 in Cowes, England.

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Kate Middleton is presented with a wooden spoon following the King’s Cup Regatta on August 08, 2019 in Cowes, England.

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Kate Middleton steers the royal foundation charity boat in the King’s Cup regatta in the Solent on August 8, 2019 at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, England.

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In case you were wondering, the last time Middleton was photographed wearing a pair of shorts was all the way back in 2008, a full three years before her royal wedding. And in a true testament to how much her life has changed over the past decade, that pair was bright yellow and only an inch or two long. In the spirit of the occasion, a Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco in London, she completed the look with a sequined top, knee-high boots, pink socks, and a handful of giant glow sticks. That probably wouldn’t fly at Ascot…

Kate Middleton arrives at the Day-Glo Midnight Roller Disco at The Renaissance Rooms on September 17, 2008 in London, England.

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Related: Prince George’s Lil’ Captain Hat Won the Royal Sailing Race That His Parents Lost