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Got a bob haircut? Take note of Carole Middleton's voluminous half-up style for your next night out

 Carole Middleton leaves the Royal Variety Performance at London Palladium on November 13, 2014 in London.
Carole Middleton leaves the Royal Variety Performance at London Palladium on November 13, 2014 in London.

Carole Middleton’s half-up, half down bob is an evening out hairstyle that’s so easy to recreate. 

Whilst the Princess of Wales is known for her long, glossy brunette waves her mother Carole has been a fan of bob hairstyles for decades. Although she’s often experimented with her side parted bobs, adding texture with layers or incorporating more of a side fringe, Carole’s signature style has always been a collar-length haircut. Though having shorter hair doesn’t count you out from being able to embrace different styling options - as Carole proved sensationally back in 2014.

Stepping out with her husband Michael for the Royal Variety Performance, Carole Middleton’s half-up half-down evening look was an eye-catching choice that we’ve never quite forgotten.

Carole Middleton is seen leaving the Royal Variety Performance
Carole Middleton is seen leaving the Royal Variety Performance

The Princess of Wales’s mother put a subtle twist on a classic beehive look with this particular hairstyle. The half-up section was glamorously voluminous at the top, but still very smooth and sleek, making it a little more pared-back than a statement beehive usually is.

Carole’s half-up, half-down look left the lower section of her tresses loose around her collarbone and her side fringe took centre stage here. Gently graduated, this side fringe was deliberately kept out of the pulled-back section and helped to add a bit more texture to Carole’s hairstyle.

Shop Half-Up, Half-Down Hair Styling Essentials

Living Proof Full Texturising Foam 45ml
Living Proof Full Texturising Foam 45ml

Living Proof Texturising Foam

RRP: £15 | This lightweight foam helps to add texture and volume to either wet or dry hair. This is a brilliant product if you want to create a more messy half-up, half-down look - or a messy updo in general.

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L'Oreal Paris Elnett Extra Strength Hairspray

RRP: Was £9.99, Now £6.44 | If it's hold you want from your hairstyles, then this extra strength hairspray is a great product to have in your collection. It can help keep your look in place for longer and is incredibly affordable.

Kitsch Essential Bobby Pins
Kitsch Essential Bobby Pins

Kitsch Essential Bobby Pins

RRP: £4 | Whether you want to create a half-up, half-down hairstyle or not, bobby pins are a practical staple to have. They effortlessly secure your hair in place and the brown shade of these is particularly great for brunettes.

She tends to favour keeping her hair down for big events like weddings and King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation, but Carole’s evening hairdo was something a little different yet every bit as fabulous. Half-up, half-down hairstyles are a classic option when you want to have all the elegance that comes with an up-do, but love the fullness of your hair loose and it’s one of those easy updos for short hair.

Andrew John of Percy & Reed Salon previously explained to womanandhome.com how to create a simple half-up, half-down look, stating, “Half-up, half-down hair is a perfect choice. Create a half-up, half-down style by sectioning hair from the top of each ear and twist it into a loose bun, and pin.”

Carole Middleton leaves the Royal Variety Performance at London Palladium
Carole Middleton leaves the Royal Variety Performance at London Palladium

You can craft a half-up, half-down look with just a hair band though pins can also help to do so a little more seamlessly and you might prefer just to pin the sections together loose at the back rather than in a bun.

Carole’s hairstyle was a wonderful choice for the Royal Variety Performance and it looked especially lovely with her dress. The Princess of Wales’s mum opted for a black midi dress with sheer lace sleeves and matching lace across the top of the bodice in a scoop neck style. She accessorised with silver strappy sandals, a black and silver clutch bag and silver earrings. In a practical move on this cold November night, Carole also appeared to carry an extra layer draped over her arm.

This particular edition of the Royal Variety Performance marked the first time that the Prince and Princess of Wales attended, so it was a very special night for both Kate and her parents.

Carole Middleton leaves the Royal Variety Performance at London Palladium on November 13, 2014
Carole Middleton leaves the Royal Variety Performance at London Palladium on November 13, 2014

Carole, Michael and their son James Middleton and daughter-in-law Alizée are also understood to have attended the event in 2021 - another year when Prince William and Kate were there. Carole Middleton hasn’t been seen in public that much in recent years and her last major appearance was at the coronation where she wore her hair down with an electric blue headband. However, that won’t stop us from hoping that she'll bring back her half-up, half-down hairstyle for another special occasion in the not-too-distant future.