Royal Watch

updated 08/22/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/22/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

KATE MIDDLETON: In It for the Long Run?

As Prince William was enjoying an African holiday, Kate Middleton was hitting her stride as royal girlfriend back home. The Palace won't comment on rumors that Middleton, 23, will bunk with William at Clarence House, Prince Charles's London residence, but at an Aug. 6 horse show at Princess Anne's estate, she seemed like one of the family. When paparazzi descended, Middleton was a pro. "She told them, 'If I pose for photos now, you'll want me to pose at other events,'" says royal watcher Judy Wade. "It seems she expects to be in the royal fold for a long time."


She shares her mum's flame-colored hair, but Beatrice of York—older daughter of Sarah Ferguson and ex-husband Prince Andrew—seems to be getting off on a better foot with the British press. To mark her 17th birthday, she posed for the cover of Tatler magazine and, in her first interview, spoke about her struggle with dyslexia—which has given her trouble at school. (Proceeds from the sale of the photos were donated to a charity that helps kids with learning disabilities.) The tabs embraced Bea—declaring her "smoldering"—and cheered signs of teen normality that include an Orlando Bloom crush. No serious boyfriend or royal scandal looms—Bea says her only act of rebellion is "not handing my work in on time." Not to worry—Bea's sister Eugenie, 15, says a family friend, is "the wilder one."


Has Prince Charles gotten help with his crown? The British tabs seem to think so. New photos of the balding prince showed what appeared to be a thicker royal mane and sparked whispers of a hairpiece. "It's a transplant," one hairdresser told a newspaper. "It's just not true," responds a Palace rep. "There is absolutely no substance to this story." David Cuddis, director of London's The Hair Clinic, which caters to the follicularly challenged, agrees. "The August photo was taken inside when his hair wasn't wet and there was no direct sun," says Cuddis. Plus, Cuddis adds, "he probably does a bit of clever combing."

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