When the Duchess of Cambridge visited an Oxford primary school last week, her chic white coat and little black clutch showed off the style and taste.
But the way she held her handbag revealed a surprise — Kate's index, middle and ring fingers are all very similar in length.
It's long been thought that digit size is linked to certain character traits, sporting ability and even some illnesses.
But what do Kate's finger lengths reveal about her — and what other secrets is the Royal Family hiding?
IT ALL STARTS IN YOUR MOTHER'S WOMB . . .
Developmental biologist Professor John Manning says the fact Kate index and ring fingers are similar in length probably results from high exposure to oestrogen in the womb.
His studies show that if a foetus is exposed to high levels of oestrogen as it develops, the index finger and ring finger will end up about the same length.
At the same time, the hormone will have a profound effect on the baby's personality, making the child more likely to display classically 'female' traits such as creativity and sensitivity.
If a foetus is exposed to more testosterone in the early months of pregnancy, the baby is likely to have a shorter index finger than ring finger, and may be more susceptible to exhibiting ‘male’ traits, such as aggression and competitiveness.
KATE'S GOT A REAL SOCIAL CONSCIENCE
‘Kate's middle finger should stand 2cm longer than the others,’ says Johnny Fincham, palmistry expert. ‘That it doesn't, indicates she has an enormous sympathy with the outsider. She's strongly geared towards the underdog.’
However, the Royals may be in for a shock in the coming years.‘As Kate gets older, she may want to escape the restrictions of royal life. Many such people end up living in a land outside of the one they were born in.’
SHE'S CHARMING, BUT A BIT ALOOF
Palmists believe the shape of your palm says a lot about you, with four basic types, one for each element: fire, water, earth and air. ‘Kate has an air palm — it’s square, with long, thin fingers and quite bony, pale hands,’ says Johnny Fincham.
‘People with air palms are quiet, refined, intelligent, sensitive and articulate. They don't usually like to get into a situation where there are too many impediments on their freedom. They like to come and go as they please and travel a lot.
‘While they can be charming, they are often hard to pin down, somewhat unknowable and aloof.’
FATE IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND
If YOU have a rectangular palm with muscular fingers, and perhaps a bit of a tan, you have fire palms, says Johnny.
‘These people are very assertive, go-getting and extremely concerned with their career. They're often self-made and can be quite intense. They’re not good at reflection.’
A heavy, square palm with solid, fleshy and quite short fingers means your palms are ruled by the earth element. 'These are grounded, solid people,' says Johnny. 'They have huge energy and endurance. They are humble, stoic and unpretentious.’
If you have narrow, soft and silky smooth palms and long, flexible fingers with pointed tips and oval nails, you have a water palm. ‘These are often deeply emotive types,’ says Johnny.
‘They are highly geared towards their feelings, often artistic and intuitive — their heart rules their head.
‘Also, they're open, friendly people. But they often get into relationship problems.’
CURIOUS CASE OF KATE’S PINKY
Kate's slim little finger is longer than normal, a sign of curiosity about the world and an ability to engage and influence others.
‘Such people are usually good with money and use words well,’ says Johnny. Prince Charles shares this trait, while his knotty knuckles suggest someone who has an analytical nature and speaks his mind.
Indeed, Charles has supported a broad range of causes, from organic farming to alternative therapies.
SPORTY ROYALS’ RING FINGERS
If YOU have a ring finger longer than your index finger, you're a born sportsman — or woman, as Zara Tindall proves. This is seen as a typical ‘masculine hand’. Zara has the trait along with Prince Andrew and his former wife Fergie.
Professor Manning says there is a strong correlation between longer ring fingers and excelling at running.
The longer a runner’s ring finger compared to their index finger, the better they’ll do. Such people are also more likely to take risks, with a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude. Number-crunching and problem-solving comes easily. They're also more likely to be an extrovert — and wealthy.
However, those with relatively short index fingers are less likely to be faithful, according to scientists at Imperial College , London . Men with the trait are more likely to suffer from prostate cancer and end up in prison — or be murdered.
HE-MAN HARRY HAS ‘FEMALE’ HANDS . . .
Look closely at the hands of both Prince Harry and the Queen and you'll see their index fingers are the same length as their ring fingers, just like Kate’s.
Although this is sometimes seen as a typical ‘female’ hand, many men have it, too.
Studies by Oxford University have shown people with matching index and ring finger lengths are more likely to stay faithful within a relationship than those with a shorter index finger, which is good news for Meghan.
Such people are less likely to excel at sport or be musically gifted. They do tend to be very organised, find multi-tasking a breeze and have great memories. Peace-loving and conflict-avoiding, they're usually caring types.
It’s no surprise to hear that the Queen has these traits, although perhaps they reveal more about Harry’s tender nature.
. . . AND HE'S UNDER MEGHAN'S THUMB!
The lines on your palms have been used to tell fortunes for centuries. So, what do they mean?
Most people have two major lines — the heart line, which runs from under the little finger towards the index, and the head line, which is below it and runs down from near the thumb.
But Meghan doesn’t have two lines, she has just one, which is hugely rare. ‘It shows a special talent and ability, someone who’s single-minded, highly motivated and absolutely unstoppable. She’ll get exactly what she wants,’ says Johnny.
‘It tends to show a difficult early life — like parents splitting up and having to fend for yourself. People with it have a strong sense of being a survivor and having to use every ounce of wit and charm to get by.’