Speculation swirled on Tuesday over the release of pictures of Britain's Prince William, prematurely balding at 27, with a full head of brown hair on the cover of a leading gossip and celebrity magazine.
The prince has frequently been the butt of jokes due to his thinning dark-blonde hair.
But now this week's Hello! magazine shows him in jeans and a polo shirt, smiling broadly in close-up shots taken by Jeff Hubbard, a homeless man turned photographer, who sold the images to the magazine for an undisclosed sum in aid of charity.
The pictures, taken before the prince set out for his trip to New Zealand and Australia last month, are to go on public display at a London exhibition early next month.
Left unanswered is whether the new hairstyle and colour is genuine, or simply the result of sophisticated lighting and computer trickery.
However, a spokeswoman for Prince William told DPA Tuesday: "The portraits are pieces of art altered for artistic effect."