When James Middleton first stumbled onto our consciousness and into our hearts a couple of years ago, there were a lot of things that drew us to him: his fur babies, his accent, his eyes, but most of all the rugged, mountain man-esque charisma that exuded from his beard.
He also bears a striking resemblance to Jude Law, which doesn't hurt.
But, like I said: The beard was really a shining star. And I say "was" because, sigh, he's shaved it off.
In a new video posted to his Instagram, Middleton explains how his fiancée, Alizee Thevenet (the two were supposed to get married this year, but, ya know, pandemic), has never seen him without a beard. It's been seven years since his last bare face, and given that the happy couple only met in mid-2018, Thevenet has so far only been familiar with the scruff.
"Seeing as Alizee and myself were due to get married actually this month, she's never seen me without a beard, so I thought it was about time I showed her what was behind here," Middleton says to the camera while lovingly stroking his chin.
"In fact, what I'm most worried about is these guys," he continued, giving one of his many pups a good pet, "might not recognize me afterwards."
And off he went with his buzzer.
When he went to find his bride-to-be, Thevenet squealed in laughter and bounced around, seemingly both delighted with the surprise and unsure of what to make of it. Which, as a woman, I totally get -- Middleton's beard was (RIP) a beautiful, beautiful thing, and even though he's still a stud without it...man.
Besides the beard, though, Middleton's home movie also gave us a cute little glimpse at the Middleton family country home -- well, its backyard, at least. The elder Middletons, Carole and Michael, can be seen lounging in the sun with Thevenet before James comes around the corner; the four are waiting out the U.K.'s lockdown together in West Berkshire.
If the Duchess of Cambridge were a home, this is exactly what it would look like: reddish, distressed brick with white window panes surrounded by flowers and greenery aplenty. Plus, plenty of room for those puppers to enjoy themselves.
Luckily, we have some time before Middleton will likely be seen in public again -- the beard will grow back!