The young Protea aurea subsp. aurea flowerhead opens and lingers before spreading its involucre and its styles widely. In the head in picture there are two style colours present below the pink pollen presenters; first white, then below that brown.
Collapsed perianth segments form a thick layer over the ovaries, protected already from all other sides for the seclusion in which they fruit.
From this angle, the shadows in the tips of the inner, oblong bracts show that the pink tips curve in near their hairy margins.
The leaves around the head are glabrous, meaning hairless (Manning, 2009; Coates Palgrave, 2002; Rourke, 1980; iNaturalist).