She may be gone, but it’s safe to say the late Princess Diana’s legacy lives on, both in the spirit of her sons, and her influence on the fashion and beauty worlds. So perhaps it’s no surprise that all these years later, we’re still clamouring for the secrets behind her best looks. The late Princess’s full-time hairstylist, Richard Dalton, recently opened up to Town & Country magazine about the peaks and pitfalls of styling royalty, sharing some surprising style secrets along the way.
Given her exceptionally high profile, it was guaranteed any style move Diana made would dominate headlines — yes, even a routine haircut. So, when the Princess decided that an upcoming trip to Africa called for a shorter, more practical hairdo, together she and Dalton concocted a plan — to stagger the cut, cropping mere fractions of an inch at a time over several weeks, making the change barely perceptible.
“Whatever I did to her hair became front page news. We had to be very careful. We had to do it one-fourth of an inch at a time over several weeks,” he revealed. Talk about painstaking, though we’re sure she was grateful for the lack of media attention.
Having styled hair for the Princess’s sister, Dalton first encountered Diana when she was just 17 in the late 1970s, and though he wasn’t yet styling her when she walked down the aisle in 1981 (we can thank Kevin Shanley for that iconic look), he was responsible for the feathered style she later became known for. By the mid ’80s, he came aboard as her full-time hairstylist, and the rest, as they say, is history. Oh, and he gave Princes William and Harry their very first haircuts. Adorable.
Diana’s hairstyle, which went from super-voluminous in the ’80s, to somewhat sleeker in the ’90s, set hair trends, and along with her fashion choices, continues to feature in royal fashion commentary. Speaking of which, Dalton had a few style-affirming words for royal newcomers. He declared the wedding day hair of Duchess Meghan “very elegant,” adding that it “not only complemented the gown, but also balanced the tiara and veil.” He also noted the difficulty of such a feat, especially when crown jewels — such as her tiara — are involved.
“It’s a crown jewel, and must be respected and protected. You have to be extremely careful and gentle with it, and absolutely no hairspray or styling product can touch the stones,” he said. That, we can definitely believe. As for Meghan’s future hairstyling plans, let’s hope she can have a haircut the usual way — in one sitting.