Princess Diana Short Hair: Sam McKnight on Her Iconic Haircut

Photograph by Getty Images

Legendary Scottish hairstylist Sam McKnight on the story behind the famous look, in addition to working with Emma Corrin who played Lady Di in ‘The Crown’.

Princess Diana has graced us with many iconic looks, but perhaps no more lasting than the trademark short hairstyle she sported in the last years of her life. Turns out the signature look was the result of an impulsive haircut.

In a new video for the British Vogue, legendary Scottish hairstylist Sam McKnight has opened up about his relationship with the late royal and the birth of this iconic look. The couple first met on set for the British Vogue, during which they had a “very nice day”. While playing with her hair, McKnight remembers making it look short under the tiara she wore. “I faked it a bit,” he says.

But Princess Diana surprised McKnight – who has also worked with people like Lady Gaga and Kate Moss – at the end of the shoot when she asked him what he would do with her hair if he could do whatever it takes. he wanted.

“I said, ‘I’d cut it all off and start over,’” McKnight explains. “It was the early 90s and that was when I was doing a lot of shows and covers and a lot of girls had short hair. We went from the big frou-frou of the 80s to the chic, more androgynous, business-chic of the 90s.

Princess Diana’s response? According to McKnight: “She said, ‘Well, why don’t you just interrupt now?’ So I interrupted him and we never looked back.

McKnight also remembers some of his other favorite memories of working with Princess Diana, including one Vogue blanket she was especially proud of that showed her fingernails, which she had recently stopped biting, and the moment she even met her mother near her Scottish village.

“One of my mom’s friends shouted, ‘It’s Sam’s mom,’” he said. “And for some reason the princess knew exactly who she was talking about and went to talk to her and that made my mother’s day.” I think for me it was probably the greatest pride I have ever felt in my job.

At another point in the video, McKnight also talks about working on another Vogue cover with Emma Corrin, who, of course, played Princess Diana in the final season of The crown.

“From one Princess Diana to another,” he says with a chuckle, remembering that filming was actually his first job after the UK’s first lockdown ended last summer. “I remember when the job came in I wasn’t quite sure I was the right person to do this… It was weird.

But, obviously, he got over that feeling and continued filming with Corrin. “It was actually fun, and Emma was fun,” McKnight explains. “I was very impressed with the resemblance between Emma and Princess Diana in her appearance. And she was such a lovely girl that all doubts and fears were expressed.

Corrin isn’t the only actor to have portrayed the beloved royal onscreen recently. Principle Star Elizabeth Debicki is set to reprise the role in the upcoming season of The crown (although we haven’t seen her in action yet), while Kristen Stewart is currently filming the upcoming biopic. Spencer. We got a few glimpses of Stewart in the film – which would take place over a weekend in December 1991, when Princess Diana is with the rest of the Royal Family for Christmas in Sandringham and decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles – in which she wears the famous bob and looks strangely similar to the deceased royal.

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