Princess Diana had “plastic doll” hair: photo David Bailey

Famed photographer David Bailey sheds light on the late Princess Diana’s iconic golden locks.

The 83-year-old spoke to The Telegraph about his long career and revealed a few secrets about photographing Diana and Queen Elizabeth II back then.

Bailey claimed in his interview that the Princess of Wales – who died after a car crash in 1997 – had “terrible hair” while the “girly” Queen had “lovely” curls.

He noted a moment in 1988 when he shot and killed the young royal and his assistant shone a light on her head.

“I was like, ‘Oh fk!'” he recalled, adding that Diana replied, “Don’t think about it; It was a terrible accident.”

“I told her she was very generous. That’s right, because she asked me what magnanimous means,” he continued.

David Bailey
Photographer David Bailey recounted a time in 1988 during a photo shoot when he shot Princess Diana and his assistant punched her in the head.
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The artist then claimed that Diana’s locks were “firm as a plastic dummy” due to the copious amounts of hairspray used.

Bailey rose to fame for his eclectic black and white portraits, with one of his most famous works being that of Diana, taken in 1989 when she was just 27 years old.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - MARCH 3: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge admires the Queen's David Bailey portrait as he attends the GREAT British Festival of Creativity on March 3, 2015 in Shanghai, China.  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is on a four-day visit to China.  He is the oldest royal to visit China since the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in 1986.  His visit follows a successful four-day visit to Japan (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince William poses next to a David Bailey portrait of Queen Elizabeth in 2015.
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Photographer Norman Parkinson was the first nominated to take snaps of the mother-of-two, but she later chose Bailey. He had previously shot and killed Princess Margaret’s husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon.

Diana’s legacy and her untimely death will be featured in season five of Netflix’s The Crown, due out on the streaming service later this year.

Emma Corrin first portrayed the Queen in her younger years for Season 4 and Elizabeth Debicki takes over for Season 5, portraying Diana as a settled mother and princess of the people.

Ola Ruiz-Aguillo and Nelson Garcia, restorers of the historic Royal Palaces, handle a portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales taken by photographer David Bailey in 1988, taken by the National Portrait Gallery during the press preview of the Life Through a Royal Lens exhibition was at Kensington Palace, London.  Picture date: Wednesday March 2, 2022. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Portrait of Princess Diana, circa 1989.
PA Images via Getty Images

Hairstylist Sam McKnight revealed back in 2020 that he experienced deja vu recreating Diana’s hair for Corrin. He was Diana’s personal hairstylist for seven years until 1997.

“It felt weird,” McKnight told British Vogue at the time. Despite the hairstyle gig being his “first jobs out of lockdown”, he admitted he questioned the role in order to recreate Diana’s blonde mane.

“To be honest, Emma is playing Diana before I even met her, so it felt good,” the stylist added. “We nodded to the photos of Diana [in that period] and made a little pastiche out of it.”

McKnight is also known for creating Diana’s signature cut in 1990 – cropping her fluffy long hair into her shorter cropped haircut.

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