If you think you take your hair seriously – imagine the Royals. The pressure of the world’s eyes on you at all times means even a single strand out of place could spell disaster. Dramatic? Definitely. Accurate – you bet. When it comes to the Royals, poised and “perfect” are occupational requirements – right down to the hair. We’re taking a stroll down the memory lane of the monarchy to bring you 10 of the most iconic royal hairstyles through history.
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Anne, Princess Royal, in 1971
Anne, Princess Royal, has spent the majority of her senior years with her hair swept back, but in early years was known for her voluminous locks, which she often wore down on more casual occasions.
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Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco in 1978
The Academy-award-winning actress-turned-princess is one of our favourite royals in history. Pictured here in 1978, Grace Kelly, whose above shoulder-length hair, most often worn in these iconic soft waves, officially became a princess in 1956, when the famed starlet married Prince Rainier III. While Kelly traded in her acting career for love – and her royal title – she never left public eye, focusing instead on her philanthropic work until her death in 1982.
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Princess Diana in 1985
The short, shaggy hairstyle, worn by Princess Diana for the majority of her life in public eye, varied from super-short to longer lengths, as she wore here in an official trip overseas in 1985. The “people’s Princess”, the late Lady Di could do no wrong when it came to her style choices, having rocked beauty and fashion looks considered iconic and still trending to this day.
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Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon in 1987
If you think you’ve got parents with high expectations – imagine being the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth – not to mention being the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II. With a love life that seemed to earn her a reputation for controversy amongst the royals (first by – unsuccessfully – seeking to marry a divorced man and then by becoming divorcee herself), Princess Margaret was subject to intense scrutiny by the press. While her personal life may have been considered a little too “messy” for the royals, Princess Margaret’s hair was always perfection. From soft flowing waves to perfectly-teased updos, always in theme with the times.
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Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, in 1988
The former wife of Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York – and in recent years, known better as “Fergie”, has always been considered a “wild card” amongst the royals. If any aspect of the duchess’ style played to her reputation amongst the royals, it would be her hair. Teased, voluminious and often showcasing some form of choppy bangs, Fergie’s look has always been a little wild, a little bold, and all her own.
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Sofia, Princess of Sweden, in 2018
Glamour model-turned-princess, Sofia Hellqvist, whose hair had us all looking up “soft waves” tutorials, married Prince Carl Philip in 2015 and became an instant beauty and style icon.
Related: Not your average Cinderella story.
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Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex in 2018
While Meghan Markle’s short-lived career as an active royal was anything but smooth-sailing, the actress-turned-royal’s style story has always been irrefutably perfect. When it came to her hair choices for official appearances, the stunning Duchess of Sussex would often opt for an updo, usually leaning towards a more delicate style, with some loose pieces framing her face.
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Queen Letizia of Spain in 2019
With middle-class roots and a former career in journalism, Queen Letizia married Prince Felipe of Asturias in 2015. Poised and stylish, Queen Letizia has become a royal-watcher fan-favourite for her classic style-sense and striking beauty.
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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in 2019
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge – more often referred to affectionately as “Kate” – has been a style icon and royal-watcher-favourite from the start of her school-day romance with now-husband Prince William. Naturally-striking, Kate’s effortless soft waves have become her signature.
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Queen Elizabeth II in 2020
If the Queen’s style evolution over the many decades of her reign has taught us anything about hair, it’s that there is nothing a bold pop of colour and a great hat can’t fix. Easily her most identifiable style signature, the Queen Mother’s perfect curls seem to always peek out from under the most enviable of top-hats. Cue us adding “structured hats” to our list of accessories we need for spring/summer 2021…