Here's the stunning story behind Princess Diana's famous short hair cut

Here's the stunning story behind Princess Diana's famous short hair cut

It was a spur of the moment decision and it became famous around the world.

For decades, British royals have influenced our fashion choices. An outfit worn by the Duchess of Cambridge is sold out minutes after she's worn it. The same can be said of the soon-to-be royal, Meghan Markle as well. Her self-portrait dress, worn during the Christmas Lunch at Buckingham Palace, turned into a must-have for the holiday season. 

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a lunch after the National Service of Thanksgiving as part of the 90th birthday celebrations for The Queen at The Guildhall on June 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle's self-portrait dress sold out minutes after she wrote it to the Queen's Christmas Lunch at Buckingham Palace. Source: Twitter

While Meghan and Kate have inspired elegance, sophistication, and class, there was another royal who's sense of fashion can be best described under the category street style. After all, she was the people's princess.

Princess Diana's fashion changed over the years. Source: Facebook

Princess Diana evolved into a fashion icon and is now one among the best-dressed women in history. The late princess transformed from "shy Di" to a smart and sleek influencer.

Princess Diana's fashion became bold in the 90s. Source: Facebook

In fact, the world remembers her by what she wore; the off shoulder black 'revenge' dress that was deemed too daring, or the beautiful white Catherine Walker pearl-encrusted bolero she wore over her gown. The press later called this the 'Élvis Dress'.

This dress was designed three years before she actually wore it. Source: Facebook

"She did clearly have fun with fashion and she took risks and experimented with her style. She was the first member of the royal family to be photographed wearing trousers to evening events," Eleri Lynn, curator of Diana: Her Fashion Story, an exhibition on the late princess, told Vanity Fair in August this year.

princess di
Princess Diana with her son. Source: Facebook

She added, "But she [Diana] often teamed them with tuxedo jackets and bowties- that's quite the bold, fun look you don't expect of a princess."

She was the first princess to wear trousers and be photographed. Source: Twitter

And just like Diana's clothes spoke to masses of fans spread across the world, so did her hairstyle. In the 80s, Diana embraced a haircut that toed the royal family's approved fashion. She had an ashy bouffant that was even voted the most influential haircut by The Stylist.

The Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997, later Diana, Princess of Wales) at Aintree racecourse for the Grand National, 3rd April 1982. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

However, it was the 90s that defined Diana. Her hairstyle, much like her clothing choices, became bold. One of the lasting images of Diana includes her legendary cropped haircut.

Diana's cropped haircut. Source: Facebook

But hairstylist Sam McKnight revealed in his new memoir that the haircut was actually a total impulse job. According to Us Weekly, McKnight was styling Princess Diana's hair for a 1990 British Vogue cover. His team decided to show off her tiara and put Diana's shoulder-grazing hair back in a faux cut.

Princess Diana's cropped haircut became legendary. Source: Twitter

In his book titled Hair, McKnight wrote that Diana liked the look very much. He wrote, "As she was leaving, Diana asked what would I do to her hair if I had free reign... I suggested cutting it short and she, to my surprise, agreed, and we did it there and then."

Lady Diana honored in New York. Source: Getty Images
A hand-made tribute to Princess Diana is hung next to a Union flag on a gate to Kensington Palace on August 31, 2016 in London, England. Flowers, flags, and tributes were laid at the gate of Diana's former home of Kensington Palace to mark the 19th anniversary of her death. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

McKnight went on to work with Diana until she died. He often saw her once or twice a day and helped in crafting some of her most iconic beauty moments, from the legendary cropped cut that became famous around the round world, to the wet look he gave her for the 1995 CFDA awards, where she appeared as a celebrity presenter.

"We had so much fun and a lot of laughter for seven years. I miss her still," McKnight told Vogue.

If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at