‘I told her I’d cut it all off!’ Celebrity hairstylist Sam McKnight recalls giving Princess Diana THAT iconic cut and how he doubted he was the right person to work with Emma Corrin
Celebrity hairstylist Sam McKnight has told how he gave Princess Diana the iconic haircut she wore for the last years of her life.
Sam, 65, who has also worked with Kate Moss and Lady Gaga, revealed he first met Diana during a Vogue shoot where he was working as a hairstylist.
He revealed that following the shoot she asked him what he would do to her hair given the chance and he told her:? ‘I would cut it all off and just start again’.
Signature style: Celebrity hairstylist Sam McKnight has told how he gave Princess Diana the iconic haircut she wore for the last years of her life
Recalling their meeting on British Vogue and YouTube UK’s series of free masterclasses, Vogue Visionaries, Sam said: ‘The first time I met the Princess of Wales was on a shoot.
‘This leggy blonde comes bouncing up the stairs, smiled and made us all melt, and it was Princess Diana…
‘We had a really lovely day and we were doing facial portraits for [British Vogue] magazine and [Diana] wore a tiara and I made her hair look short under the tiara.
‘This was 1990, I made it look short under the tiara – I faked it a bit… At the end of the day she said, ‘What would you do with my hair if I was to say ‘just do anything’?’ and I said ‘I would cut it all off and just start again’.
Screen star: Sam also spoke about an encounter with the on-screen Diana – Emma Corrin – who plays the mother of Prince William and Harry in Netflix drama, The Crown (pictured 2020)
‘It was the beginning of the 90s and it was at the time that I was doing lots of shows and covers and a lot of the girls had short hair and we were moving from the big frou-frou 80s into the sharp, more androgynous, business chic of the 90s.’
So she said, “Well, why don’t you just cut it off now?”, so I cut it off then and we never looked back.’
Sam also recalled the sweet moment Diana stopped to talk to his mother during a factory visit in Scotland where she had turned up to see the late Royal.
Warm: Sam also recalled the sweet moment Diana stopped to talk to his mother during a factory visit in Scotland where she had turned up to see the late Royal (pictured 1990)
Admitting it was the ‘most pride he’d ever felt in his job’, he said: ‘I had one moment in the 90s…I remember Princess Diana had gone to visit a factory near where my mum lived in a village in Scotland.
‘My mum and her friends were standing outside and [Diana] had never met my mum before. So, I think the story goes, one of my mum’s friends shouted out “This is Sam’s mum” and for some reason the Princess knew exactly who she was talking about and went over and spoke to her and that made my mum’s day.
‘I think for me that was probably the most pride I’ve ever felt in my job.’
Sam also spoke about an encounter with the on-screen Diana – Emma Corrin – who plays the mother of Prince William and Harry in Netflix drama, The Crown.
Famous faces: Sam McKnight is a hairstylist known for his work with celebrities including Princess Diana, Kate Moss and Lady Gaga (pictured 2019)
He said he met Emma ahead of her British Vogue cover in October 2020 and said their meeting washed away any doubts that he was the ‘right choice’.
Sam said: ‘Emma [Corrin]. From one Princess Diana to another. I remember that day. That was my first job after the first lockdown in summer  and I remember when the job came in I wasn’t quite sure that I was the right person to do this…
‘And actually it was a pleasure and Emma was a pleasure, and I was quite taken by how alike Emma was to Princess Diana in her looks. And she was such a lovely girl that any doubts and fears were laid and I think it’s a great cover.’
Vogue Visionaries Episode Three – Hair with Sam McKnight is available to watch on British Vogue’s YouTube channel now.