One Thing Spencer "Undoubtedly Gets Wrong" About Princess Diana

·3 min read
Photo credit: Princess Diana Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: Princess Diana Archive - Getty Images

Princess Diana's style was justifiably iconic. From her statement sweater collection to her love of polka dots, her fashion choices were trend-making long before the term "influencer" was coined. But, of course, it wasn't just her fashion that made her style so influential, and no element of her beauty look was more moment-defining than her hairstyles. From her flouncy '80s pageboy to her '90s power pixie, her hair became as much a part of Diana's story as the royal drama that surrounded her. So it's no surprise that when it comes to putting the late Princess of Wales's story on the screen, her hair has an important role to play. Actually getting that hair right, though, is an entirely different challenge.

Spencer, the Kristen Stewart-fronted drama, which will become the latest to take on the subject of the princess when it debuts next month, has already drawn some critique from fans for their interpretation of Diana's 'do. "One thing Spencer undoubtedly gets wrong is Diana’s hair," The Telegraph wrote earlier this week, citing the longer locks that Stewart sports in the film, which is set in the winter of 1991, well after Diana had debuted her sleek short crop.

Photo credit: Neon/Getty Images
Photo credit: Neon/Getty Images

Concerns about the change aren't purely aesthetic—Diana's super short style, crafted for her on a whim at a photoshoot in 1990 by stylist Sam McKnight—was seen by many as a indicator of the princess stepping out on her own and claiming more independence from the royal family. "I definitely didn’t predict the furore it would cause," McKnight, who would go on to be Diana's go-to hairstylist, told The Telegraph, "but it made me realize just how much people like Diana were scrutinized. Celebrity culture wasn’t the same as it is now so it didn’t feel like a big deal, but it was."

Indeed, McKnight even went so far as to tell the publication that he "[doesn't] watch these shows, because I’d only pay attention to the flaws."

Photo credit: Netflix/Getty Images
Photo credit: Netflix/Getty Images

The possibility of flaws was certainly one thing that The Crown was keenly aware of when they put forth their own interpretation of Princess Diana in their fourth season. Rather than changing actress Emma Corrin's hair multiple times for the role, which spans Diana's early '80s look right through the start of the '90s, The Crown instead opted for precisely crafted wigs—some of which required Corrin to sit for six-hour fitting sessions on her days off. "We have to trim them so delicately because obviously they don’t grow back," Cate Hall, the show's hair and makeup designer, told the Evening Standard. She added, "It was about the right tone of highlights. In the Eighties, they're ashier—it was a much less sophisticated coloring system, so the last thing we want is anything looking too luscious and golden and healthy. It's funny that our aims are kind of sinister."

"There's always been a problem with the Diana character and that's getting the wig right, getting the hair right, and for The Crown they got the hair pretty right," Andrew Morton, the biographer who worked closely with the princess for the bombshell 1992 biography, Diana: Her True Story, told Insider earlier this year. (Though it should be noted that Morton might be biased—he serves as a consultant for the series.)

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