Princess Diana’s Hairstylist Reveals Why the Late Royal Wore a Diamond Necklace as a Headband

Carat-count aside, the reasoning is actually relatable.

princess diana headband as choker
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While biker shorts and a sweatshirt might be the quintessential Princess Diana relatable fashion moment, the late royal also set the standard for innovative beauty hacks. Royal style watchers likely recall the evening of October 31, 1985, when the Princess of Wales stepped out in Melbourne, Australia, with a diamond and emerald choker across her forehead.

Little was known about Diana's decision to turn her necklace into a headband at the time. But now, there's new information about what happened in the moments leading up to the historic beauty moment. Richard Dalton, Princess Diana’s long-time hairstylist, revealed at a "Styling Princess Diana" panel at the Fotografiska museum in New York on Tuesday, May 21, that the choice was born out of practicality.

princess diana wearing a headband as choker

Princess Diana wore royal jewels as a headband for an official event on October 31, 1985 in Melbourne, Australia.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I think she had sunburn on her neck so we said, ‘Let’s make a headband of it,’" Dalton said in an interview. “I asked Evelyn, her dresser, for six inches of knicker elastic, [the kind used by] grannies.” With a little spontaneous tailoring, the choker was made long enough to be fasted onto the royal’s head.

Little nuggets about Diana’s best beauty moments weren’t all Dalton had to share in the conversation. The hairstylist also revealed a sneak peek into his hair-cutting sessions with Prince William and Prince Harry. Apparently, the boys, who are now 41 and 39 respectively, welcomed Dalton’s visits as they were accompanied by “extra television” time. “She trusted me enough to go up to the nursery room,” he shared at the event. “They were both very sweet.”

Princess Diana wears a tiara and a choker

Princess Diana worked with stylist Richard Dalton for a decade.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dalton worked as Princess Diana's hairstylist for a decade. The duo met when Princess Diana was only seventeen years old and then known as "The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer." In their time together, Dalton would often style Diana's hair twice a day: once in the morning before her daytime events, and once in the evening before her tiara was put into place.

Princess Diana came to rely on her stylist for a break from the confines of royal life, Dalton revealed in the same interview. "She would call me at Windsor Castle and say, ‘Can I come have my hair done at your apartment?’ She used to love coming to my house because it was normal," he recalled. Of course, her collection of tiaras was anything but.

Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.