Princess Diana's Most Iconic Beauty Moments, From Rare Updos To Blue Eyeliner
That Princess Diana is still a source of daily headlines 20-some years after her death is proof of her immortal relevance. Since 1997, fashion and beauty have evolved rapidly and immensely, at times favoring short-lived trends so surprising that the royal herself wouldn't have dared to dream them — or perhaps she was so ahead of her time that she, in fact, would have — and yet here we are in a whole new century, still hailing the late princess' evidently ageless style. Ahead, a look back at Princess Diana's most iconic beauty moments.
Over the course of her nearly two decades of royalty, Lady Di made history with her defiant nail polish, a famous feathery blowout, and her relentless fashion savoir-faire (remember the time she turned a 19th-century emerald necklace into a trend-forward disco headband?). Her legacy lives on through every Meghan Markle black manicure moment and too many Kate Middleton outfits to count.
It's no secret that the Duchess of Cambridge frequently turns to her late mother-in-law for fashion inspiration. (She would seize any opportunity to dress like Princess Diana, but especially when she's debuting a new kid.) She's even been known to help herself to the princess' jewelry collection now and again.
Many of Princess Diana's most memorable looks center around clothes seeing as she was such a hair and makeup minimalist, but the royal did have her shining beauty moments, too. Some of the best, ahead.
Blue Bottom Eyeliner
Minimal as she was, Princess Di loved a swipe of blue eyeliner and she really didn't care who knew it. At any given opportunity, she'd adorn her waterline with an azure, sometimes royal-blue liner. In a 2017 interview with Yahoo! Beauty, her makeup artist Mary Greenwell admitted to actually talking her out of wearing the color. "I think beiges and browns are just so much prettier. Simple as that," she said. This 1988 look from Bangkok, Thailand, is also iconic for the bouquet she wore in her hair.
Highlights & Fringe
While her signature hairstyle was famously feathery and voluminous, usually a sandy shade of blonde, she debuted a lightened-up look with across-the-forehead fringe in '97 and the change-up was ~so~ typical of that time. It was also slightly more flattened-out than her usual, in the style of Natasha Richardson circa 1998's Parent Trap.
Rebellious Red Nails
The Queen lets it be known that she doesn't approve of nail polish. The only shade she has ever endorsed is Essie's sheer pink Ballet Slippers, but that hasn't stopped royal women from wearing color in the past. On occasion, like at this charity gala in '95, Lady Di would opt for a pop of red. More recently, Meghan Markle has been equally rebellious with black nails.
The Choker-As-Headband Moment
One of the Princess of Wales' most memorable beauty moments was when she took a heritage necklace from the royal vault and wore it as a trendy headband. This diamond and emerald choker appeared sporadically throughout her time in the spotlight, but only at a 1985 engagement in Melbourne, Australia, did she wear it on her crown. The necklace was acquired by the monarchy in 1811.
A Rare Updo
Princess Diana's hair evolved from shag to chic over the years, but one thing it always had in common was the crop. Her signature coif was rarely long enough to pull into an updo, but when it grew out to nearly shoulder-length — 1984, in this case — she had fun with an elegant pinned-back style.
Her Favorite Tiara
Lady Di wasn't shy about wearing a tiara, but her obvious favorite was the Lover's Knot. Originally commissioned by Queen Mary in 1913, this neo-classical masterpiece features 19 pearls suspended by bows (lover's knots, of course). The royal backed out of wearing it on her wedding day but wound up getting lots of wear out of it in the proceeding years anyway. Kate Middleton has now worn it at least four times, too. Here, Princess Diana sports the Lover's Knot tiara with one of her most famous outfits, the Elvis Dress.