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Queen Elizabeth II is welcoming the summer season with a fresh new ‘do.
The reigning British monarch sported a shorter hairstyle in new photos released from meetings at Windsor Castle this week.
The 96-year-old met with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Tuesday, followed by Margaret Beazley, the Governor of New South Wales, on Wednesday. The queen’s hair appeared to be trimmed around the back and sides, a difference from her longer look on June 2, when she attended a beacon-lighting ceremony at the start of the Platinum Jubilee. The celebrations marked her 70 years on the throne.
Not only was Elizabeth all smiles with her guests, but she was also spotted without a cane. The queen has been suffering from ongoing mobility issues, which scaled back her appearances during the Platinum Jubilee.
Elizabeth’s close aide, Angela Kelly, recently updated her bestselling book, titled “The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.” In it, Kelly reflected on the queen’s life during the coronavirus pandemic and how she took on the role of cutting and setting Elizabeth’s hair.
Kelly, the queen’s personal stylist and dressmaker, is known for being one of Elizabeth’s closest confidants.
“From March 2020 onwards, I washed the queen’s hair every week, set and styled it, and even trimmed it when needed,” Kelly wrote, as quoted by People magazine. “My team named it Kelly’s Salon.”
In the book, Kelly admitted she was nervous about being in charge of the queen’s hair.
“During the first two weeks, I was shaking,” she wrote. “I had only done her hair once or twice before while on board the Royal Yacht Britannia. The queen was so kind as she advised me on the very specific way to put the rollers in.”
Kelly noted that it did not take long for Elizabeth to voice exactly what she wanted.
“As I grew in confidence I’m sure the queen thought I was a professional and started shouting at me, ‘Don’t do that, do it this way. That’s right, you’ve got it, don’t change it,’” she reflected. “I was thinking, ‘Goodness me, I need a gin and tonic.’ So while the queen was under the dryer I said to her, ‘I’m off for a stiff drink because this is so stressful, getting it just right for you.'”
Kelly said she used “a whole can of hairspray to make sure it lasted the week.”
“The routine was then set, and Lucy had a gin and tonic ready and waiting for me each time I came back upstairs,” she added.
This would not be the last time Kelly was under pressure to get the queen’s look exactly right. She was in charge of the royal mane for the queen’s special address to the nation in April 2020, and again for the monarch’s Christmas speech.
“I had to wash and set her hair and at the end of that, never mind one gin and tonic – I needed a whole bottle!” said Kelly about the April 2020 TV appearance. “The Christmas broadcast was another reason to reach for the gin. Any time the queen was without a hat was stressful as there was nowhere to hide, so I had to get her hair perfect.”
Kelly shared that with the queen’s meetings going virtual, she became busier than expected.
“Zooming became part of the queen’s life and Kelly’s Salon became very busy,” she said. “Thankfully, I only had one client!”