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Duchess Sophie's last-minute wedding hair she never practiced

The Duchess of Edinburgh rocked a bouncy blonde pixie cut at her 1999 royal wedding

Sophie Rhys-Jones smiling on her wedding day
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyWeddings Editor
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The Duchess of Edinburgh didn't have a hair out of place on her wedding day with Prince Edward in 1999, an impressive feat considering her beauty squad had no preparations ahead of the big day.

Despite the fact that there were five months between the couple announcing their engagement in January 1999 and exchanging their vows in June at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, celebrity and royal stylist Andrew Collinge said they did not have time to do any hair trials and he was essentially "working blind."

WATCH: Why Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie opted for a Windsor wedding

The former PR executive, then known as Sophie Rhys-Jones, wore her blonde pixie cut in a bouncy straight style with her fringe blowdried forwards to frame her face. She accessories with a diamond tiara borrowed from Her late Majesty which perfectly complimented her embellished coat dress by Samantha Shaw.

"Every bride likes to keep her dress a secret but with this being a Royal wedding even I had no idea what it would look like so had no reference point in terms of planning beforehand how to do the hair," Andrew explained to the Liverpool Echo.

Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie in their wedding carriage© Townsley/Shutterstock
Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie on their wedding day in 1999

"We discussed it, of course, and Sophie knew what she wanted but I was working a bit blind."

While Duchess Meghan had one private hair trial with stylist Serge Normant and Princess Kate had several confidential trials before entrusting Richard Ward, Sophie reportedly didn't spend any time with Andrew working out how to wear her bridal tiara before her big day.

"Again, I’d always advise brides to have a practice session beforehand but we couldn’t do that. This was a tiara that was the real deal and on loan from the Queen. It was heavy, too, so it was a case of thinking on my feet a bit," he added, before stating that he was allowed behind the scenes to do touch-ups for Sophie and Edward's photos.

Prince Edward And Sophie Wedding, 1999© Getty
Sophie wore the Anthemion tiara on her wedding day

"I was on hand when they signed the register just to make sure the hair and veil were right for the photos. It was a very private moment out of the gaze of everyone in the midst of quite a public affair so it was a privilege to be part of that," the hair pro added.

Sophie wasn't the only royal bride who struggled with her wedding beauty preparations. While the Duchess of Sussex managed to squeeze in a hair trial, Prince Harry admitted that barriers were put in place when it came to borrowing her bridal tiara in advance to work out how to secure the headpiece and the veil firmly in place.

Sophie Wessex talking to her new husband Prince Edward© IAN WALDIE
Sophie's hairstylist Andrew Collinge revealed he was working "blind" on her wedding day

In his memoir Spare, Harry claimed that the late Queen Elizabeth II had invited Meghan to Buckingham Palace to pick out her bridal tiara, and she settled on Queen Mary's bandeau. The Queen reportedly told her: "Make sure… that you practice putting it on. With your hairdresser. It’s tricky and you don’t want to be doing it for the first time on the wedding day."

However, the former monarch's dressmaker Angela Kelly was "obstructive" when they tried to follow her advice, noting Meghan – like every royal bride – would "need at least one dress rehearsal."

Meghan Markle's freckles were on show on her wedding day© Getty
Prince Harry discussed Meghan Markle's struggles with her wedding hair preparation

"Angela didn’t respond to any of our messages. We kept trying. No response," Harry recalled.

"When we finally reached her, she said the tiara would require an orderly and a police escort to leave the Palace. That sounded...a bit much. But all right, I said, if that’s protocol, let’s find an orderly and a police officer and get the ball rolling. Time was running out."

They were reportedly denied their request on the grounds that Angela was "too busy."

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