One of the Queen's top aides relied on a stiff drink to manage the stress of styling the monarch's hair during lockdown, HELLO! can exclusively reveal. Angela Kelly, Her Majesty's Personal Advisor and Curator, was left in charge of the rollers when Her Majesty's hairdresser was no longer able to visit because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Liverpool-born grandmother of four took on the crucial task after volunteering to become part of "HMS Bubble" – the dedicated team of staff who isolated alongside the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle.
READ: The Queen was left by herself after Prince Philip's funeral: 'No words were spoken'
As the monarch switched to virtual engagements and gave key addresses to the nation, it was Angela who prepared her for the cameras.
LISTEN: Angela Kelly reveals how she pranked the Queen in an excerpt from her book
She said: "From March 2020 onwards I washed The Queen's hair every week, set and styled it, and even trimmed it when needed. My team named it Kelly's Salon."
READ: The Queen gets 'constant joy' from her lockdown puppies following Prince Philip's death
READ: Best Queen's Jubilee hampers to celebrate in style this summer
She said that at first, "The Queen knew I was nervous, and during the first two weeks I was shaking. 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."
Angela Kelly was in charge of the Queen's hair during lockdown
But she added: "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.' 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.'"
In a new chapter to update her book The Other Side of the Coin, The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, which is published in this week's HELLO! magazine, Angela explained: "After a much-needed rest I returned to the dressing room to comb out The Queen's hair ready to style. I must have 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."
The Other Side of the Coin, The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, £25, Amazon and all good book stores
The Queen's first high-profile appearance during lockdown came on April 5, 2020, when she told TV viewers: "We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."
Angela said of the occasion: "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! 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. Zooming became part of The Queen's life and Kelly's Salon became very busy. Thankfully, I only had one client!"
FOR MORE SEE THIS WEEK'S ISSUE OF HELLO! MAGAZINE, ON SALE NOW.
The Other Side of the Coin [Platinum Edition], by Angela Kelly, will be published by HarperCollins on May 12th 2022, at £25.00 Copyright © Angela Kelly 2022
HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.