The royals seem live lives that are completely different than ours, with picture-perfect hair, fancy formal events, 24/7 security, and gourmet food served at every meal. But it turns out these British blue bloods can still relate to our everyday struggles. Take Princess Diana, for example: She was a terrible cook, she dearly wanted to be a hands-on mom with her boys but had to balance her busy schedule, and she had the terrible habit of biting her nails.
Princess Diana’s hairstylist, Sam McKnight — aka the man behind her iconic feathery cut — recently shared that when he first met the beloved royal in 1990 at a photoshoot for Vogue, she had just kicked her bad habit. “She had just stopped biting her nails and was so proud of how they looked,” McKnight recalled.
On the cover, Diana wears a simple black turtleneck and rests her head on her hands. Her French-manicured nails are front and center, and they look effortlessly stylish. Former nail-biters will know how hard it is to stop, so it’s definitely a feat that Diana — who was no doubt stressed by constantly being in the media — managed to break the habit.
Though it appears that she never spoke publicly about how she managed to stop her nail-biting, there is a newspaper clipping from when she was alive that claims Diana tried acupuncture. It’s certainly a possibility: In a 1998 article published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine, researchers noted the case of a woman who came to the hospital reporting lower back pain as the result of falling down stairs. After doctors treated her with acupuncture, her back pain was less severe and — most surprising — she claimed that she no longer had a desire to bit her nails since starting the treatment.
Looking at early photos of Princess Di, you’ll notice that she wasn’t pictured often with nail polish. Close-ups appear to show rather short nails, although her nails still look pretty typical to us. And as the years went by, there were more and more pictures snapped of Diana rocking a bold red nail polish, which seems like proof that she finally conquered her nail-biting habit for good.
Princess Diana in 1982. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Princess Diana in 1992 attending the English National Ballet Gala Performance In Budapest. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
A likely explanation for Princess Diana’s nail biting is that it started as a result of stress over marrying a prince. When Diana and Charles first got together, she was totally unprepared to handle the new media scrutiny. It’s possible that over time, Diana got more comfortable in front of a camera and didn’t need to bite her nails to calm her nerves. We could also believe that acupuncture miraculously fixed the problem, too. What do you think?