Catherine Middleton's Pre-Wedding Beauty Rituals
The then-princess-to-be relied on a team of beauty experts to primp her for the big day
Most brides enlist a hair and makeup team on the day of their wedding, but when your nuptials are going to be televised to billions of people around the world, well, you have to look extra polished! Luckily for Kate Middleton aka The Duchess of Cambridge, there was a glam squad at the ready to help beautify the already gorgeous young woman for her big day.
For her hair, Kate relied on longtime stylists James Pryce and Richard Ward of London’s Richard Ward salon to create cascading curls.
“Catherine was very involved in her chosen style and the bridal look was based on her own personal preference,” Ward told PEOPLE. “It was really a matter of getting a fine balance of feeling natural but also reflected the occasion.” He created three “mood boards” for the then-bride-to-be, narrowing down the options over time.
Kate’s bridal look was called a “demi-chignon,” which the salon defined as “an up-do style which combines a classic bridal look with a regal, couture finish.” Though Kate had hair trials, just like any bride, hers were done off-site in a private location. “Her look had to obviously be kept totally confidential,” Ward said.
The night before her wedding, Kate endured two hours of intensive hair prep, including a wash, blow-dry and curl-setting. At 6:30 a.m. she sat through two more hours of styling, and will change her look again for this evening’s reception, Ward said.
Complementing Kate’s Alexander McQueen gown was part of Pryce and Ward’s challenge. “The hair was purposely styled off the shoulders so that the detail of her dress would be shown,” Ward said.
But the stylists had to work around the bride’s crown, as well. “The focus of the style was Catherine’s unique and individual halo-style tiara, set just back from the hairline, which determined the finished look,” a rep for the salon said in statement. In addition to coiffing Kate, nine members of Ward’s team styled the rest of the bridal party, too.
The day before the wedding, Kate was treated to a manicure by the Jo Hansford Salon’s Marina Sandoval, a gift from mother-in-law Camilla Parker Bowles. “[She was] “bubbling over with excitement,” Sandoval said in a release. “She was so happy and spoke about how much she was looking forward to the wedding.”
Kate enjoyed the salon’s signature manicure, which included a soak and exfoliation of the hands, a deep-tissue massage and a polish. To create a neutral look, Sandoval blended colors including Bourjois “Rose Lounge” and Essie’s #423 “Allure.” “Catherine wanted something very natural looking and I felt these matched her skin color beautifully,” Sandoval said. “She wanted something off-white and bridal, so these were absolutely perfect.”
Kate, who told Sandoval she was “pleased” with the final look, was calm and collected during her spa session. “She didn’t display an ounce of nerves,” the esthetician said. “She was just happy that the day was here at last.”
• Reporting by MONIQUE JESSEN and SIMON PERRY