It’s amazing how someone who is famous can influence the fashion trends of a generation. When an actor, musician or member of the royal family sports a new look, it’s much more likely to become popular.

One famous person who definitely had an impact of women’s haircuts in the ’90s is Princess Diana. Prince William and Prince Harry’s mom made headlines for her fashion forward pixie cut, and once she decided to go with the look, she knew that it needed to look perfect every time she was in the public eye. What most people don’t know is that Princess Diana first got her famous cut on a whim.

Princess Diana arrived at a photo shoot for British Vogue in 1990. The hair stylist assigned with doing her hair for the photo shoot was a man named Sam McKnight. McKnight didn’t know that he would be styling the princess’s hair until she walked in the room, but it was a meeting that changed everything.

McKnight decided to tuck her hair into her tiara to make it look shorter. The princess liked the shorter look so much that after the photoshoot was over, she asked McKnight what he would do with her hair if he could do anything he wanted. He answered, “I would just cut it off really short and start again.” According to McKnight, Princess Diana responded, “Do you want to do it right now?” He did, and the rest is history.

McKnight had no idea how much influence the princess had until he saw all the headlines about her new haircut. He told TODAY, “It was quite astounding. I discovered the power that she had in the press. The manner of coverage was quite extraordinary.”

Diana was not surprised by her power. She knew she had influence and she knew that she needed to present a certain image when in public. She told McKnight, “I’m going to these places where there are lots of people who are expecting Princess Diana, and I don’t want to let them down. They don’t want to see me coming out (of) the gym. They want to see Princess Diana.”

Diana requested that McKnight accompany her on all of her trips in order to make sure that her hair always looked picture perfect, and he did. McKnight also regularly cut Harry and William’s hair.

Do you know anyone who got a pixie cut after seeing Princess Diana’s haircut in 1990? Do you think Kate Middleton has as much influence as Princess Diana did?