The Princess of Wales has always had enviable hairstyles—this we know. We also know that hairdresser and salon owner Richard Ward has been the man behind her effortlessly highlighted brunette tresses even before she married Prince William in 2011, when she was still a recent graduate living in London. Speaking about the then-Duchess of Cambridge's wedding day to People, Ward said he had a team of seven (!) stylists with him at The Goring hotel the morning of the wedding, there making over the bride since 5:30 a.m.
So when in London for the Coronation of King Charles III in early May, my Royally Obsessed podcast cohost Rachel Bowie and I decided that between a stop at Buckingham Palace and tea at Claridge's, a trip to Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa in Sloane Square was an absolute "must."
Roberta Fiorito/Rachel Bowie
From the moment we stepped foot inside the slightly tucked-away salon (ideal for the caliber of clientele that frequents), we understood. The staff at Richard Ward were kind, inviting and attentive, and the space was clean and bright. The salon, made up of two sprawling floors, contained not only a reception lobby, blowdry bar, shampoo room, color room, beauty treatment rooms and separate nail and haircut salons, but also a cocktail bar. If there's any salon fit for actual royalty, this was it.
After our two stylists whisked us each to chairs to discuss what we were looking for and offered us refreshments (we opted for just water at 9 in the morning, but boy, we thought it'd be fun to go back for happy hour!), Rachel and I were directed to the "cleanse zone" for shampoo and conditioning treatments (and double washes—a treat when coupled with a head massage).
Next it was time for the Princess-approved big bouncy blowout. Velcro rollers, a round brush, and a sleek Dyson blowdryer were all tools needed to turn me from drab to royally fab. Add in volumizing moose, heat protectant and hairspray, and you had yourself the ingredients for a Middleton-worthy mane.
Meanwhile, my stylist (and one of the salon's creative directors) Tommy and I chatted about everything from Ted Lasso to David Beckham. The royals, though? The staff were coy, even mum, on the subject—a testament to why they're still on the royal roster. (The same goes for Middleton's longtime hair extraordinaire Amanda Cook Tucker, who hasn't given interviews but is frequently seen in the royal entourage during big royal tours and is reportedly responsible for the then-Duchess's perfectly coifed mane on the steps of the Lindo Wing after the birth of all three children.) The stylists at Richard Ward, did, however, reveal that they were closed Coronation weekend due to some big royal obligations at Windsor Castle (hmmm...).
Roberta Fiorito/Rachel Bowie
Finally came the big reveal: Hair so big and bouncy, it could've held all the royal family's secrets (and then some). While a typical Richard Ward blowout will run you anywhere from £45 - £95 (about $56 all the way up to nearly $120, not including airfare across the pond, of course...), it was the most luxe beauty service we'd ever experienced.
Plus, we wondered if you really could put a price on such royal treatment (or the chance to potentially swap salon gossip with the Princess of Wales). Hey, a girl can dream...