‘Oh f***’ Legendary photographer reveals awkward moment with Princess Diana


Legendary photographer David Bailey shared several moments about the photoshoot with the Princess of Wales, involving one moment the late princess narrowly escaped what could have been a serious injury. David is known for his eye-catching black and white portraits and among his images is one taken in 1989 of Diana, Princess of Wales, then aged 27.

At the latter end of 2021, Mr Bailey was diagnosed with vascular dementia, which can cause issues like forgetfulness and trouble concentrating.

Despite his diagnosis, he sat down with The Telegraph to revisit some highlights from his career, including the time he got to capture portraits of Princess Diana and the Queen.

Recalling the moments, he told the publication how his assistant dropped a light on Diana’s head during a shoot in 1988.

He said: “I thought, ‘Oh f***!’.

However, the Princess of Wales then said: “Don’t think about it; it was a terrible accident”.

Mr Bailey continued: “I told her she had been very magnanimous – that’s right, because she asked me what magnanimous meant.”

He also admitted she was probably saved by her “terrible hair” at the time.

Showing an image of the late Princess to the Telegraph, he said Princess Diana’s hair was “as solid as a plastic dummy” due to the copious amount of hairspray but that could have softened the blow from the falling light.

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He told the publication: “I just get on with it,” Bailey says. “I’ve always been dyslexic so it didn’t make much difference.”

Meanwhile, the 83-year-old also revealed how he asked the Queen if her “jewels” were real when she sat for him in 2014 to mark her 88th birthday.

Recalling the conversation, he explained: “I said: ‘I bet that cost a few bob, girl’.

“It just came out. I call everyone ‘girl’. But she was girlish. Made a real effort. We had a laugh.”


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