Princess Diana ‘showed her mood in how she dressed’ says royal photographer

Princess of Wales, wearing a green and black suit, jokes with a soldier about his camouflage face paint
Hussain's exhibition is titled Princess Diana: Accredited Access and is situated in St Katherine Docks in London

Princess Diana “showed her moods through the way she dressed,” one of her most trusted royal photographers has said ahead of an exhibition showcasing his work.

Anwar Hussein, the award-winning and longest-serving royal photographer, spent years capturing some of the most prominent images of the late Princess of Wales in her public and private life.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he revealed that in Diana’s outfits “you could always see what sort of mood she was in.”

The new exhibition, titled Princess Diana: Accredited Access, opened at St Katharine Docks on Saturday and includes a range of Anwar’s iconic photographs of the Princess, such as his picture of her in the famous revenge dress at the Vanity Fair party in 1994.

It also exhibits photographs of Diana dressed down, including walking in Virgin Atlantic gear when leaving the Chelsea Harbour Club in 1995 and wearing a polka dot shirt with a pencil skirt while smiling at a polo match in 1983.

Anwar Hussein, royal photographer, with his image of Princess Diana at her wedding to Prince Charles
The exhibition features 75 life-size photographs of the late Princess taken by Hussein - JULIAN SIMMONDS

There are also two pictures of the late Princess while she was pregnant with Princes William and Harry, with both pictures showcasing a joyous and relaxed pastel-coloured outfit.

The first is a shot from May 30, 1982, in Windsor, which was taken less than one month before the birth of William.

Diana is pictured smiling in a soft blue dress as she stands in front of Charles’ Aston Martin, which he often drove to go and play polo on the grounds near Windsor Castle.

In the second shot, taken on June 28, 1984, Diana is shown wearing pink at Cirencester Polo Club while expecting Prince Harry.

The exhibition, which has had successful runs in the US, Australia and Canada already, also includes photographs of the younger royals taken by Anwar’s two sons, Samir and Zak Hussein.

Together, the family’s passion for photographing the royals spans seven decades during which time the trio have curated a collection of official pictures of five generations of the monarchy.

“The exhibition tells our whole history, our career, how much time we’ve dedicated to it and obviously my dad for decades focusing on photographing the royals and now us taking over, it’s a great family legacy,” Zak said.

“It also gives a different perspective of the royals to what people might consume elsewhere… this shows our point of view behind the lens.”

Anwar Hussein attends the launch of Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition
Anwar insisted that the late Princess of Wales 'changed the course of royal photography' - John Nguyen/PA Media Assignments

Anwar, 86, insisted that the late Princess of Wales “changed the course of royal photography” by her ability to be so tactile with people she encountered.

“She was the first person to shake hands with people and at that time, it was taboo, and everybody advised her not to do it,” he explained.

Many of the pictures of her in the new exhibition speak to her ease of manner with people, including an image of her cradling a young cancer patient in Pakistan in 1996, which she described as her favourite to Anwar.

Diana’s approach has “definitely” inspired the way the current Princess of Wales is with people, he said, adding: “Everyone in the family has copied her since, even the [late] Queen.”

“She was such a pioneer and really broke the mould for the royals in many ways, including in what she wore,” Samir explained.

Speaking about his sons taking over from him, Anwar said that he attempted “never to influence them in any way” but that they had come to appreciate the legacy of his work on their own.

He said he did not realise the impact of his photographs until “a later age”.

“It’s amazing - when I was a little boy in Africa the only picture I had seen of the Queen was a stamp and then I had my pictures on stamps used by the Queen - how did I manage to do that?”

Princess Diana: Accredited Access runs from May 25 to Sept 2 and includes a unique audio tour narrated by both Zak and Samir to guide the experience.