‘Meghan and Harry Made Me Believe In Soulmates’: George Northwood On Working With The World’s Most Photographed Woman

Meghan Markle's go-to hairstylist opens up about his two-year adventure with the Duchess of Sussex.

Meghan Markle and George Northwood

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Finally ‘Finding Freedom’, the much-hyped biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, has been released. With extracts drip-fed to the media over recent weeks, it has fuelled rumours about the couple’s strained relationship with the royal family and their explosive move to quit British public life.

It also addresses the question: who is Meghan Markle? Because despite the column inches her every move spawns, we still don’t know. One person with a unique behind-the-scenes insight is George Northwood, Meghan’s go-to hairstylist. So Grazia put it to him: what’s it like to be responsible for styling the hair of the world’s most photographed woman?

I was nervous before I met Meghan. It’s always a bit daunting when you meet someone high profile but there was this endearing vulnerability to her. She was new to the country, she’d never been a royal before and I’d never worked with a royal before, so it felt like we were starting a new journey together.

I came on recommendation, which is always a nice start, but even with my nerves she made me feel so comfortable. She and Harry are both very grounded and easy to talk to, plus Meghan and I have some common ground in my passion for southern California.

We worked together for two years – and I hope to continue whenever she’s back in the UK – collaborating to create the effortlessly cool buns that she wears as well as the sleek, polished hair, such as her style at the British Fashion Awards in 2018 – my favourite look we’ve ever done. It’s funny, because her hair often looks so effortless but she’s actually the most thoughtful person, even down to the smallest detail like her jewellery.

Choosing her look was a team effort between me, her and Harry.

When we went on the Australia tour, she always wanted to support small businesses so would choose jewellery from local designers. I always thought, “God, would I ever put so much thought and care into that?”

We have a very similar aesthetic in what we think is stylish and appropriate, so choosing the right look for her hair always felt more of a team effort. Over the years, and along with Harry, we’ve developed an authentic relationship during what has been such a big adventure. You really feel like you’re part of their team. What they stand for is so strong and inspiring, and they’re genuinely such kind people who really want to do good, so that rubs off a little bit – you feel part of something exciting.

My favourite fun memory has to be when they frightened me half to death jumping out at me on my birthday. It was such a silly moment but so sweet that they wanted to surprise me. Meghan has a great sense of humour so we would always be in fits of giggles, but then there would be these really surreal moments where we would sit thinking, “Is this really happening?” We would be sat in the dressing room like, “You’re the Duchess of Sussex, I’m your hairdresser and you’re going to walk out that door and be the most photographed woman in the world in a minute.” We tried to find humour in those pinching moments, just to stay grounded.

The hairdresser relationship is very personal, you want to be someone people feel at ease with and trust. That was important to me when everything around them got relentless. They try to focus on the good in the moment, but she’s human, and there were times when she needed support and I would be there for her.

When the outside negativity got relentless, I tried to make her feel empowered on the inside.

I was on the tour in South Africa when she spoke to ITV about the struggle she was facing being a new mum in the spotlight, and there was a real genuine vulnerability to her at that stage. For what little I could do to make the situation better, as her hairdresser, I just tried to make her feel the best version of herself and empowered. At that time I just wanted more than anything to be a friend and confidant.

Ultimately, she is one of the most caring, genuine and warm people I have ever met. She’s so deeply passionate about what she believes in and wanting to make a difference, you feel so inspired by how much she wants to make the world a better place. I learned so much about myself working with her and Harry. And actually, one of those lessons was what true love really is.

They’re really such a together team – watching them with everything that’s been thrown at them, it made me believe in love and soulmates.

Read More:

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