The Queen’s Hairdresser

Holding a Royal Warrant is an honour awarded to Björn Axén since 1984. It’s proof that the company obtains a craftmanship and quality highly valued by the Swedish Royal family. You are awarded Royal Warrant by His Majesty the King of Sweden. As of today, there are around 130 companies within different areas of expertise holding this honour. 

Björn introduced me to the framework of the Royal Court for 12 years. Step by step he helped me understand the importance of a silent etiquette for a hairdresser of the Royal Court; that there was a set of conventional rules with no handbook nor instructions to follow. He taught me to develop a sixth sense, to see Her Majesty the Queen’s hairs strength and its vulnerability. Björn made it very clear of the importance of my attitude towards her hair – every time I meet her hair, it’s for the first time. 

“Do your job with elegance, make every minute count and the hair will speak to you Peter”.

It was at the Nobel dinner in 1993 I was given the opportunity to do Her Majesty’s hair for the first time. 

Prior to meeting with her, I never know what gown she will wear, or what jewellery she has chosen for the occasion. The only thing I know is that I should make the jewellery stand out, keep the hair flawless and make her shine. 

Of course – I have put a lot of thought into this; I even have a sketch ready to go in my bag. But being there, about to start, something else is telling me to create. An improvisation at this very moment, where there’s no room for error. 

Sometimes they make me wait. They offer me a chair, but I choose to stand. I don’t want to lose my focus. My head is spinning with questions; What does this moment speak of? What does my gut feeling say? There’s a language and force within me that comes from somewhere else. It’s not so much the case of me thinking, I just do. My hands move on their own.

Time is short – but it is that very shortness of time that pushes me to excel. To do my best. The etiquette and rules of convention – this I already know. We know who is who. All of this gives me a sense of security. If it were any other way I would start to think, to analyse, and the magic would be gone. 

When I receive a small glimpse of content in her eyes, I know that I am done and sitting in front of me, is a Queen. 

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Holding a Royal Warrant is an honour awarded to Björn Axén since 1984. It’s proof that the company obtains a craftmanship and quality highly valued by the Swedish Royal family. You are awarded Royal Warrant by His Majesty the King of Sweden. As of today, there are around 130 companies within different areas of expertise holding this honour. 

Björn introduced me to the framework of the Royal Court for 12 years. Step by step he helped me understand the importance of a silent etiquette for a hairdresser of the Royal Court; that there was a set of conventional rules with no handbook nor instructions to follow. He taught me to develop a sixth sense, to see Her Majesty the Queen’s hairs strength and its vulnerability. Björn made it very clear of the importance of my attitude towards her hair – every time I meet her hair, it’s for the first time. 

“Do your job with elegance, make every minute count and the hair will speak to you Peter”.

It was at the Nobel dinner in 1993 I was given the opportunity to do Her Majesty’s hair for the first time. 

Prior to meeting with her, I never know what gown she will wear, or what jewellery she has chosen for the occasion. The only thing I know is that I should make the jewellery stand out, keep the hair flawless and make her shine. 

Of course – I have put a lot of thought into this; I even have a sketch ready to go in my bag. But being there, about to start, something else is telling me to create. An improvisation at this very moment, where there’s no room for error. 

Sometimes they make me wait. They offer me a chair, but I choose to stand. I don’t want to lose my focus. My head is spinning with questions; What does this moment speak of? What does my gut feeling say? There’s a language and force within me that comes from somewhere else. It’s not so much the case of me thinking, I just do. My hands move on their own.

Time is short – but it is that very shortness of time that pushes me to excel. To do my best. The etiquette and rules of convention – this I already know. We know who is who. All of this gives me a sense of security. If it were any other way I would start to think, to analyse, and the magic would be gone. 

When I receive a small glimpse of content in her eyes, I know that I am done and sitting in front of me, is a Queen. 

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