Kiwi who could've been Queen's hairdresser talks about 'exciting' day-long trial with her at Windsor Castle

Among the congregation at Queen Elizabeth's funeral will be her personal staff, like the hairdresser who visited her at least once every week for 25 years. 

Ian Carmichael is his name, but there was a time when the Queen was looking to replace him with a Kiwi called Terry Wilson. 

Twenty years ago, a mystery shopper walked into a salon in London's trendy Notting Hill - but they weren't just looking for a haircut. 

The shopper was Angela Kelly, the Queen's personal dresser and confidante, and she asked for Blenheim-born Wilson. 

"She came in to have her hair done in the salon just as a client, I didn't know who she was," Wilson said. "Definitely, she was testing me."

He passed because weeks later he got a call from the palace. The Queen's hairdresser was considering leaving and they wanted Wilson to do a hair trial. 

He said it is "absolutely" a job he would have wanted and just the thought of it was cause for celebration - the night before his trial. 

"It was exciting. We had a party," he said.

Wilson blames his friends.

"They were all so excited," he said. "I didn't drink much but it ended up people were dancing in our flat at midnight."

Yet, he felt strangely at home when he turned up at Windsor Castle six hours later. 

"The Queen's butler said, 'Welcome to the madhouse'."

Wilson regales his clients with the story of how, for 12 hours, he watched how the Queen's hair was washed, rolled, and set. 

"We went into the Queen's bathroom and she leaned over the basin. She doesn't have a back basin - she thought that was a waste of money."

A Queen who was careful with what she had. 

"She had her hands over the basin. She handed me her ring that she took off her finger and she said, 'Could you hold this please'," Wilson said.

Trusted with her jewels, but what about the job? The Queen's hairdresser never did leave - turns out Wilson was right to party in advance after all.