The Regular Jobs That Royals Have Held

Royals have very different lives than the average person, trading in the usual 9-5 grind for something altogether more glamorous and enticing. While some members were born into it, others left their former lives behind when marrying into the royal family in a splendid twist of fate.

You might be surprised to find out that once upon a time, before the fairy tale started, some royals held very regular jobs indeed. In fact, some of them still do. Join us as we take a look at what these world-famous faces did to get by before they became part of a monarchy.

Princess Diana Was A Teaching Assistant

Princess Diana Was A Teaching Assistant
Anwar Hussein/WireImage
Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Princess Diana may have been born into an aristocratic family, but she still earned her keep just like everyone else. Caring and motherly to her core, Diana worked at the Young England School in Pimlico before Prince Charles put a ring on it.

Diana worked as a teaching assistant in the nursery up until her engagement to Prince Charles was announced in 1981. Paparazzi would often try and catch snaps of the wide-eyed young lady on her way to work as rumors of the romance began to heat up. She was a natural with kids, and was missed when she left.

Meghan Worked As A Calligrapher

Meghan Worked As A Calligrapher
Ian Vogler -WPA Pool/Getty Images
Ian Vogler -WPA Pool/Getty Images

As a royal, signing things becomes second nature. Whether you’re placing well-wishes inside a guest book or writing your name on a picture for a fan, it’s part of the gig. Thankfully, Meghan didn’t have to worry about brushing up her cursive as she was already an expert.

Markle mastered the art of calligraphy at an early age, before making some serious cash from it when she grew up. While working at a stationery store, she taught lessons in the art. Talking to Esquire in 2013, the Duchess said it was “super-lucrative because there are so few people doing it.”

The Crown Princess Of Denmark Was In Advertising

The Crown Princess Of Denmark Was In Advertising
Ole Jensen/Getty Images
Ole Jensen/Getty Images

The Crown Prince of Denmark Prince Frederik didn’t meet his love at university. Their families weren’t linked in any way, nor were they even from the same country. In fact, Mary was born and raised in the land down under. Little did she know when she was studying for a degree in commerce and law that she would meet Prince Frederik in a Sydney pub.

This chance encounter altered things forever for the advertising executive, who gave up her home country and moved to Denmark to be with her husband and his family. Frederik is next in line to the throne.

Meghan’s Briefcase Modeling Days

Meghan Deal or No Deal
NBC
NBC

It’s no secret that Meghan had a career in the entertainment business before she married Prince Harry. The Duchess was a star in her own right, but she came up in the business the hard way. Before she landed her breakout role in Suits, she was a briefcase model on NBC’s Deal or No Deal.

In an interview, Meghan recalled her days on the show holding number 24, saying, “I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick my number so I could go and sit down.”

Kate’s Foray Into Fashion

Kate fashion
Antony Jones/Brendan Bierne/UK Press via Getty Images
Antony Jones/Brendan Bierne/UK Press via Getty Images

Kate Middleton is always incredibly well put together, so it comes as no surprise that she originally took a job with British retailer Jigsaw. Although it was pretty clear she was going to wed Prince William after meeting him at university, Kate had to busy herself before he proposed.

As part of her job as an “accessories buyer,” Kate would often do the little tasks no one else wanted to do. Running to get coffee, keeping models fed and watered on set, and helping out management were all down to the one-day Duchess. There are many photographs of Kate running around London doing just this.

Diana Was A Nanny

Lady Diana Spencer takes her young charge Patrick Robinson for his daily outing in the Eaton Square district of London
John Hoffman/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images
John Hoffman/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

As well as her work in the school, Princess Diana was hired as a nanny by Mary Robertson sometime in the late ’70s. Diana had been gifted a very nice Earl’s Court apartment for her 18th birthday, where she lived in London with her friends. This allowed her to work and play in the city.

According to Robertson, Diana looked after her son Patrick on a part-time basis. The family loved Diana as she was so good with the little boy. Her motherly nature shone through even then, before she became a mother herself to Harry and William some years later.

The Countess Of Wessex’s Public Relations Past

The Countess of Wessex
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones may be known to royal fanatics as the Countess of Wessex now, but prior to marrying Prince Edward, she was working hard in public relations. Sophie held positions at some prestigious firms, including London’s Capital Radio where she was situated for four years. Her duties included overseeing the press and promotions department.

It was while working there that she met her future husband. The pair hit it off and the rest is history. Of course, like any royal marrying into the family, the Countess had to kiss her media career goodbye to focus on matters related to the monarchy.

Meghan’s Froyo First Job

A cup of frozen yogurt is served
Adam Berry/Getty Images for IMG
Adam Berry/Getty Images for IMG

Meghan Markle wasted no time in making her own money. She got her very first job when she was just 13 years old, selling frozen yogurt at a place charmingly called Humphrey Yogart. According to her former boss, Meghan earned a meager amount but gave it her all.

Staff and customers loved her, but alas, a career in the dessert business wasn’t meant to be. Markle was destined for bigger and better things, like becoming a part of England’s royal family. Who would’ve thought you could go from the service industry to royalty?

Princess Grace Of Monaco Was A Model

Grace Kelly
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Many people associate the gorgeous late Grace Kelly with her silver screen career, but the actress-turned-royal worked in the modeling industry, too. In fact, Grace first started posing for the camera when she was just 12 years old. Even then, she was frequently booked as she was strikingly beautiful and well-behaved on set.

The Hollywood icon would go on to marry Prince Rainier III in April 1956, abandoning her film career to start a new life with her husband in Monaco. Sadly, she passed away in 1982 after sustaining a head injury in a car crash. She was just 52 years old.

Queen Mathilde Of Belgium Studied Speech Therapy

Queen Mathilde
Olivier Matthys/Getty Images
Olivier Matthys/Getty Images

It’s common for royal brides to be very well educated. It wouldn’t do if they didn’t know a thing or two about the world — or the country they’re about to serve. Queen Mathilde of Belgium spent her pre-royal days studying speech therapy at a prestigious college in Brussels in the early ’90s.

She did so well that she earned a diploma with high honors before falling in love with the future King of Belgium, Philippe. When the two married in the early ’90s, Mathilde let her speech therapist dreams go for a chance at the fairy tale life.

From Silver Screen To Soup Kitchen

Meghan Cooking
Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Even before she started going on royal tours and helping those in need, Meghan was always working for good causes. When she had a break in filming or some time to herself, the actress hauled her cookies down to Los Angeles’ Skid Row, an impoverished and infamous area.

The shop was called “The Hippie Kitchen” and is still up and running today, although Meghan is a little too busy the other side of the world to be able to pop in to serve lunch like she used to. Meghan has been spotted in other charitable kitchens since tying the knot.

Princess Sofia Was A Reality-TV Star

Princess Sofia Was A Reality-TV Star
PATRICK MCMULLAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
PATRICK MCMULLAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

When Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, there were those that felt it wasn’t a good match because of her previous career. Many Swedish nationals felt the same way when Prince Carl Philip married former glamour model and reality-TV contestant Sofia Hellqvist.

Hellqvist published some very raunchy photos in her day, while also appearing on Paradise Hotel. After this, she moved to NYC to study where she also qualified and worked as a yoga instructor. Hellqvist has also worked as a waitress in her time. These days, the 35-year-old keeps her image squeaky clean and above board for the sake of her status.

Meghan’s Tostitos Commercial

Tostitos
YouTube/Inside Edition
YouTube/Inside Edition

Like many actors looking for their big break, Meghan found herself in the commercial game, trying to make a buck. In 2009, two years before the debut of Suits, Meghan starred in an advertisement for Tostitos. She browses the aisles in a supermarket, trying to decide what chips to by. Presumably, she now has someone to do that for her.

“Thirteen ingredients?” she thinks (albeit in someone else’s voice) as she picks up a different brand. “That’s more people than I invited to the party, unless Denise brings Jerry.” The offending chips get thrown back on the shelf as she picks up a bag of Tostitos instead.

Princess Diana Of Wales: The Housekeeper

Diana in doorway
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

While she didn’t have to worry about a mortgage thanks to her mother’s generous apartment gift, Diana still needed to fund her life in England’s capital city. Another way she did this was by cleaning houses. When she wasn’t working as a nanny or in the nursery, the young Miss Spencer spent some time doing dishes and folding laundry for other people.

It’s difficult to imagine the gorgeous blonde fashion icon and famed philanthropist doing that now, but at her core, Diana was just like the rest of us, trying to pave her way in the world.

Kate’s Party Planning Gig

Kate and Party Supplies
Simon Dawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Simon Dawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Before she became an accessories buyer for Jigsaw, Kate Middleton pitched in with the family business. The Middletons own a successful party supply company, selling everything from hats to paper plates and decorations. It’s only right that Kate learned the trade too and helped out where she could, including packing up orders.

Her siblings also got involved when they were needed. They presumably learned a little bit about how to keep a business afloat. While Kate wouldn’t need those skills in the future, Pippa and James have made use of their knowledge in their own careers as they reached adulthood.

Meghan The Blogger

Meghan The Tig
Jim Spellman/WireImage
Jim Spellman/WireImage

Blogging has become more than just a hobby over the past few years. In fact, a fair number of people have made full-time careers of it. Meghan may have been busy playing Rachel Zane on Suits, but she also had time to create her own lifestyle website called The Tig.

The site was successful and ran from 2014-2017, cited by Markle as a “great place that makes you feel good.” Despite expressing a desire for it to “always be there for you” the Duchess closed it for good when she became engaged to Prince Harry. Visitors to the website now simply see a farewell message from Markle.

The Countess Of Wessex Was A Ski Representative

The Countess Of Wessex Was A Ski Representative
Patrick Seeger/picture alliance via Getty Images
Patrick Seeger/picture alliance via Getty Images

The world of PR opened up for Sophie Rhys-Jones prior to her marriage. While she had some positions that kept her tethered to one spot, The Countess of Wessex also got to travel the world as part of her job. As a ski representative, Sophie went to Switzerland to offer her services.

In addition to this, she also spent a year in hotter climates, working and traveling in Australia as part of her business. The Countess is certainly one of the most well-traveled royals (prior to her inclusion in the family, that is.) She continues to travel alongside her husband.

Meghan’s Acting Success

Rachel Zane
UCP
UCP

Sure, being a famous actress may not be a strictly “regular” job, but in comparison to becoming a royal, it’s as tame as it comes. After steadily working her way up through the ranks, Meghan landed the role of Rachel Zane on Suits.

It was Markle’s biggest role to date, and will likely be her last as she’s far too busy helping Prince Harry carry out his royal duties now. There are charities to head up, talks to give, state dinners to attend, and an adorable baby boy to raise. The series wrapped up fairly soon after Markle’s character left, alongside her on-screen love interest Patrick J. Adams.

Zara Tindall Is The Director Of A Racecourse

Zara Tindall Is The Director Of A Racecourse
Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images
Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Zara Tindall doesn’t hold a royal title, but she is still part of the royal family. Her mother is Princess Anne, making the Queen her grandmother. Zara was also the first grandchild when she came along in 1981. The accomplished equestrian married a rugby star and tends to keep her royal status at arm’s length.

In 2019, it was reported that Zara had landed a coveted position as a director of England’s prestigious Cheltenham Racecourse. It’s quite unusual for a member of royalty to take up a role like this, making Tindall the first person of her rank to do so.

Princess Beatrice Works In Consulting

Beatrice
David M. Benett/Getty Images for Mazi and Venyx World
David M. Benett/Getty Images for Mazi and Venyx World

Like her cousin Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice isn’t a “working royal”, meaning she doesn’t have to go to the same amount of engagements as the higher-ranking members of the family. After gaining a BA in History from Goldsmiths, Beatrice went on to work in consulting.

Currently, the Princess is listed as the Vice President of Partnerships and Strategy at software company Afiniti. Her bio reads that she is “responsible for the management of the strategic Afiniti partnerships as well as company growth through unique initiatives and client development.”