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Before royal life: see the jobs Princess Kate, Queen Camilla and more had

From PR to retail roles...

Kate Middleton and Queen Camilla
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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Some of the world's famous faces started out just like us, before they met the royal loves of their lives and married into monarchies, that is!

The Princess of Wales was recently quizzed about royal life during one of her public engagements.

Asked if she wanted to be a "royal" by one pupil at a Dame Kelly Holmes Trust event, Kate replied it was something she had not expected but she "fell in love" with Prince William. Aww!

We've taken a trip down memory lane to see what Kate, the Duchess of Sussex, the Queen Camilla and more got up to before they found their Prince or Princess and had their fairytale weddings.

The Princess of Wales

Kate Middleton attends the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park on August 6, 2005 © Getty
Kate Middleton attends the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park on August 6, 2005

Kate, who married Prince William in 2011, is known for being a loving mother to three children while managing a busy work calendar as a senior member of the British royal family. But back in the day, the Princess had normal 9 to 5 jobs.

After working for her parents' hugely successful party supply company, Kate became an accessories buyer with the British clothing chain Jigsaw. However, the public attention that came with being the girlfriend of Britain's future King became too great for Kate and in 2006 she quit her job.

The Duchess of Sussex

Meghan Markle on Deal Or No Deal© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan Markle, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in theatre and international studies from Illinois' Northwestern University in 2003, may have gained fame from being on Suits from 2011 to 2018, but she was on the Hollywood scene for years before landing her big break.

During her acting career she appeared on Deal or No Deal as a suitcase model, and also had roles in 90210, Without a Trace, Castle and Horrible Bosses. In 2016, she became the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada and she also once ran her own lifestyle blog, The Tig, which she shut down after her romance with now-husband Prince Harry went public.

The pair married in a stunning ceremony at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in 2018 and are the proud parents to Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. The Sussexes live in Montecito, California.

Queen Consort Camilla

Camilla Parker-Bowles at Smith's Lawn in Windsor © Getty
Camilla Parker-Bowles at Smith's Lawn in Windsor

Camilla was first educated at Dumbrells School in Sussex and then attended Queen's Gate School in South Kensington. She travelled abroad to go to Mon Fertile finishing school in Switzerland and after completing the course, she studied French and French Literature at the Institut Britannique in Paris.

After her education, Camilla worked as a secretary for a variety of firms in London's West End and later, was employed as a receptionist for the decorating firm Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler in Mayfair.

Prince Charles and Camilla were married in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall in April 2005, when she became the Duchess of Cornwall. Camilla became Queen Consort when Charles ascended the throne in September 2022, following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Charles and Camilla's joint coronation ceremony took place on 6 May 2023. 

The Duchess of Edinburgh

Sophie Rhys-jones at her office in Mayfair© Getty
Sophie Rhys-jones at her office in Mayfair

The Duchess of Edinburgh started a successful career in public relations at London's Capital Radio. From there she went on to work in different firms before opening her own, RJH Public Relations, in 1996. A short three years later she married into the British royal family.

Jack Brooksbank

Jack Brooksbank in a suit© Getty
Jack pictured in 2012

Before he married Princess Eugenie in 2018, Jack started as a bartender before he became the general manager of Mahiki – one of William and Harry's go-to clubs in their youth.

He then worked as a brand ambassador for George Clooney's alcohol company, Casamigos Tequila, before landing a similar role at CostaTerra Golf & Ocean Club, a luxury resort in Portugal, in 2022. The couple, who share a two-year-old son August and are expecting their second child, reportedly split their time between Portugal and the UK.

Queen Letizia of Spain

Queen Letizia of Spain before marriage© Photo: Getty Images

Queen Letizia was once a highly respected journalist. Her dedication to news even took her to the frontlines of the Iraq war. And while she is no longer a reporter, she credits the job for introducing her to the love of her life. It was during a work visit to northern Spain in 2002 that the Spanish beauty caught the eye of her now-husband King Felipe of Spain.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

Maxima attending a Gala Dinner at Akershus Castle on the evening before the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon & Mette-Marit© Getty
Maxima attending a Gala Dinner at Akershus Castle on the evening before the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon & Mette-Marit

Queen Maxima enjoyed a variety of careers in economics and education before meeting her husband, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, in Spain back in 1999. The couple married in 2003.

Queen Rania of Jordan

Princess Rania poses after graduating from the American University in Cairo, 1991© Getty
Princess Rania poses after graduating from the American University in Cairo, 1991

Before she became Queen Rania in 1999, the beautiful royal worked in marketing. Having graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo, she briefly worked for Citibank, before taking a job in the marketing department at Apple Inc. in Amman.

Princess Charlene of Monaco

Princess Charlene of Monaco before marriage© Photo: Getty Images

Prior to her wedding to Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Charlene was a professional swimmer. She won three gold medals and a silver medal at the 1999 All-Africa Games, and later competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics, where she came fifth with the South African medley team. The stunning royal also finished sixth in the 2002 World Championships.

The sport is particularly close to Princess Charlene's heart, as it was during a swimming meet in Monaco that she met Prince Albert.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark

Prince Frederik of Denmark kissed Mary Donaldson for the first time in public on the deck of the Tasmania Yacht Club© Getty
Prince Frederik of Denmark kissed Mary Donaldson for the first time in public on the deck of the Tasmania Yacht Club

Crown Princess Mary, who was born and raised in Australia, received a degree in commerce and law at the University of Tasmania before completing a graduate degree in advertising. She climbed the ranks within the advertising community before that life-altering day in 2000 when she met Prince Frederik at a Sydney pub and her life changed forever.

Princess Marie of Denmark

Princess Marie of Denmark before marriage© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Marie was born in Paris and raised in Switzerland. She studied all over the world including Babson College in Massachusetts and Marymount Manhattan College in New York. During her college years, she worked in the public relations department at Estée Lauder.

After graduating she returned to Europe where she worked for a variety of marketing firms in France and Switzerland.

Crown Princess Masako of Japan

Crown Princess Masako of Japan before royal© Photo: Getty Images

The wife of Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan initially refused to marry the prince, reluctant to give up her freedom and independence. But she finally accepted Naruhito's third proposal in December 1992 and the engagement was officially announced one month later. The couple have one daughter, Princess Aiko.

Queen Mathilde of Belgium

Queen Mathilde of Belgium before marriage© Photo: Getty Images

Queen Mathilde of Belgium received a degree in speech therapy from Belgium's Institut libre Marie Haps. She went on to open her own practice in the early 1990s before royal life came calling.

Queen Silvia of Sweden

Queen Silvia of Sweden met the King during the 1972 Summer Olympics© Getty
Queen Silvia of Sweden met the King during the 1972 Summer Olympics

Queen Silvia worked across various roles before she married the King of Sweden and became a full-time royal. Working at the Argentine Consulate in Munich, she went on to be an educational host during the 1972 Summer Olympics, as well as serving as the Deputy Head of Protocol in the Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

Her CV also boasts a brief stint as a flight attendant, as well as training in Swedish Sign Language. The elegant royal can also speak six languages and is a trained interpreter.

Princess Sofia of Sweden

Sofia Hellquist pictured before she met her prince© Getty
Sofia Hellquist pictured before she met her prince

Princess Sofia of Sweden came from a very humble upbringing before catching the eye of Sweden's handsome Prince Carl Philip in 2010. She dabbled in modelling and reality television before moving to New York to study accounting while working part-time as a yoga instructor.

Prince Daniel of Sweden

Prince Daniel of Sweden before marriage© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Daniel worked at retirement residences during his summer breaks before moving into sports leadership. He developed a love for fitness which led to the opening of his own gym, Balance, in 2006.

Even though he became a senior member of Sweden's royal family upon his marriage to Crown Princess Victoria in 2010, Daniel continued his education in a variety of subjects, including physiology, physical activity, and health.

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