A Brief History of Royals Who’ve Had Day Jobs

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Princess Beatrice's LinkedIn page

One of the biggest takeaways from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey was that there’s nothing normal about life as a royal. So since stepping back from the monarchy, which promptly cut him off, Harry has now spent more than a year going through something of a culture shock.

This week, however, Harry made major progress in adapting to life in capitalist America: The 36-year-old locked down not one, but two jobs. He’s the new “Chief Impact Officer” of BetterUp Inc., a personal-coaching start-up in Silicon Valley, and part of the nonprofit Aspen Institute’s committee analyzing what Harry called “a modern-day crisis,” aka fake news. Between those salaries and the couple’s content deals with Netflix and Spotify, he and Markle now seem set.

Surprisingly, Harry isn’t the first of the core royals to join the workforce (apart from charities and military service); Princess Beatrice is even on LinkedIn. Read up on who else has worked hard instead of hardly working, here.

Princess Eugenie

Princess Eugenie has had a steady relationship with Hauser & Wirth, the powerhouse art gallery representing Mark Bradford, Nicole Eisenman, Amy Sherald, and the estate of Louise Bourgeois, since 2015. The 31-year-old art history major joined the gallery’s London team as an Associate Director and climbed up the ranks to Director, whom you can find out and about at art fairs Art Basel Miami Beach and Frieze. (She reportedly makes around £105,000 per year.) Eugenie came to the gallery with experience; she interned at the since shuttered online auction house Paddle8 in New York City before going full-time with a job that paid £25,000 per year. Prior to that, she interned at the London location of another auction house, Christie’s plus another closer to home, Buckingham Palace’s Royal Collection. Feel free to ask more about her career through the gallery’s personal contact form for the unassuming Eugenie York.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane in Suits.

Photo © 2014 USA Network Media, LLC via Getty Images

Fans of the legal drama Suits were already familiar with Meghan Markle before she started dating her now-husband in 2016. She was formerly fully employed as an actress, playing the attorney Rachel Zane and appearing in shows like General Hospital. It took a bit to get there after graduating from Northwestern University. “I wasn't black enough for the black roles and I wasn't white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn't book a job,” Markle wrote in an essay for Elle in 2015.

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice, who is also based in London, found her first post-graduation job at the nonprofit Children in Crisis UK. From there came a string of gigs as a production and data analyst, including at Sony Pictures, and is currently Vice President of Partnerships & Strategy of the software company Afiniti. You can presumably contact her, too, thanks to her up-to-date Linkedin.

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton also had a relatively normal life prior to joining the royal fam. Long before she married Prince William, the 39-year-old started out at Party Pieces, the Middleton family business that specializes in party supplies. She later worked as a deckhand at the Port of Southampton, as well as a waitress while studying art history at the University of St. Andrews. (“I was terrible,” Middleton once told the BBC. “I did this with a spinach soup once, and forgot to put the lid on it. I ended up with spinach soup on the ceiling.”) At 26, she spent a year as a part-time assistant accessories buyer for the clothing chain Jigsaw, performing menial tasks like running errands and fetching coffee. And if it weren’t for the timing of her marriage to William, she’d have a third addition to her résumé; the plan had been to join the team at the Cake Kit Company, a baking establishment owned by her brother, James.

Princess Diana

Lady Diana Spencer (Princess Diana) holding hands with students of the St. George's Square kindergarten.

Photo by Bill Rowntree/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

The late Princess Diana was an 18-year-old nursery teacher’s assistant at the time that she met Prince Charles, who was 14 years her senior. The résumé of “The People’s Princess” also included stints as a dance instructor, nanny, pre-school assistant, and house cleaner.

Sarah Ferguson

Perhaps the most relatable royal, at least professionally speaking, Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson had two jobs as a teen: waiting tables (at a strudel house) and cleaning toilets. “Then I married a prince,” she later recalled, referring to her ex, Prince Andrew. “It was great.” From there came stints at both a publishing house and, like her daughter Eugenie, an art gallery.

Ferguson gained weight after giving birth to Eugenie and Beatrice, leading the media to cruelly christen her the Duchess of Pork. Weight Watchers took note, and succeeding in appointing her as its second-ever spokesperson in the midst of her divorce. She’s also dabbled in film over the years, and produced the Emily Blunt-starring The Young Victoria.

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