It would be hard to imagine any member of the royal family scrubbing toilets, selling fish and chips from a van, or serving drinks to someone.
But for a few who had humble beginnings and married into The Firm, these very normal and not very glamorous jobs were their reality.
While the Princess of Wales admitted she was a ‘terrible waitress’ while working part-time at university, Diana spent time working as a teacher.
And Zara Tindall’s husband Mike said the time he spent working in a fish and chip van in West Yorkshire was the worst job he ever had.
Here FEMAIL takes a look back at the lives of the commoners who married into the establishment…
During her university days, like so many other students, Kate was a waitress, working at a bar – but she later said she thought she was ‘terrible’
Nowadays she is known for being a hard-working royal, often pictured out and about meeting the public, while completing her royal duties.
But before marrying Prince William, Kate held a number of different jobs, from being a deck hand at a dock in Southampton, to being, by her admission, a ‘terrible waitress’ and dabbling in the world of fashion.
Her first role in the world of work was before her university days at St Andrews, where she met her future husband.
For four months she worked as a deckhand at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, reportedly on a low wage.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl spoke to one of the skippers Kate worked with at the time for her book Kate: The Future Queen.
Cal Tomlinson said: ‘It was back-breaking work. Kate mucked in and was very professional. She fitted right in, although she did stand out for being so pretty.
‘She spoke well, she was very attractive, and she an air about her. She was competent and confident but very unassuming.
‘She was polite and respectful to whoever was in charge of her and neat as a pin. She was never wearing any make-up; she was naturally beautiful.’
During her university days, like so many other students, Kate was a waitress, working at a bar.
During a broadcast of a Christmas TV special, A Berry Royal Christmas, the princess talked about her experience working in hospitality with the show’s host Mary Berry.
While the pair prepared drinks for the first non-alcoholic bar, Brink in Liverpool, she said: ‘Reminds me of my university days when I did a bit of waitressing.’
But when Mary asked whether Kate had been good at the job it provoked a very honest response: ‘No, I was terrible!’
After leaving university, when she turned 24, she began a job at the high street fashion brand Jigsaw as an accessory buyer.
While in the role, which she kept until 2007, the future Queen helped with brand fashion shoots, ran errands and fetched cups of tea and snacks.
She then went on to work for her parents’ business, Party Pieces, that was set up in 1987 when her mother Carole Middleton took inspiration from Kate’s fifth birthday party.
While working for the company, which also at one point employed her sister Pippa and brother James, she looked after web page design and took photographs.
The Princess remained in the role until she married Prince William in April 2011, when a royal aide confirmed her departure from the company, saying she was planning to ‘concentrate full-time on preparing to become a member of the royal family’.
JOB: SCRUBBING TOILETS
Fergie said that before becoming a royal she cleaned toilets and mirrors and graduate’s bedrooms
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew ran in close circles throughout their younger years.
Sarah met her future husband when she was just 12-years-old at Westminster Abbey, although their romantic relationship did not begin until much later on in life in 1985.
The couple later married, in 1986, but divorced years later in 1996. The Duchess, however, continued a life in the public eye, becoming an author and public speaker.
Nevertheless the future Duchess of York’s life was not completely filled with glitz and glamour.
Back in 2016, while appearing on Skavlan TV show, in Stockholm, Sweden, she revealed the jobs she had before marrying into the royal family.
She told the show: ‘You won’t believe it but when I was 18, I cleaned very good mirrors.
‘I cleaned lavatories when I was 18 and graduate’s bedrooms; they all left it very messy.
‘And then I waitressed in a strudel house. I don’t cook, I just took the strudel out of the deep freezer and put it in the oven; that’s cooking!
‘Then I married a prince, it was great!’
JOB: WORKING AT A CHIP SHOP
While studying, Mike Tindall worked in a fish and chip van – what he later called in an interview, the worse job he ever had
Mike Tindall was always set out to be a rugby star after he started playing the sport when he was just seven-years-old.
No one would have guessed back then that he would have become a member of the royal family.
Growing in Otley, West Yorkshire, he attended the Queen Elizabeth Grammar school in Wakefield while playing for Otley Rugby Club.
However he has previously explained how he balanced his studies with working in a fish and chips van, calling it ‘the worst job he ever had.’
While appearing on the ITV show I’m A Celebrity, he said: ‘I was working on fish and chip vans but also doing stuff with a mate’s dad, fitting ventilation at Asdas in York.
‘No real disasters, just a lot of rowdy northerners complaining about the size of the fish. I was paid according to how many fish we sold.’
When he was offered a place at Durham University he deferred it to instead play on Bath’s rugby squad.
Two years later he made his debut in the England rugby team, scoring a try in the first game for the country.
He went on to be a member of the England team who won the 2003 Rugby World Cup and the 2003 Six Nations Championships.
This was the same year he met his future wife, Zara Philips, the daughter of Princess Anne.
Since retiring in 2014 he was continued playing and coaching for an amateur club, Minchinhampton RFC, near the Gatcombe Park estate where the family live.
Last year he became the first-ever royal family member to go on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
He also hosts a weekly podcast called ‘The Good, The Bad and The Rugby’ with broadcaster Alex Payne and England player James Haskell.
JOB: WORKING IN PR
After leaving school, Sophie spent a brief amount of time working in a bar before she launched her career in public relations
On countless occasions she has been referred to as the royal family’s ‘secret weapon’ and was thought to be one of the late Queen’s favourites.
Sophie Wessex has increasingly become a dependable figure in the firm and was often pictured attending events with the late Queen.
But before she married Prince Edward in 1999, she was very much a working girl.
Born in Oxford, Sophie Rhys-Jones, who grew up in Kent, did not attend university but trained as a secretary at West Kent College in Tonbridge.
After leaving school she spent a brief amount of time working in a bar before she launched her career in public relations.
She worked a host of different firms over the course of four years, including Capital Radio where she was a press officer.
It was while she was working in this role that she first met her future husband Edward.
However at the time he was seeing one of her friends.
For a brief stint, Sophie worked as a concierge at a winter sports resort in Switzerland.
During this time she entered a relationship with an Australian ski instructor and then moved back down under with him.
However, when the relationship ended she returned to the UK moving to the capital.
She was to meet Prince Edward for a second time when she was working on his Real Tennis Challenge event – and it was
In 1996, Sophie went on to launch her own PR agency RJH with her business partner, Murray Harkin.
Despite her marriage into the royal family, Sophie continued to run her own company until 2001 when a scandal abruptly brought it to an end.
An article in the News of the World, investigated by the so called ‘fake sheikh’ recorded her making disparaging comments about Charles and Camilla, and the wife of the Prime Minister at the time, Cherie Blair.
The scandal led to her quitting her role as head of the firm and Edward later quit his TV production company Ardent.
Both ended up focusing on being royal families rather than on their private careers.
In 2015 she opened up about her career whilst being a member of the royal family, telling the Mail: ‘I am rare because I am one of the few ladies in the British Royal Family who has had a professional business career and their own company.
However, Sophie’s non-traditional path could be seen as a strength.
In her speech, the Countess expressed that her past career had the potential to help her understand issues related to women in business.
She said: ‘So perhaps I am able, through my own experience, to have a deeper appreciation of the corporate world and what it’s like to have to climb the career ladder.’
JOB: KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
Diana was a nanny for an American family, but she also picked up a position as a nursery school teacher
Princess Diana is often remembered for her loving and caring rapport with children, which perhaps explains why she had 17 godchildren before she died.
It also makes it no surprise that before Diana joined the royal family, she worked with youngsters.
After she finished school, Diana became a nanny for the child of an American couple who were living in London at the time.
American businesswoman Mary Robertson employed Diana for several months as a ‘babysitter’ to her infant son Patrick in 1980 – and the position was the final held by the future Princess of Wales before her wedding to Prince Charles in July 1981.
Speaking years later to CNN in 2021, Ms Robertson remembered meeting the ‘shy’ and naive young woman, praising her natural ability to care for children.
She said: ‘When Diana came to me as a shy 18-year-old babysitter, she’d had very little world experience – none at all – and she was just wonderful with Patrick.
‘She sat on the floor with him and she was totally focused on him.’
Diana worked as Patrick’s nanny for three days a week, reportedly earning around £4 an hour at the time. She stayed in contact with the family for the rest of her life.
To boost her funds, however, she also took on another role working as a kindergarten teacher at the Young England School in Pimlico.
Once she married Charles, she became a working royal. Following their divorce she continued her activism and charity work.
Diana worked for the Robertsons for three days a week, earning just $5-an-hour in the role – which she further bolstered by taking up a position as a nursery school teacher on the days when she wasn’t caring for Patrick.
JOB: FROZEN YOGHURT STORE ASSISTANT
Everyone knows that Meghan Markle , Duchess of Sussex, was an actress before she married into the royal family, starring in the popular TV show Suits. But she also worked as an assistant in a frozen yoghurt store
Everyone knows that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, was an actress before she married into the royal family, starring in the popular TV show Suits.
But what is less known is that her first job was working in a frozen yoghurt parlor when she was just 13-years-old.
She began working at Humphrey Yogart in Los Angeles, California, where she worked for $4 (£3 an hour), with one of her jobs being to put out the bins.
Her boss said the runaway royal was a big hit with her customers because of her ‘outgoing personality’ and Meghan spoke how she even met her idol, Baywatch star Yasmine Bleeth, while working there.
Speaking to the Mirror in 2017, the actress’s old manager Paula Sheftel said: ‘Meghan was still at school – maybe a little older than 13 as the rules are strict in California.
‘She earned minimum wage and was very popular with customers. She had to prove she had an outgoing personality and would work well with staff.’
After graduating from high school, Meghan attended Northwestern University, where she began her acting career, gaining a degree in Theatre and International Studies.
An old CV of Meghan’s was published in 2018 which revealed some of the first jobs she worked on in during her career.
This included a two-episode appearance on General Hospital in 2001, when she played a nurse named Jill, and her 2004 role on CBS’s sci-fi legal drama Century City, on which she appeared as a party guest named Natasha.
She also had noted her appearance playing the part of ‘Natalie “Hot Chick” in Ashton Kutcher’s 2005 movie A Lot Like Love.
She continued with roles such as these, including starring on 90210, Knight Rider and CSI Miami.
In 2011, came her big break: the role of Rachel Zane on Suits, on which she appeared for 108 episodes that ran through 2018.
Ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018, the Queen reportedly ‘made the offer’ to Meghan which would ‘give her freedom to continue her acting career’.
But the actress turned down the offer because she ‘wanted to become a working member of the royal family’.
Since moving to California, and resigning from her roles as working royals, Meghan has started her own podcast, Archetypes, where she interviews celebrities and experts on the stereotypes against women.
JOB: ONCE DUBBED THE ‘LAZIEST WOMAN IN BRITAIN’
Camilla was once described as a ‘woman who would far rather be putting her feet up at home than doing any proper work’, Valentine Low of The Times notes
Camilla, Queen Consort, is celebrated as a hard-working royal who tackles her duties with energy and commitment, championing issues such as domestic violence and literacy rates.
She was one of the hardest working royals in 2022, completing 102 royal engagements, with November and June being her busiest months.
But she was not always seen that way. In fact she was once described as a ‘woman who would far rather be putting her feet up at home than doing any proper work’, Valentine Low of The Times notes.
Leading up to her wedding to now King Charles in 2005, many of Camilla’s nearest and dearest did not think she was ready to keep up with the demanding pace of work.
Mark Bolland, a former Clarence House adviser, wrote in The Times ahead of the wedding: ‘I love Camilla dearly but she is monumentally lazy (in the nicest possible way)…
‘A member of her family once described her to me as the “laziest woman to have been born in England in the 20th century”.
‘That is not going to change… she has never worked in her life and is terrified of being on public display.’
He went on to add that Camilla liked ‘pottering around the garden and watching telly in her dressing gown’, so she would have to ‘recalibrate her energy levels’ before starting as a working royal.
However as the Queen took a step back away from her royal duties in her old age, Camilla also took on greater responsibility.
And the royal, however, clearly proved the naysayers wrong, with the late Queen recognising her hard working nature when she asked for Camilla to be known as ‘Queen Consort’ when Charles took over as King.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk