It’s no secret that the Duchess of Cambridge is our go-to girl for all things royal. Not only does she look dashing on the arm of her husband, Prince William, but she can also stand strong on her own, representing the royal family at sanctioned events. (But this is why the royal couple never show PDA.)
Although her designer dresses and flawlessly gorgeous hair might suggest otherwise, Kate was once just an average person who had to make a living. But even royal enthusiasts are a bit fuzzy on what, exactly, she pursued as a career.
Here’s the scoop: The Duchess completed a History of Art degree at St. Andrew’s College—where she met Prince William—in 2005, according to the couple’s official website. After graduating, Kate briefly worked for Party Pieces, a party goods supplier owned by her parents. Her responsibilities there included catalog design and production, marketing, and photography. She also spearheaded a junior brand called ‘First Birthdays’ for the company.
Related: Her style before she became a royal
Duchess Kate's style before she became a royal
Duchess Kate's style before she became a royal
Kate Middleton right before her graduation ceremony in 2005 rocking an oh-so-reliable white tank top (with a little bit of her tummy showing) and bootcut jeans.
Howdy! Here's Kate Middleton at a music festival in 2005 looking very outdoorsy in a cowboy hat with some matching suede riding boots.
Kate Middleton definitely rocked cropped tops before it was even a trend! Here she is with her mom, Carole, in a simple white crop top that she paired underneath a blue blazer.
Here's a full-length photo of her casual -- yet -- stylish look.
Kate Middleton braved the frigid temps in 2006 with a cozy outfit of a Russian-style fur hat, a wool coat and a pair of her go-to suede boots.
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Prince William's girlfriend, Kate Middleton wears a Russian style fur hat to the final day of Cheltenham Races on March 17, 2006 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Polka dot beauty! Kate Middleton cheered her future husband Prince William on at a polo match in 2006 in a bright red wrap dress.
Flower power! Kate Middleton attended a 2006 party in a floral frock that hit just above her knees. She paired the look with a light pink crushed velvet jacket and some seriously pointy flats.
Kate Middleton's off-duty style was impeccable. At another polo match in 2006, she rocked white flared jeans and a tummy-bearing sheer top.
A close-up look at Kate's super casual ensemble.
Kate Middleton looked fabulous in a black dress with tights and suede knee-high boots while out on the town in 2007.
Kate Middleton made denim skirts a thing before they even became trendy. Here she is on a casual shopping trip in 2007.
What a party animal! Before becoming a royal, Kate Middleton was just a regular 20-something who went out at the hottest clubs in London. Of course, she always looked great for the occasion.
Before Kate Middleton was wearing tiaras and fancy pearls, she was the queen of accessorizing. Between the scarf and the French-inspired beret, she looked absolutely flawless in 2007.
Another close up look of Kate's chic accessorizing.
Uggs -- oh my! Even Kate Middleton couldn't resist the comfy boots that blew up in popularity in the early 2000s. Here she is in 2007.
While Kate rocks multi-million dollar jewels now, she still loved to accessorize even before she became a royal. We're totally loving that chunky white necklace!
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One year later, Kate landed a job as a part-time accessories buyer for a London-based clothing store called Jigsaw Junior. (Maybe that’s where she learned the clever trick she uses to repeat her outfits!) According to the company’s former owner, Belle Robinson, Kate never flaunted her status—despite constant bombardment by press and paparazzi regarding her relationship with Prince William.
“She sat in the kitchen at lunchtime and chatted with everyone from the van drivers to the account girls,” Robinson told the Evening Standard.
The Duchess was reportedly considering a career in photography at the time, too. But that likely got put on hold when, in November 2010, William and Kate announced their engagement to the world. (Learn the fascinating history behind her engagement ring.) Although Kate revealed that joining the royal family was “nerve-wracking,” she jumped into her new “job” with gusto.
Now, between her duties as a British royal and a mother to two (and now three!) precious youngsters, the Duchess probably has her hands full. Let’s hope that she still finds time to fit in her favorite hobby, though.
Related: More commoners-turned-royals
10 commoners who married royals
10 commoners who married royals
In 1959, then Japanese Crown Prince Akihitobroke tradition by marrying Michiko Shoda in Tokyo. Akihito met Shoda at a tennis match -- it reportedly took years for the now-Emperor to convince his parents to allow him to marry Shoda.
Aside from their non-traditional romance, the two have been hailed for their progressive leadership.
She's not just Hollywood royalty.
Beloved actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956 after meeting at the international Cannes Film Festival. The two had three children, and she died in 1982 after she suffered a stroke while driving.
While studying at the National University of Lesotho in 1997, 'Masenate Mohato SeeisometKing Letsie III of Lesotho and the two became engaged two years later.
The Queen, formerly known as Anna Karabo Mots'oeneng, has been hailed as a pioneer for HIV research and her work with orphanages.
The two now have three children.
Rania Yassine met Prince Abdallah when she was just 22 and the two married in 1993, when she was 26. Their marriage is just one of the many ways Prince Abdallah has been viewed as trying to mend Jordan and the West.
Rania does not wear a veil. She's quite outspoken about free speech, equal rights and helping steer Jordan away from its former "human rights record."
In 2011, Spain's Duchess of Alba, Maria del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James-Stuart married Alfonso Diez in Seville, Spain.
The Duchess, hailed as one of the "world's most titled nobles," was criticized for marrying Diez who was 25 years younger. The twice-widowed 85-year-old was reportedly worth 2.8 billion Euros, but Diez "renounced any claim to the family fortune," said People.
She died at age 88 in 2014.
Longtime bachelor Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark met Caracas-born Tatania Blatnik (previously an event planner for designer Diane von Furstenburg) through friends while on a ski vacation in 2003.
Marrying in 2010, the Georgetown-educated Blatnik soon took the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark. “I do not feel that I married a prince, with a title. Well actually, yes, he is my prince, but nothing more,” she once said about her title, according to Vogue.
In 2004, then Spanish CrownPrince Felipe married Letizia Ortiz in a lavish wedding attended by royals from around the world. Formerly a journalist, Letizia regularly appeared as an anchor covering global events such as 9/11 and the Iraq war.
Since becoming queen in 2014, she's been praised for her incredible philanthropy work, progressive thinking and enviable style.
In 1972, King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden met commoner Silvia Sommerlath -- from Germany and Brazil -- at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics.
Marrying in 1976, she "is also the first Swedish royal to have had a career, and worked previously as an interpreter," said Vogue. The two have three children and many grandchildren.
Like his father, Prince Carl Philip of Sweden also married a commoner, Sofia Hellqvist in 2015.
Formerly a model and reality television star, the Princess met Prince Carl at a restaurant in 2010. Their second child is due in fall 2017.
Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander married Crown Princess Maxima Zorreguieta in 2002 -- she now holds the title of Queen of the Netherlands.
Reports say the couple met in 1999 at Sevilla Spring Fair in Spain, where the King introduced himself merely as "Alexander." She didn't know his title until much later on. At that time, she was serving as one of Deutsche Bank's VP of sales.