By Alicia Brunker
Aug 18, 2018 @ 4:45 pm

Kate Middleton has become a staple of the British royal family. Though, she and Prince William have only been married for seven years, it’s difficult to imagine a time without the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their brood trodding behind Queen Elizabeth at public engagements. 

However, before officially being ushered into the monarchy, receiving an annual seven-figure allowance from Will’s dad, Prince Charles, Kate had to work for a living just like everyone else. 

After graduating from St Andrews in 2005 with an art history degree, Middleton briefly worked for her family's business, Party Pieces. A year later, she landed a gig as an accessories buyer with British retailer Jigsaw, where she worked three days a week. 

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Founders of the womenswear brand, John and Belle Robinson, are close family friends of the Middletons, so her hiring isn’t that unexpected. But her connections didn’t prevent her from working hard. 

According The Sun newspaper (via the Daily Mail), Kate performed menial tasks, like running errands and grabbing tea and snacks for the talent on the set of a photo shoot. And, in 2008, during an interview with the Evening Standard, Belle spoke highly of Kate’s abilities. 

“I have to say I was so impressed by her,” she said. “There were days when there were TV crews at the end of the drive. We'd say: 'Listen, do you want to go out the back way?' And she'd say: 'To be honest, they're going to hound us until they've got the picture. So why don't I just go, get the picture done, and then they'll leave us alone.’”

Belle continued: “I thought she was very mature for a 26-year-old, and I think she's been quite good at neither courting the press nor sticking two fingers in the air at them. I don't think I would have been so polite."

Kate’s diplomatic princess qualities were even apparent back then. “She sat in the kitchen at lunchtime and chatted with everyone from the van drivers to the accounts girls,” said Belle. “She wasn't precious.”

Kate’s part-time job at Jigsaw came to an end in November 2007, telling Belle she needed “some time to herself.” 

Chris Jackson

Eventually, she joined her parents at their party supply business again, helping out with the company’s website design, photography, marketing, and event organization as the firm’s project manager. 

In January 2011, Middleton, who was already engaged to William at the time, left her post to focus on wedding planning. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

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