Kate Middleton’s former boss reveals her down-to-earth attitude—‘she wasn’t precious’

Kate Middleton’s former employer has shared her experience of working with the Duchess of Cambridge

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 04: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, which provides vital support to young people aged 12-25 during day two of their visit to Ireland on March 04, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga - Pool /Getty Images)
(Image credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga - Pool /Getty Images)

Kate Middleton’s old boss has shared details of the duchess’s job before she married Prince William, revealing the less-than-glamorous past life of the likely future Queen consort. 

Kate Middleton's former boss has shared details of her old job as a retail worker, and it sounds like a far cry from her current duties as a working royal. 

The Duchess of Cambridge entered the 9-5 world immediately after university, where she gained experience collaborating with people from a variety of backgrounds. She initially landed a job as an accessories buyer in 2006 with the fashion chain Jigsaw, directing the selection and sourcing of luxury merchandise. 

While this might sound uber-sophisticated, it wasn't as cosmopolitan as you might think. Kate was apparently expected to be a bit of a multi-tasker, running errands and grabbing coffees when she wasn't knee-deep in clutches and jewelry. 

As if that doesn't sound stressful enough, the young employee often had hoards of paparazzi waiting for her outside. She was already known by the press for her romantic involvement with Prince William, making it difficult to keep a low profile at the office. 

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/19: Jigsaw clothing shop in the recently developed Kings Boulevard and Pancras Square behind London's Kings Cross Rail station. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Kate Middleton worked for fashion chain Jigsaw as an accessories buyer 

(Image credit: Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images))

Despite all these challenges, Kate soldiered on and focused on her work. Her pragmatic approach to the pressures didn't go unnoticed, winning her the admiration of Jigsaw's co-founder, Belle Robinson. 

“I have to say I was so impressed by her,” she admitted. “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.’”

The intense media attention, which could have inflated the most modest of egos, didn't appear to faze Kate. She went about her business just like any other employee at the company, eating with her co-workers during breaks and mingling with all members of staff. 

“She sat in the kitchen at lunchtime and chatted with everyone from the van drivers to the accounts girls,” Belle revealed. “She wasn't precious.”

Unfortunately, Kate's position at Jigsaw became increasingly difficult to maintain as her relationship with Prince William developed. 

She eventually resigned in 2007, moving on to work for her family’s party supplies business in Reading, Party Pieces. She was able to stretch her creative muscles once again in this role, designing catalogs and helping to set up the “1st Birthday Party” side of the company. She permanently left Party Pieces in 2011 for the slightly loftier job as a working member of the Royal Family, which she still holds to this day.

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.