16 Royals Who Took on the Real World
Passengers on Dutch airline KLM sometimes get a special surprise in the air (and that's not a second bag of pretzels.) King Willem-Alexander revealed in an interview with De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper, that he's been co-piloting planes on shorter flights for KLM for over 20 years. He calls the pilot gig a "hobby" that helps him decompress from his day job as King of the Netherlands.
William is the most recent royal to take on a civilian job, and although he's the first direct heir to the British throne to do so, it's not an entirely unexpected move for the modern prince. Now, he's an air ambulance pilot, but up until 2013, he flew planes for the Royal Air Force search and rescue unit. His new role allows him to pursue his passion for flying in a non-military manner.
Kate comes from a business-minded family: Her parents, Michael and Carole, own Party Pieces, a successful party supplies company. But before she joined either of her family businesses (Party Pieces and, of course, "the firm", a.ka. the royal family), Kate did a stint as an accessories buyer at Jigsaw, a high-street chain. She may be a princess now, but as any Kate fashion follower will tell you, she still stays (fairly) true to her off-the-rack roots.
The sixth in line to the British throne seems to be the friend everyone has that just can't decide on a college major. Princess Beatrice did a brief stint working at an investment capital firm in London before landing a gig as a coordinating producer at Sony Pictures. She left the company in the wake of the super-scandalous Sony hack (in which several personal details about the royal were released). Now, Fergie's eldest is living in N.Y.C., perhaps contemplating another career choice: She's currently enrolled in a finance course.
A strong work ethic runs in the family for Prince Andrew's daughters. Like her sister, Princess Eugenie has also relocated stateside for her professional pursuits. Since January 2014, she's held the post of benefits auctions manager at Paddle8, an online art and design auction house.
PRINCESS MADELEINE OF SWEDEN
Before Beatrice and Eugenie headed to the Big Apple, another royal landed there first. After she split from her from fiance Jonas Bergström in 2010, Madeleine needed a change of pace. She found it in a new city – and a new job. During her years in New York, she worked for the World Childhood Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by her mother. It wasn't only a good move for her professional life: During her tenure in New York, Madeleine met her future husband, businessman Christopher O'Neill (and their family just got bigger!).
MARIE-CHANTAL, CROWN PRINCESS OF GREECE
For Marie-Chantal, the Crown Princess of Greece, marrying into royalty and working in fashion is a family trait. Her sister, Alexandra von Fürstenberg, is the image director for her former mother-in-law's brand, Diane von Fürstenberg. And back in 2001, Marie-Chantal started an eponymous designer children's clothing line, which now has five boutiques and is carried at a number of luxury department stores (including Harrods and Saks Fifth Avenue).
PRINCESS MÄRTHA LOUISE OF NORWAY
The daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, Princess Märtha has proven herself to be quite the entrepreneur. She's a children's author, and her first book, Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns, focused on a familiar topic, the Norwegian royal family. Beyond her literary pursuits, the princess also trained as a Rosen therapist (a form of alternative medicine) and opened an alternative therapy center called Astarte Education, which was the subject of intense scrutiny.
The daughter of Princess Anne is different from many of her family members: She has no royal title, an effort on her parent's part to give her and her brother, Peter, a more normal life. However, this lack of a "princess" before her name hasn't held her back. The royal is both an Olympic equestrian (she won a silver medal during the 2012 London Games) and a designer of equestrian clothing for the brand Musto.
Like his sister, Phillips is no stranger to the concept of a "day job." He's held a number of posts at companies like Jaguar (corporate hospitality manager), WilliamsF1 racing team (sponsorship accounts manager) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (manager). Most recently, he's taken on the role of managing director at SEL UK, a position he's held for three years.
SOPHIE, COUNTESS OF WESSEX
The Countess of Wessex began a career in public relations before she met her husband-to-be, Prince Edward – and she didn't stop working once she did. Sophie worked for a number of public relations and media companies before launching her own PR agency, RJH Public Relations. After marrying Edward in 1999, she continued working until 2002, when both she and her husband decided to leave their respective jobs to focus on royal duties full-time.
PRINCE EDWARD, EARL OF WESSEX
Queen Elizabeth's youngest child made a few high-profile attempts to delve into a non-royal career. After leaving his post in the Royal Marines, Edward decided to enter the world of show business. He first worked as a production assistant at composer extraordinaire Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful theater company. The gig was pretty glamorous: He worked behind-the-scenes on smash success musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera and Cats.
CHARLENE, PRINCESS OF MONACO
Before she married Prince Albert of Monaco (you may also know him as Grace Kelly's son), the South African-born princess was a professional competitive swimmer. A career high point? Competing for her home nation in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. While she no longer competes, she still has ties to the Olympics as a global ambassador for the Special Olympics.
QUEEN MéXIMA OF THE NETHERLANDS
Argentina-born Méxima wasn't always a royal. Before meeting husband Willem-Alexander, she worked for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, an investment bank, in New York City. Today, her banking days are far behind her – not that we can blame her. Balancing a banking career with full-time royal duties (and mothering her three daughters!) would be an impossible task.
QUEEN LETIZIA OF SPAIN
Before she was sought after by the press, Queen Letizia was the press. The one-time journalism major worked for a number of Spanish and Mexican newspapers, and she later was an on-air reporter for outlets such as CNN and Bloomberg, covering events like the Iraq War and September 11.
MARY, CROWN PRINCESS OF DENMARK
Remember Julia Stiles's early aughts teen flick The Prince and Me? That movie is basically Princess Mary's life story, give or take a few details. All right, a lot of details, but the basic premise is the same: A foreign, civilian woman and the heir to the Danish throne fall in love. And, like Stiles's character, Mary had professional ambitions of her own. Before marrying Prince Frederik, she worked in advertising for a number of years, holding positions at companies such as Young amp Rubicam, Microsoft and Mojo Partners.