Royals Who Quietly Worked A Regular Job

It seems Dolly Parton perfectly summed up society's general feelings toward work when she sang, "Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin' / Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin' /... It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it." Given the opportunity (or the financial windfall), the vast majority of us would probably quit our jobs in a heartbeat. Because frankly, there are just far more exciting things to do with our time than toiling away at some tedious data entry gig or dealing with cranky patrons in customer service. But the same can't be said of everyone — such as celebs who quietly work a regular job when they're not hitting the recording studio or film set.

Similarly, the royals on this list actually sought out extra work. In addition to their official duties as representatives of various monarchies, they've taken on ordinary careers, working as everything from sports agents to nurses to authors. So not only do they spend a big chunk of time representing The Crown as princes and princesses or dukes and duchesses, but they also hold down a more typical 9-to-5 gig, dealing with all of the stress and responsibility that comes with that. Read on to see which royals are quietly pulling double duty.

Princess Beatrice is a 'hardworking' royal

She may be ninth in line to the throne, but Princess Beatrice has always held down a 9 to 5. The eldest daughter of Prince Andrew, this royal is a favorite among millennials for her outrageous fashion sense and down-to-earth approach to life. She, unlike many of the other Mountbatten-Windsors, has pretty much always seemed relatable, likely thanks to the fact that she really knows what it's like to be a working woman and a working mother.

According to her LinkedIn profile, the princess has worked as the vice president of partnerships and strategy at software company Afiniti since 2016. While she's never spoken openly about what exactly her position entails, the Daily Beast has speculated that she's essentially a brand ambassador for the company, using her name and celebrity to attract clients to the relatively new start-up. And while that might be true — at least to some degree — we like to imagine that she's also a cutthroat executive, who's using the skills she learned at Goldsmiths, University of London to help build a thriving and successful business. And, given the fact that some of her pals told the Daily Beast that Beatrice is "hardworking," with the outlet adding that she appears "keen to make a success of her life in her own right," we might just be right.

Princess Eugenie paired her passion for art with her work

Princess Beatrice's younger sister, Princess Eugenie, has also always had a regular job. The younger York sister, who attended Newcastle College, chose a career path that's quite different than that of her elder sibling. Rather than attending board meetings and developing software, Eugenie spends her days surrounded by fine art and eccentric artists.

In 2017, the royal was promoted to director at Hauser & Wirth, a contemporary art gallery in the UK's capital. She had worked in art houses and auctions since 2013, both in London and New York City, and according to sources who spoke to outlets like Hello! magazine, Eugenie is apparently both incredibly talented at what she does and a seriously hard worker. That workplace motivation, the princess herself has said, comes from her passion for her field. In 2016, she told Harper's Bazaar, "I've loved art since I was very little. I knew I definitely wouldn't be a painter, but I knew this was the industry for me. I love being able to share my passion for art with people."

It may seem odd that two royals who are so high in the line of succession would hold such normal positions, but according to their father, Prince Andrew, that was all by design. In a since-deleted Twitter statement, the prince once said, "As a father, my wish for my daughters is for them to be modern working young women, who happen to be members of the Royal Family, and I am delighted to see them building their careers."

Peter Phillips is a sports and entertainment agent

Prince Andrew wasn't the only member of the royal family to insist his children have normal lives with normal opportunities. His elder sister, Princess Anne, famously didn't give either one of her children royal titles in the hopes that they'd have more freedom to choose what to do with their futures. As a result, both of her offspring hold down traditional jobs (in addition to occasionally representing The Firm in an official capacity).

Anne's eldest, Peter Phillips, is 17th in line to the throne. He's also a booked and busy sports and entertainment agent. After graduating with a degree in sports science from the University of Exeter in 2000, the royal took a job in the offices of a Formula One racing team. He spent several years in the role, before transitioning to the head of global sponsorships for the Royal Bank of Scotland. Using all of the skills and connections he'd picked up in those demanding positions, Phillips eventually opened his own agency, Sports & Entertainment Limited, in 2012.

The small but mighty company does a bit of everything, from creating and running original events to connecting potential sponsors with elite athletes and performers. One of their biggest clients? Phillips' younger sister, Olympic equestrian Zara Tindall.

Zara Tindall's multiple roles in the world of horseracing

Like her older brother, Zara Tindall (who's 20th in line to the throne), also has a day job in the sports and entertainment arena. After graduating from the University of Exeter with a degree in physiotherapy, Tindall initially pursued a career as a professional equestrian. She spent around 15 years in the saddle professionally, competing in international events and at the 2012 Olympics (where she won a silver medal!), before taking an extended leave of absence to raise her family.

During this six-year break from the arena, Tindall remained involved in the sport, taking on a new behind-the-scenes role in the world of horseracing. In 2019, she accepted a position as the director at Cheltenham Racecourse. She told The Jockey Club, "I'm passionate about horseracing, particularly on the Jumps side, and the absolute pinnacle of that is Cheltenham." Tindall added, "Racing is simply the most exciting sport and it's open to all. It's an honor to have been asked by Martin St Quinton on behalf of The Jockey Club to get involved in a more formal capacity and I look forward to doing my bit to support the executive team in the years to come."

As far as we can tell, Tindall has remained in this position, as of this writing. Though she's also returned to the ring as a competitor, representing Great Britain at events in more recent years, such as the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in April 2023.

Crown Princess Mary gave up her day job to be a royal

It's not just Britain's royals who hold down 9-to-5 jobs, either. At one point, Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark also had a regular position prior to taking on her royal duties.

Born in Australia and raised between there and the U.S., Mary graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1994. She initially went into advertising and spent several years pushing paper at some of the country's largest agencies, working her way up to a sales director position in the early 2000s. Then she met her future husband, Crown Prince Frederik, during the 2000 Olympic Games (which were, of course, held in Sydney), and appeared to realize a move to Europe would be necessary if she intended to pursue the relationship.

So, Mary up and relocated to Denmark (with a career pitstop in Paris, where she briefly taught English), where she was hired by Microsoft Business Solutions as a project consultant in 2002. The future princess held that position up until the couple's 2003 engagement, swapping her private sector job for a gig as a full-time working royal. But her time as an ad executive seems to have made her all the more aware of the issues her subjects face in their own lives. Mary established The Mary Foundation in 2007 and uses her platform to advocate for the likes of equality, empathy, and environmental sustainability. "I've always had a strong sense of justice: that everyone should have the same opportunities, no matter where you come from," she told Financial Times in 2022.

King Willem-Alexander has a side gig as a guest pilot

Of all the royals on our list, we were most surprised that King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has held down an (occasional) day job in addition to his full-time position leading a country. While the monarchy in the Netherlands has very limited powers, his schedule is still packed with public appearances, charitable endeavors, and the occasional constitutional responsibility — just like his British counterpart, King Charles III. But that hasn't kept Willem-Alexander from taking to the skies.

According to the Netherlands' royal family's official website, the king earned his private pilot's license back in 1985 and his commercial pilot's license two years later. These accomplishments (in addition to a handful of other pilot's certifications over the years) have allowed him to fly passenger aircrafts like the Boeing 737 and Fokker's many models. In a 2017 interview with De Telegraaf (via The Washington Post), he revealed that those licenses hadn't just been taking up space in his wallet, but had actually been going to use, as he'd been working as either a guest pilot or co-pilot about twice a month for a commercial airline for decades.

Willem-Alexander told the outlet that the pressures of his official role are what motivated him to pursue this ordinary career. "You can't take your problems from the ground into the skies," the king explained. "You can completely disengage and concentrate on something else. That, for me, is the most relaxing part of flying."

Crown Princess Marie-Chantal is all about that work-life balance

King Willem-Alexander may have to balance his part-time gig with his official duties as a monarch, but the British born Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece doesn't have to worry about walking that fine line. In 1973, the country's monarchy was abolished — and the royal family that she had married into in 1995, now stripped of all power, was forced into exile. While Marie-Chantal and her husband, Crown Prince Pavlos, certainly had enough hereditary wealth to live off of indefinitely (her father founded Duty Free Shopping), they both elected to get day jobs instead.

For her part, Marie-Chantal started a self-titled children's clothing brand with both luxury and high-street lines. In a 2022 interview with Sheer Luxe, the royal credited her entrepreneurial parents with giving her the inspiration to start her own venture. "My father ... remains a great role model to this day. ... Despite being a busy businessman travelling the world, he was also a wonderful family man. Raising my five children while also being a wife and having a career is something I always wanted to emulate and achieve," she said.

Undoubtedly, Marie-Chantal's status as a Greek royal has opened doors for her and allowed her business to grow at an accelerated rate, but it hasn't all been smooth sailing. She told the outlet there have been plenty of times when she struggled to balance work and motherhood as her royal brood splits time between London and New York City.

Princess Sofia was a hospital volunteer during the pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many folks found themselves without jobs as the world shut down around them. Sweden's Princess Sofia, however, found herself holding down a regular job for the first time ever.

According to People, the young royal began working at Sophiahemmet Hospital — of which she's the honorary chair — not long after the virus really began spreading in March 2020. Her position was voluntary and entirely non-medical (she did a lot of menial tasks like cleaning, disinfecting equipment, and preparing meals for patients), but it did require her to complete an intensive training course. "In the crisis we find ourselves in," the palace released in a statement, "the Princess wants to get involved and make a contribution as a voluntary worker to relieve the large workload of health care professionals."

While it's unclear how long Sofia remained at the job, there's still something to be said for her willingness to step into the fray when she could have just as easily remained tucked away in the palace, safe from the effects of the quickly spreading illness.

Princess Märtha Louise's spiritual abilities led to a controversial gig

Princess Sofia might have chosen a practical and straightforward career path, but her counterpart, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, did the exact opposite. Fourth in line to the throne, Märtha Louise is the eldest child of King Harald V and Queen Sonja. She's also a self-proclaimed clairvoyant.

In 2007, this royal decided to use her unique abilities for personal gain and opened a spiritual school that, according to People, aimed to teach and "help people get in touch with their angels." The program led to other opportunities, like the webinar circuit and various publishing deals, and Märtha Louise's entrepreneurial efforts caused enough controversy that she agreed to stop styling herself as HRH — and later as a princess — to avoid further conflict (especially with the country's church, which frowned upon her ventures). The school would eventually shutter, but that doesn't mean Märtha Louise has stepped away from her chosen career path.

She has since began working with clients privately alongside her fiancé, Shaman Durek Verrett. "Her powers are intense," he told People. "... I see things; she sees the blind spot of what I see. So when I see something in someone, she comes in and completes the picture from the other side." A favorite among celebrities, Verrett has worked with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Nina Dobrev. We can only imagine how much more successful their endeavors will be now that they've combined his star-studded clientele list and her royal reach.

Sarah Ferguson has worn many hats over the years

Sarah Ferguson's time as a working member of the royal family may have been short-lived (she was only married to Prince Andrew from 1986 to 1996), but she's still regarded as an official member of The Firm (at least according to Lord Chamberlin's Office). However, given her divorced status, she doesn't necessarily benefit from the royal coffers and instead must fund her own lavish lifestyle (though her divorce settlement was reportedly generous).

Over the past several decades, the Duchess of York has held down a number of jobs from British TV host and "Today" show correspondent to Weight Watchers spokesperson and film producer. While Fergie unfortunately once struggled with debt, her most successful endeavor to date has been as an author. She has written a series of children's books called "Budgie the Little Helicopter," which have since been turned into an animated series. Her adult novel debut, 2021's "Her Heart for a Compass," was also a massive bestseller and has reportedly caught the interest of a number of streaming services, all of whom are looking to turn it into the next "Bridgerton," per Variety.

It seems topping The New York Times bestsellers list isn't enough for this royal, though. In May 2023, it was announced that Ferguson was set to become a podcast host on "Tea Talks with the Duchess & Sarah." According to the podcast's Spotify page, the weekly series would see Fergie and her co-host, entrepreneur Sarah Thompson, engage in "candid conversations as they spill the tea on the roller coaster of life."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle launched Archewell Productions

Sarah Ferguson isn't the only member of the royal family to build a career in media. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have done something similar with their company, Archewell Productions.

In early 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex famously announced that they would be stepping back as working senior members of the royal family. While they still hoped to represent The Crown in select ways, they didn't want to be front and center the way they had been previously. At the time, the couple also emphasized their desire to establish their own brand and earn their own money instead of relying on the family purse. And well, we all know how that eventual royal family feud has played out.

These days, Harry and Meghan have little to nothing to do with the royal family's duties, and instead focus all of their professional energies on Archewell. As of this writing, the company has signed a deal with Netflix (which is reportedly worth $100 million) and completed two docuseries, including the self-titled "Harry & Meghan." They also have a $25 million podcast deal with Spotify, producing "Archetypes" for the platform. Plus, there have been other ventures on the side — with Meghan completing voiceover work for Disney, and Harry taking on a job as chief impact officer at BetterUp Inc. — but their primary focus is undeniably their own entertainment forays.

Prince William piloted air ambulances

Given all the drama that surrounded Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's desire to step back as working royals and earn their own way, you might be surprised to find that they weren't the first in the immediate line of succession to pull a move somewhat similar to that. Harry's older brother, the heir-apparent Prince William, was once responsible for fewer official duties and held down an ordinary job.

Beginning in 2015, the future king worked as a helicopter pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance team, a charitable organization that provides care to critically ill and injured patients across the UK. While he largely flew under the radar, there was at least one occasion where his work landed him in the headlines and even earned him a mention on "Good Morning Britain" in 2016. But according to a statement released by Kensington Palace in 2014 (via Us Weekly), Wills wasn't in it for the paycheck, as he planned to donate every penny of his earnings to charity.

As his role in the royal family grew and changed, the prince wasn't able to continue juggling his official responsibilities with his outside career. So in 2017, William retired, writing in a note (re-printed by the Eastern Daily Press) that the experience had been moving and educational while noting that it had "instilled in me a profound respect for the men and women who serve in our emergency services."