Kate Middleton's Coworkers Once Humiliated Her With a Prank at Work

Kate Middleton is known for keeping her composure at all times. Once, when the duchess was working on a boat before college, Kate almost lost her cool when coworkers played an embarrassing prank on her.

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  • Before she was a royal, Kate Middleton had a very normal summer job as a deckhand at a marina.
  • Kate's responsibilities included giving safety demonstrations to guests and, on one occasion, her coworkers decided to prank her by rigging the life vest she used in the demo to rain condoms on her when she inflated it.
  • According to royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl, Kate was angry at first—making it one of the few documented times that the Duchess of Cambridge has ever lost her cool—but quickly calmed down and never sought revenge.

Kate Middleton is pretty much the epitome of composure. It's almost impossible to rattle her—but a group of pranking coworkers at one of Kate's pre-royal jobs managed to do just that when they humiliated her in front of guests on the boat they all worked on.

Here's the backstory: The summer before Kate started college, she took a job as a deckhand at the Ocean Village Marina in Southhampton, working on yachts. Kate's duties included washing the decks, loading massively heavy catering boxes, packing away the sails at the end of the day, and, sometimes greeting guests and giving safety demonstrations.

It was during one of these demonstrations that Kate's ~hilarious~ [insert eye roll here] coworkers decided to prank her. They rigged the life vest that Kate was using in the demo with condoms so that they would shower Kate mid-presentation, in front of the yacht's paying guests. She was understandably not pleased.

Speaking to royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl for her book Kate: The Future Queen, Cal Tomlinson, one of the skippers on the boats Kate worked on that summer, share the story:

"When she pulled the toggle, the thing inflated and a load of condoms fell out. She was mortified and very embarrassed. She took it more seriously than the others might have, but she wasn't thrown off her stride. She was angry at first, but she settled down, and I don't remember her ever getting them back."

Using her poise to become the future queen of England was probably the best payback, anyway.

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Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.