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Kate Middleton Had a Job Working as a Deckhand for $6.81 an Hour

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  • Before she became a member of the royal family, Kate Middleton held a very low-status job as a deckhand on a fleet of Challengers.
    • Kate worked the job for four months before she started college and earned just $75 total for 11+ hours of work each day.
      • Royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl described the details of the summer job in her book, Kate: The Future Queen.

        Before she was the Duchess of Cambridge—before she was even the girlfriend of a prince—Kate Middleton was just a normal teen working terrible jobs for almost no pay. The summer before Kate started college at the University St. Andrew's (where she would meet Prince William and begin her fairytale love story), Kate scraped together extra cash by working as a deckhand.

        Like many jobs held by young people, the pay was low and the hours were long. Kate earned just $75/day for her trouble and worked from 7 a.m. until at least 6 p.m. That means that, during a typical 11-hour day on the boat, Kate was earning roughly $6.81 per hour. To do hardcore manual labor. Oof.

        In her book Kate: The Future Queen, royal expert and biographer Katie Nicholl says that Kate spent four months working on Challengers at the Ocean Village Marina in Southhampton. Nicholl wrote of Kate's time on the job:

        "She took her meals on the boat and slept in a sparse and very small cabin in a bunk bed she shared with a fellow female deckhand....The boats were hired out by businesses eager to treat their clients to a day of luxurious hospitality, culminating in an afternoon racing on the Solent, the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England. As well as washing the decks, Kate was expected to help load the 660-pound catering boxes on board and wash and pack away the sails at the end of the day."

        "It was back-breaking work," Cal Tomlinson, one of the skippers Kate worked under at the time, told Nicholl for the biography. "Kate mucked in and was very professional. She fitted right in, although she did stand out for being so pretty. She spoke well, she was very attractive, and she an air about her. She was competent and confident but very unassuming. She was polite and respectful to whoever was in charge of her and neat as a pin. She was never wore any makeup; she was naturally beautiful."

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