Kate Middleton Once Had a Pretty Embarrassing Prank Pulled On Her at a Summer Job

It involved a whole lotta condoms.

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before heading off to St. Andrews University in Scotland—where she’d eventually meet and fall in love with future husband Prince WilliamKate Middleton, like many of us, found a summer job to earn some extra cash. But, The Daily Express reports, Kate didn’t wait tables or work behind the desk in an office job: she worked as a deckhand on a fleet of Challenger yachts based in Southampton, a job the outlet calls “backbreaking.”

For her book Kate: The Future Queen, author and royal expert Katie Nicholl spoke to Cal Tomlinson, one of the skippers Kate worked under. Tomlinson says Kate “was very professional” and “mucked in,” but that at one point, Kate’s colleagues—who liked to have fun—played a prank on her.

One of Kate’s duties on the job was giving clients a safety demonstration, which involved showing how the vessel’s life jackets worked, The Daily Express reports.

“When she pulled the toggle, the thing inflated, and a load of condoms fell out,” Tomlinson says. “She was mortified and very embarrassed. She took it more seriously than the others might have, but she wasn’t thrown off her stride.”

Retaliation wasn’t Kate’s style, though: “She was angry at first, but she settled down, and I don’t remember her ever getting them back,” he says.

Despite the prank, Kate apparently still believes in the value of work at a young age: earlier this year, she revealed that her eldest son, Prince George, used his school holidays to move animal feed at the Cambridges’ country home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall.

“That was George’s job at half term—moving feed,” Kate said.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.