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 William—Kate 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
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.