Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want to be royals who work a regular job. The couple made their plans clear when they announced their decision to transition out of their roles as “working royals.” This isn’t something members of the British royal family typically just do, and when outlets like Us Weekly began reporting that Harry and Meghan didn’t have Queen Elizabeth’s permission to make that announcement, the plot certainly thickened. Understandably so, the announcement led to several questions: Why were they stepping back from the royal family? Would they still have to abide by the royal rules? How will they make money?
As far as that last question goes, some precedent has been set by members of royal families across Europe who chose to forge their own careers. In fact, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle need to look no further than the prince’s cousins, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, for examples on how to balance a career while still “technically” being a royal. Though, there are definitely examples beyond these two women. The following royals are out there working regular jobs.
Princess Beatrice is a VP at a software company
There’s a reason you don’t see Princess Beatrice on official outings like her cousin Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton — she doesn’t have to. Princess Beatrice isn’t a “working royal” and isn’t paid by the Sovereign Grant that funds the members of the royal family who do work for the queen full-time, according to Good Housekeeping. Instead, after Princess Beatrice completed her degree in history at Goldsmiths, University of London, she entered the workforce and got a regular job.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Beatrice worked as an analyst for Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. until 2015 and, in 2016, became the vice president of partnerships and strategy at software company Afiniti. According to the company’s site, “Beatrice is responsible for the management of the strategic Afiniti partnerships as well as company growth through unique initiatives and client development.”
Beatrice’s father, Prince Andrew, is nothing but supportive of both Beatrice and her sister’s occupations. He revealed in a statement to People, “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.”
Princess Eugenie is the director of an art gallery
Princess Eugenie followed in her older sister’s footsteps and became a “modern working young [woman]” like the girls’ father wanted. The youngest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson earned a degree from Newcastle University in english literature, art history, and politics back in 2012. After her studies, Eugenie moved to New York in 2013 to get a regular job. According to Us Weekly, she began working for auction house Paddle8.
After a couple of years in the United States, Princess Eugenie moved back to London to work for the art gallery Hauser & Wirth, a representative for the gallery told Hello! magazine. Princess Eugenie explained her responsibilities to Harper’s Bazaar, saying, “Part of my job is planning special projects, supporting the artists in the gallery and managing events.”
Eugenie went on to say that she’s always loved art. “I knew I definitely wouldn’t be a painter [laughs], but I knew this was the industry for me. I love being able to share my passion for art with people,” she said. “If someone doesn’t understand something, you have the ability to suggest, ‘Maybe you can look at it this way.’ That’s what I find most thrilling about working in a gallery.”
Peter Phillips founded a sports and entertainment agency
Peter Phillips is probably a name unfamiliar to those without knowledge of the intricate inner-workings of the royal family. When he was born, his mother, the queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne rejected the offer of a royal title for her children in the hopes that, according to BBC News, likely in an effort to give them a normal childhood. While Phillips has undoubtedly gone on to lead a relatively quiet life compared to the more high-profile members of his family, there’s no way to say whether his lack of a title helped in that matter.
After earning a degree in Sports Science from the University of Exeter in 2000, Phillips’ Linkedin profile reveals that he went on to get a regular job or, rather, series of jobs. He held positions at Jaguar, Williams Racing, and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
In 2012, Phillips became the Managing Director at sports and entertainment company SEL UK Ltd. According to the company’s website, Phillips is responsible for increasing “the commercial value for both sports and entertainment rights holders in the UK, whilst delivering world class events to London.”
Princess Michael of Kent is an accomplished writer
Princess Michael of Kent is married to the queen’s first cousin, Prince Michael. As members of the extended royal family, the couple does not perform official royal duties or receive public funding, according to Town & Country. However, Princess Michael and her husband support the queen at some events and act as patrons of several charitable organizations.
While Princess Michael does have a more regular job than working royals, her job is unique compared to other non-working royals’ positions. According to her website, the princess has released seven books, including three works of historical nonfiction and The Anjou Trilogy, a fictional series. In addition to her books, Princess Michael has had an extensive career as a lecturer.
Before she became a royal and accomplished author, though, Princess Michael was an interior designer. She even ran her own interior design company, Szapar Designs, according to her site.
Zara Tindall is an equestrian champion
Zara Tindall, Princess Anne’s daughter and Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter, followed in her mother’s footsteps and became an accomplished equestrian, even winning a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, according to Hello! magazine. Though her racing days aren’t yet behind her, as of this writing, Tindall started a new role in 2019 that is quite perfect for someone who has dedicated so much of their life to equestrianism.
According to Devon Live, Tindall became a director at the Cheltenham racecourse (via Hello! Magazine). Of her new regular job, Tindall said, “I’m passionate about horse racing, particularly on the Jumps side, and the absolute pinnacle of that is Cheltenham. Racing is simply the most exciting sport and it’s open to all.” She continued, saying, “It’s an honour 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.”
Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece founded a clothing line
The members of Greece’s royal family don’t receive quite as much media attention as their British counterparts, which has likely aided in Princess Marie-Chantal’s quiet success. Before the princess was set up on a date with the Crown Prince of Greece, she was once a student in New York City who loved art and design, according to her site. However, Marie-Chantal’s royal courtship didn’t mean an end to her studies. In fact, it was just the opposite.
Marie-Chantal told Vanity Fair, “When I was pregnant, I started to get itchy feet again. And I was desperate to do something on my own merit.” That itchy feeling led her to launch her own line of children’s clothing. As of this writing, the company, also named Marie Chantal, ships to over 45 countries, with Marie-Chantal serving as the CEO and creative director, according to the company’s Linkedin page.
Of the company, Marie Chantal also told Vanity Fair, “The business is what makes me me. That’s why I called it Marie-Chantal – with no ‘princess’ or anything.” She continued, saying of her regular job, “It gives me my independence. It gives me incredible pleasure and focus. And it belongs to me 100 percent.”
David Linley owns a furniture company
David Linley, the son of Princess Margaret and photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, has lived a much quieter life than his notorious parents. His name hardly (if ever) makes headlines the way the working royals’ do, allowing Linley to focus on his passion he’s had since he was a child: furniture making.
According to Vanity Fair, as a child, Linley loved to be in his father’s rooms — and not just because of the beautiful models who were often around having their photos taken by Armstrong-Jones. Linley recalled to Vanity Fair that he loved the “avant-garde” furniture his father made and that love of furniture ultimately led him to his professional endeavor: opening an eponymous furniture company.
While in the past, and growing up, Linley made many of his pieces himself, he was honest about his current role to Vanity Fair, saying: “I’m sort of the enabler. I’ll look at a space and I’ll put furniture ideas in it. But I very much try to encourage the next generation of designers to come through. That I like doing. That’s exciting.”
Prince Joachim of Denmark is a farmer
Prince Joachim of Denmark is not likely to rule the Danish throne. However, according to the Danish royal family’s website, he sometimes acts as regent when his mother, the queen, and his older brother, the heir apparent, are abroad. Because he is further down the line of succession and doesn’t have the weight of the monarchy resting on his shoulders, he’s likely had ample time to pursue his interests and get a regular job.
Before beginning a military career, Prince Joachim worked on a farm and studied “agrarian economics,” according to the Danish royal family’s site. Then, the Prince went on to embark on a long military career that eventually led to him becoming a lieutenant colonel in 2011.
Despite his extensive military background, Prince Joachim’s interest in farming never went away. In fact, according to the family’s site, Prince Joachim owns and runs “farming and forestry operations,” which primarily center on industrial agriculture.
Prince Nikolai of Denmark is a model
Much like his father, Prince Joachim of Denmark, Prince Nikolai has paved a different path for himself than that of your typical royal. According to the Evening Standard, Nikolai signed with a modeling agency in 2018 and has quickly made a name for himself in the industry. Shortly after beginning this new venture, Nikolai caught the eye of Dior and has worked regularly for the luxury brand ever since.
Since Prince Joachim himself didn’t shy away from pursuing his own interests, according to the Danish royal family’s website, he wanted the same for his son. According to the Billed Bladet, Prince Joachim said, “He shouldn’t be forced into anything. Nikolai’s life must go completely according to his own plan. I want to help him along the way and try to inspire him.”
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