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Today, the world sees the public image of Kate Middleton as a senior member of the royal family. Yet curiosity remains regarding what the princess is really like behind closed doors. Well, some fellow grads of her high school and college have spoken about what the princess was really like in school.

Here’s what they had to say, plus where Kate worked before she married Prince William and became royalty.

What Kate was really like at Marlborough College

Kate Middleton returns to the University of St. Andrews to launch a fundraising campaign
Kate Middleton returns to the University of St. Andrews to launch a fundraising campaign | Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Long before she married a future king, Kate went to Marlborough College in Wiltshire, England. Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore also attended the school with Kate’s sister, Pippa, and met the future Princess of Wales.

After Kate and William got engaged in 2010, Sebag-Montefiore was often asked what the now-princess was like in person. Prior to the couple’s 2011 wedding, Sebag-Montefiore wrote a piece in The Guardian titled “Don’t be fooled by the school — Kate Middleton is no snooty Sloane.

Sebag-Montefiore said that she’s been asked many questions about the royal including, “Was Kate queenly at school?”

“Not in the slightest,” Sebag-Montefiore responded. “Kate was ordinary, hard-working, athletic and easy-going. Media depictions swing between a snooty Sloane and a dastardly commoner. Both are wrong.”

Kate left Marlborough College in July 2000 but is said to have fond memories of the school. She and William reportedly are even considering sending their oldest son, Prince George, there.

What Kate’s friend at the British Institute of Florence said about her

Kate Middleton wears a traditional gown to the graduation ceremony at St. Andrew's University
Kate Middleton wears a traditional gown to the graduation ceremony at St. Andrew’s University | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Express noted that before Prince William’s future bride headed off to St. Andrews University, she spent a gap year in Chile. Kate Middleton then attended the British Institute of Florence in Palazzo dello Strozzino in Italy where she studied art history.

During her time there, Kate did go out drinking and clubbing but wasn’t a big partier according to a friend.

“She would like a glass of wine but couldn’t really handle her drink. She’d get giggly and silly after a few glasses, so then she would stop,” her friend recalled. “She was never interested in getting really drunk. She never ever let herself get out of control.”

Kate Middleton’s background before she married William


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Before she became royalty, Kate was like any other person. She worked a few regular jobs, including for her parents’ party supply company. Her mother, Carole, has said that each of her children helped contribute to the company’s success.

“It is still very much a family business today, and over the years all my children have played a huge part in it from modeling for the catalog to developing new categories for the brand,” Carole shared on Party Pieces’ website.

The princess was also employed as an accessories buyer for a fashion retailer called Jigsaw.