Before she became a royal, Kate Middleton did things women her age normally do. Today, people look up to her as the Duchess of Cambridge — a royal wife, mom of three, a humanitarian and England’s future queen. But since she did not step into the spotlight until her engagement to Prince William, most people are still in the dark when it comes to how she lived her life as a commoner.

As a young single lady, Kate also experienced going to the supermarket in her casual outfit, attending night parties with her cliques and spending summers with her family. She may be a commoner then, but she came from a well-heeled family running their own business. Here’s a glimpse of Kate’s life before she became the global icon that she is today.

Life Of the Party

When Kate finished college, she breathed a sigh of relief. As she tried finding her footing after completing her studies, she spent her days hanging out with friends, dancing her nights away at clubs and festivals and painting the town red. Photos of Kate attending book signings and visiting Wimbledon also made the rounds online a few years ago, showing a typical zesty lady making the most of her life.

Jack Of All Trades

Although Kate was born into a wealthy family, she made it a point to earn a living after graduating from Scotland. She has always been a skilled and talented lady, so it’s not surprising that she had taken on different jobs before she married into the royal family. Her first job was as an accessory buyer for British retailer Jigsaw. She also worked as a photographer, web designer and marketing officer for their family business, Party Pieces. She continued working in their company until she married Prince William.

Doting Girlfriend

Prince William and Kate started to date when they were still in college, so she started being a paparazzi darling in her early twenties. The world has seen how her relationship with Prince William has blossomed from close friends to sweethearts, and everyone has grown to admire Kate for being everything a future royal wife should be — supportive and doting. Back when they were still in their dating era, Kate would always attend Prince William’s polo matches and back him in all his endeavors.

Sweet Sister

After college, Kate and her sister, Pippa, moved to an apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood, which their parents purchased in 2002 for their children. The siblings lived there together until Kate married Prince William and moved to a farmhouse on Welsh Island. Even after Kate’s marriage to the prince, she has remained close to her siblings and family.

Kate Middleton Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visits The Foundling Museum to understand how they use art to make a positive contribution to society by engaging with vulnerable and marginalised young people. Eddie Mulholland-WPA Pool/Getty Images