I used to earn £1,000 a day as a Kate Middleton look-a-like and it set me up financially for life

KATE Middleton doppelgänger Gabriella Munro Douglas tells how the Duchess changed her life.

Gabriella, 33, would make up to £1,000 a day attending corporate events and private parties as a lookalike and now co-owns a small business hub. Gabriella lives in south-west London with her partner Michael, 36, and seven-month-old twin daughters May and Joy – in a flat bought with her lookalike work earnings. 

“Driving through the centre of Melbourne in an open-top carriage, I smiled at the crowds lining the streets, waving flags and taking photos. It was surreal.

“As a Kate Middleton lookalike, I was being paid to pretend to be the Duchess – and at moments like that, I really got a taste of what her life must be like. 

“My sideline career as Kate’s doppelgänger had begun almost three years earlier, in 2011. I lived in Windsor, where I worked as a furniture designer and buyer, and in the months leading up to Kate and William’s April wedding, I kept getting stopped by people telling me how much I looked like her.

“I didn’t think much of it, but my mum Jacqueline and Nanny May, then 91 and a huge royalist, agreed. Mum, who was ill at the time with bowel cancer, persuaded me to let her send a photo to a lookalikes agency. 

“Sadly, Mum died a few weeks later, in April 2011, aged 58. Shortly afterwards, I was signed up by the agency, then offered my first job that August – a photo shoot with Alison Jackson, known for her lookalike pictures of celebrities.

“Mum had always encouraged me to be independent and financially secure, and I feel like her sending my photo off to the agency was her parting gift to look after me, which was a real comfort.

“After that, things really took off. Kate mania was huge. I worked my nine-to-five job, fitting in lookalike work during evenings and weekends, which was exhausting, but I loved it.

“Soon I was earning anywhere from £650 to £1,000 per day. But it wasn’t just about the extra money – it was so much fun and I got to meet some lovely people. I did lots of meet and greets, corporate events, private parties, and photo shoots in beautiful venues. 

“There were some wonderful jobs, such as going to the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony and appearances on ITV’s The Xtra Factor. I’ll never forget Harry Styles asking to have his photo taken with me.

“There were several lovely William lookalikes around, but I mainly worked with Simon Watkinson, who was side-hustling from his day job as an engineer. He’d been doing it for years, so he showed me the ropes. 

“Of course, emulating Kate meant I had to keep up with her wardrobe and accessories, but thankfully it was quite easy.

“I learned to do my hair and make-up like her, and closely followed press articles for ideas of high-street versions of her clothes.

“I remember when she was pictured in a Topshop polka-dot dress and I had to dash out of work to buy one before it sold out. When she was pregnant with Prince George, I even bought a fake bump to wear for appearances.

“There were some crazy moments, like in February 2012, when Alison Jackson arranged for me to go to Harrods with a Pippa lookalike.

“It was a frenzy, with people mobbing us, thinking we were actually Kate and Pippa, which was intimidating. And in July 2013, I was filming outside Buckingham Palace when news broke that Kate was in labour with Prince George. It was chaos, with tourists grabbing me for selfies. 

“In April 2014, I was flown first class to Australia with a William lookalike on a faux ‘royal tour’, at the same time as the real Kate and Wills were there. As well as our royal procession around Melbourne, we appeared on breakfast TV. It really made me realise how much Kate had to be ‘on’ all the time. 

“As fun as it was, I always knew my sideline as Kate would come to an end. So in 2016, I decided to hang up my court shoes to focus on launching my own business.

“I met my partner Michael in 2019 and he loved hearing about all my adventures as Kate, but doesn’t see any resemblance!

"Nanny May, who sadly died in 2018, was one of my biggest fans when I was working.

“Even today, people sometimes stop me in the street to tell me I look like Kate.


Victoria Beckham lookalike Camilla Shadbolt claims she can earn £10,000 a day impersonating Posh Spice

"She changed my life in so many ways – impersonating her brought me a lot of happiness and a great deal of fun.

“Financially, it enabled me to afford my first flat in London. I feel incredibly grateful – both to Kate, and of course to my lovely mum.” 

Source: Read Full Article