Inside life of most down-to-earth royal… second-hand car funded by £7-an-hour job to refusing ‘attention-seeking’ title | The Sun

Inside life of most down-to-earth royal… second-hand car funded by £7-an-hour job to refusing ‘attention-seeking’ title | The Sun

THERE'S not much that's 'low-key' about the Royal Family – but one of its youngest members is resisting its traditional pomp.

Lady Louise Windsor, the granddaughter of the late Queen Elizabeth, is following in the footsteps of her down-to-earth parents, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

This week the King's 19-year-old niece was spotted driving a second-hand Volkswagen Polo – which a source tells The Sun she saved up for while working at a local garden centre, earning £6.83 an hour.

Her job responsibilities included working the tills, greeting customersand pruning the plants, with an onlooker claiming she was "polite and attentive" and "seemed to be loving the job".

Our insider says: "The idea of taking a summer job came from Louise herself, who had been saving for her first car which she could use to practice on the private roads of the Windsor estate.

"The amount she saved from her first job was matched by her parents, and she bought a second-hand blue VW Polo and went on to pass her driving test first time."


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Louise left school last year with four A-Levels in English, History, Politics and Drama, which secured her a spot studying an English degree at St Andrews University, where Prince William and Kate Middleton met.

Taking up a part-time summer job was her idea – encouraged by her mother Sophie, who had a successful career in PR before her marriage to Prince Edward.

Sophie did not go to university after leaving West Kent College, where she trained as a secretary, but was keen to see her daughter pursue a more academic path.

In an interview three years ago, Sophie said: “I hope she goes to university. I wouldn't force her, but if she wants to. She's quite clever.” 

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Prince Edward and Sophie were determined to give their kids a 'normal' upbringingCredit: Rex Features
Lady Louise is now a student at St Andrews UniversityCredit: Rex

Sophie added that she and Edward try to bring up Louise and her younger brother James, 16, with "the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living".

Louise appears to have taken this in her stride, and has even turned down the royal title she is entitled to use.

When she turned 18 in November 2021, Louise had to make the decision whether to use her HRH title.

Her cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have both adopted them, as their dad Prince Andrew reportedly wanted them to have full HRH status.

Sophie – who has left the decision up to her children when they are old enough – previously said she thought it was “highly unlikely” her daughter would adopt it.

A close friend of the family tells The Sun that shortly before her 18th birthday, Louise said she had no wish to use her full title in everyday life, after discussing it with her parents.

The friend adds: “Louise is a lovely, genuine, down-to-earth girl with no sense of entitlement.

"She does not see any need to use the ‘adornments’, as she calls them, which can often attract more attention than they are worth.

“This means that Louise will always be a member of the Royal Family, just not a ‘professional’ full-time working royal.

"She's more like Zara Tindall and her brother Peter Phillips – they have their royal birthright but are not hands-on ‘balcony royals'.”

In line with the wishes of the late Queen, Edward – who was previously the Earl of Wessex – passed his title to his son James after becoming the new Duke of Edinburgh earlier this year.

Naturally Louise has enjoyed some trappings of being a royal – including growing up in the £30m Grade II listed Bagshot Park mansion set within 51 acres of land in Surrey.

But she was largely kept out of the spotlight and was only seen during special occasions – like the wedding of the now Prince and Princess of Wales, where she served as a flower girl.

In a previous interview Sophie spoke about how she and Edward were intent on giving their children a normal upbringing.

"They go to a regular school," she said. "They go to friends for sleepovers and parties. At weekends we do lots of dog walking and stay with friends.

"I guess not everyone's grandparents live in a castle, but where you are going is not the important part, or who they are. When they are with the Queen, she is their grandmother."

When Louise was younger she had problems with her vision as she was born with esotropia, a condition that turns the eyes outward.

At 18 months old she underwent a failed procedure to correct her eyesight – but a second operation yielded positive results in 2014.

This inspired her mum to become a patron of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

High street style

While other members of the royal family often wear pricey designer outfits, Lady Louise usually opts for high-street brands.

In August last year she was spotted in a chic floral dress from high-street retailer Reiss on her way to church.

That same month she was seen in a dress by Reformation at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and wore a Ghost number to the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Though she does have some posh gear that are hand-me-downs from her mum.

Earlier this year she went out to dinner in a green Mary Katrantzou dress first worn by Sophie in 2015.

A few weeks afterwards Louise sported a £35 Hayfield Fedora hat and a Stella McCartney coat that previously belonged to her mum.

Low-key holidays

The family also enjoy volunteering, and were pictured helping out with the Great Beach Clean in Southsea in 2021.

All dressed in jeans, they looked like any other family – and weren't afraid of mucking in and getting their hands dirty.

When it comes to holidays, the family tend to keep them low-key. Later this month they'll spend some time at Balmoral, where it will feel strange with "no granny".

Our insider tells us Edward and Sophie and Louise and James have been invited to carry on the tradition of the royal Scottish sojourn by King Charles.

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They say: "A big difference this year is that they will virtually have Balmoral Castle to themselves.

"Charles and Camilla will entertain guests there but have opted to sleep at Birkhall, a cosier house just three miles away, which used to belong to the late Queen Mother."

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