'I'm a Kate Middleton lookalike and I travel the world with doubles of Prince William, the Queen and even Harry Potter'

Heidi Agan was working as a waitress in 2011, around the time of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding, when the same thing started happening.

Handing out drinks at work, people began to comment on how much she looked like Kate.

At first, she took little notice of her apparent resemblance to the Royal Family member, until customers started requesting to be served by her, or asking whether she’d mind having her photo taken with them.

“I didn’t really think anything of it,” says Heidi. “I didn’t realise that lookalikes even existed, that you could make a living, that it was a job – that there was a whole community of people. So I just sat on it for a long time.”

'I'm a Kate Middleton lookalike and I travel the world with doubles of Prince William, the Queen and even Harry Potter'
© Heidi Agan Heidi on her way to an event

But after six months of being stopped – increasingly often – Heidi finally decided to send her pictures to Susan Scott, the owner of a celebrity lookalikes agency.

Within four days, Susan had got her her first job: impersonating Kate Middleton at Gatwick Airport for the Olympics.

“It was nerve-wracking – it was the first time I’d ever done it – and it’s not quiet at Gatwick. There were a lot of people around,” says Heidi.

“It was a ‘jump in at the deep end’ kind of job. You look at pictures of that and you think: ‘Gosh, I’ve learned a lot since then.'”

I’m talking to Heidi on a video call. With her brown hair loose and wearing a smart black polo neck, she does look exactly like Kate.

She’s speaking, not from Kensington Palace, but from her home in Northamptonshire, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Since that first event in 2012, Heidi’s career has taken off. She is now billed as the UK’s most realistic Kate Middleton lookalike.

Heidi looks so similar to Kate that she is frequently mistaken for her in public.

'I'm a Kate Middleton lookalike and I travel the world with doubles of Prince William, the Queen and even Harry Potter'
© Heidi Again Heidi and Simon Watkinson, a Prince William lookalike, regularly work together

She can detect people staring at her, trying to work out who she is, and she’s often asked for her picture.

“I wouldn’t want to have that all the time – I wouldn’t want to be her – but the snapshot of her life is really cool,” she says.

Heidi might not have known much about it initially, but being a celebrity double is a big, and potentially lucrative, business.

Susan has 20,000 clients on her books, from Winston Churchill to Harper Beckham to Jurgen Klopp.

She has most lookalikes for Jason Statham and represented 200 Kate Middletons at her peak. Heidi, says Susan, is dedicated to the job, and “actually looks a lot like her”, making her one of Susan’s most popular clients.

Pre-pandemic, Heidi’s services were in high demand. Some days, she’d work multiple events a day, travelling to the North of England in the morning and down to London at night.

Her work took her abroad too: New York, Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, Australia.

“The variety of jobs is huge. No two days are the same – no two jobs are the same,” says Heidi. Her work schedule corresponds closely to the Royals’ own: if they’re busy, she’s busy.

“Events like the Jubilee, the birth of Prince George, the Olympics, the Queen’s 90th birthday – those generate a lot of work. Whenever there’s a big royal event, there’s always going to be some fun events for us as well.”

'I'm a Kate Middleton lookalike and I travel the world with doubles of Prince William, the Queen and even Harry Potter'
© Heidi Agan Heidi and the Queen (Mary Reynolds) have become good friends through working together

Alongside the gig at Gatwick, work as a lookalike can involve commercials, meet and greets, corporate events and private parties – alongside more unusual undertakings.

Heidi was once flown to Melbourne for 10 days for an advert for Chinese Jersey milk – one of the highest-budget jobs she’s been involved in.

“That’s an experience I’ll never forget, and probably never have again,” she admits.

One of her most unusual jobs, she says, was a private party in Austria, where she was hired alongside a Harry Potter lookalike and Mary Reynolds, who impersonates the Queen.

“It was the weirdest trio, but we had a fab time,” says Heidi. “You know, when your family or friends ask what you’re doing this weekend and you’re like: ‘I’m just nipping over to Austria with Harry Potter and the Queen’, it can seem bizarre.”

She adds: “Anything where you get to travel and do things out of the ordinary, you just thank your lucky stars. Because of waitressing, I would never have had those opportunities. Sometimes I think: how can I call this work?”

As a waitress, Heidi was a single mother, supporting her young daughter and almost teenage son and struggling with the unsociable hours.

“Being able to pick and choose when you work, for the children’s sake, is priceless. In terms of my time, and not missing a nativity, or not missing a sports day, that’s something you can never get back. For me, that was the most important thing,” she says.

'I'm a Kate Middleton lookalike and I travel the world with doubles of Prince William, the Queen and even Harry Potter'
© Heidi Agan Despite having to copy Kate’s outfits, Heidi says she is a

As an established lookalike, Heidi also has greater financial freedom.

Her salary can vary significantly depending on the length and type of job, but Heidi says she can earn “anywhere from £500 to thousands. It just depends what we’re doing.”

On average, Susan says that established clients can expect to earn £500-£750 for a half-day shift, plus travel expenses.

Of course, Kate Middleton is – literally – royalty. And it is not easy to replicate her look, down to the precise detail, without that royal budget.

Heidi’s tips? AliExpress and TK Maxx, where she says she can pick up pieces for between £30 and £50.

“I try to invest in pieces that I think she’ll re-wear, or block colours that I can wear on multiple occasions,” she explains.

Thankfully, Kate’s penchant for high street dressing comes in handy for Heidi – although competition is fierce.

“When she wears something from Zara, you jump in the car and you go and find it,” she says.

But for all Heidi’s studious observation, there can be setbacks. Currently, for example, Kate has started to favour a longer hemline, which means Heidi needs new outfits.

'I'm a Kate Middleton lookalike and I travel the world with doubles of Prince William, the Queen and even Harry Potter'
© Heidi Agan

“A lot of the clothes that I have now are redundant – you have to start again,” she says.

This kind of attention to detail is a key part of Heidi’s job, from Kate’s mannerisms — “She always licks her lips in Westminster Abbey”— to her clothes, working with a seamstress to replicate the exact size of Kate’s baby bumps during pregnancy.

She says: “I’m continually Googling pictures of the back of Kate’s head so that we can see how high her layers go – you know, stuff like that, that I don’t think normal people would care about. But to me, it’s vital.”

Heidi adds: “You only become as good as you want to be. I spend a lot of time looking at the mannerisms and what they do…that can set you apart from someone else.”

There are many things that are unconventional about Heidi’s job, but one of its most challenging aspects is the lack of mentorship – the support that most of us expect in our careers.

“There’s not really anyone you can ask for advice,” says Heidi, mentioning that the onus is on her to adapt and develop to the demands of the job.

“There’s no lookalike training – you can’t go to lookalike school. You become as good as you can make yourself, I suppose.”

One thing that helps with this is being part of a close-knit community of lookalikes. She works regularly with Simon Watkinson, who impersonates Prince William, as well as Mary Reynolds, who doubles as the Queen.

'I'm a Kate Middleton lookalike and I travel the world with doubles of Prince William, the Queen and even Harry Potter'
© Heidi Agan The Queen (Mary Reynolds) attended Heidi’s wedding

“I’ve travelled the world with Simon more than I have my actual husband – that’s quite bizarre,” says Heidi.

Mary, on the other hand, is also a close friend and attended her wedding. “We have this bizarre, alternate family…we have all these strange experiences together that I don’t think anybody else could comprehend. It’s a nice little bond and community.”

There are perks to these friendships too: Heidi’s daughter has FaceTimed with Harry Potter, whilst her class received a message from Mary, as the Queen, when they were studying the monarchy at school.

In 2020, the pandemic put a halt to Heidi’s busy working schedule. With events cancelled, work for the past year has been sparse – and Heidi even took the opportunity to get a shorter haircut, knowing she could have a break from Kate’s.

Even now, Heidi says that the volume of work is less than a normal year when she’d usually be doing corporate Christmas parties.

“We all need to get our boosters and get in complete control. We’re hopeful for the Jubilee [in February],” she says.

Heidi is a year older than Kate – “technically, she’s my lookalike” – which signals a long and illustrious career as her double.

“At the moment, the Royals have got longevity. The Queen [Mary Reynolds] has been doing it for 30 years, and there are lookalikes out there who have had a massive career…fingers crossed I’ll be Queen one day,” she says.

'I'm a Kate Middleton lookalike and I travel the world with doubles of Prince William, the Queen and even Harry Potter'
© Heidi Agan Heidi on set

Heidi speaks about her job in glowing terms – she’s the only person I’ve ever met who says she’s never had a bad day at work.

“I really do enjoy it. If you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d be doing it, I wouldn’t have believed it,” she says.

“The experiences and opportunities that I’ve had, the people I’ve met, the new friends, the new family I’ve made – it’s just unreal. I’m forever thankful.”

Throughout our conversation, Heidi compares her job to acting – to playing a role like any other, and being able to shake it off at the end of the day.

But there’s a clear level of devotion that goes beyond that usually expected of actors, playing a role for a set length of time: having her hair cut like Kate’s, maintaining a similar weight, keeping track of her clothes. Does it infringe on her life as Heidi Agan?

“The lookalike world is very separate from my own world,” says Heidi. “I think there’s a huge misconception about lookalikes, that they go around looking like that person all the time, trying to seek attention. That’s not what happens. You’re paid to do a job and then you come home.

“…Infringing on my daily life? I don’t think so. Sometimes I take a picture with people and that’s great, but otherwise, I scrape my hair up in a ponytail and carry on.”

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