This Is Not Princess Catherine

Let’s clear up a few things.

Heidi Agan is not Catherine, Princess of Wales. She has never met Catherine, formerly known as Kate Middleton. She has never been contacted by Kensington Palace, nor is she secretly working with the royal family as part of a cover-up devised to hide the princess from public view.

Ms. Agan is, however, a slender 43-year-old British brunette whose visage bears a resemblance to Catherine’s.

She’s turned looking like one of the most famous women in the world into a job, performing at parties and events as a look-alike for hire. Recently, Ms. Agan has found herself at the center of an international news cycle as rumors swirl about Catherine’s whereabouts following a previously announced surgery earlier this year. When Catherine was said to be caught on camera earlier this month, skeptics were quick to claim that the person in the video was not the absentee royal, but rather a doppelgänger — and some suspected it was Ms. Agan.

She wants to set the record straight. This conversation has been edited and condensed.

How did you become a Catherine impersonator?

It was 12 years ago. I was working as a waitress, and everybody just kept saying how much I looked like her. It was around the time of the wedding. I didn’t even think look-alikes were real or that you could make money doing it. Eventually, I sent my picture off to a few agents and I got my first job a week later. I quit waitressing.

Is this a full-time job for you?

It was. The pandemic killed everything off, and the entertainment industry, I think, has struggled to recover. I work at the head of a dance and musical theater school now, as well.

Do you have a different persona when you are performing as Catherine? How do you act?

As look-alikes, we study the royals quite a lot — the finer details, I suppose, that nobody else would really care about, even down to a perfume she wears.

What’s something specific you’ve learned in your research of Catherine?

She always licks her lips when she’s in Westminster Abbey. Usually when they’re waiting at the beginning to go in.

What does a typical gig look like for you? Do you do a lot of parties?

There are a lot of corporate events. There are a lot of American companies that will bring people over, I suppose top sellers or whatever. They’ll come to London and we’ll often do meet and greets at their welcome dinners, because, you know, you’re not going to get Kate and William to rock up at your events.

Let’s fast forward to the past few weeks.

It seemed like it was quite humorous at the start. You know, “Has anybody seen her?” Now it’s turned into this massive worldwide conspiracy and I somehow got caught up in it.

Have you been harassed online?

I’m getting a lot of messages from people going, “That was you, wasn’t it?” When I say no, they go, “But you’re being paid to be here in this situation to fool us.” Some of the comments are quite vile, but it’s something that I’ve learned to accept. It’s part and parcel of this job.

They’re asking about the recent tabloid video of Catherine and her husband, Prince William, at a farm shop in Windsor. The video is grainy, and many people have speculated that the woman in the clip is actually you. To be clear, was it you?

One hundred percent no. I was at work, at the dance studio, about 80 miles away from where people think I was. For the record, I do think that the video is genuine.

Does this line of work ever make you feel unsafe?

There are occasions where somebody can get a little bit crazy or they can follow you home. It’s usually if I’ve been on a job in London and somebody spots you and they think that you are real. They will follow you as far as they can. I’ve switched trains a couple of times before just to kind of shake somebody.

Are there other Catherine look-alikes?

I think last count there were maybe 135. People think that there’s competition between us, that we all hate one another. That’s not the case. The look-alike world is this weird and wonderful alternate family.

Has the intrigue in the past few weeks been good for business?

Usually when Kate is out of the limelight, like when she was pregnant and she was really sick, work would kind of die off, I think, out of respect for her to make sure that she was OK. That’s what I expected to happen this time. It’s been really strange that it’s kind of gone the other way.

You’ve never met Catherine, right?

No. I don’t think I ever will, either.

If you were to meet, what’s the first thing you’d say?

How do you get your hair to look like that?

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