The Middletons are a big household name and have been for quite some time now since Kate, the eldest daughter of Carole and Michael, walked down the aisle with Prince William. However, the family seemed to be mostly unknown and were even referred to as ‘commoners,’ but the family was far from being an average middle-class family. The family is now considered one of the most influential families in the world and has been making headlines since.
So much has happened since Kate’s marriage, including her sister’s marriage, which cost over a million dollars, scandals involving how the family makes their money and even scrutiny into whether their business is legit.
Carole and Michael brought up their kids in a village close to Newbury, Berkshire called Chapel Row. The kids had a charmed life and attended high-end private schools while the parents apparently ran a very successful business involving party planning. They are now all grown and have ventured into various careers as their parents continue to run their business. Kate’s marriage to Prince William, living in the spotlight wasn’t part of their plan, but the family has surprisingly adjusted to their recent royal affiliation roles.
Below are 15 untold truths about the Middleton family.
15 The Middletons Are Considered “Commoners”
Michael and Carole might be parents to successful kids - well at least two, with Kate married to a prince, but they actually lived an ordinary life. The parents were somewhat middle class and regular people until Kate changed their lives.
Michael however came from a wealthy family, and a trust was devised by a descendant of the family, Francis Lupton, which evolved into different holdings types. The trust controlled a share in property holdings all over Leeds, a stake in a shopping center and the family business. The Lupton Property Holdings did quite well and collected a huge amount of rent.
Upon his death, Lupton insisted that his wealth was used specifically to educate his descendant’s, which explains Kate’s fee at Marlborough that costs £27,000 annually.
Michael not only inherited money from his dad but also got around £100,000 previously when his mom passed on in 2006. The Middletons are therefore better off than an average middle-class family with properties, businesses and an exclusive membership in the Queen’s Tennis Club.
Not so common after all?
14 Did Kate Plan To Marry Will?
It is known that the lovebirds attended the University of St. Andrew's in Scotland together and people, therefore, assume that the duo either met at a party or in a class. That is actually further from the truth.
Katie Nicholl, a royal biographer who wrote Kate: The Future Queen, states that the pair most likely met before they started classes. Nicholl interviewed several of Kate’s former classmates from Marlborough who claimed that the couple met before registering for college through mutual friends.
Kate was initially supposed to enroll for a university in Edinburgh, but quickly changed her mind and took a gap year, which had her signing up at the University of St. Andrew’s. Reportedly, after news about Prince William attending the university became public, applications increased by 50 percent.
Speculation has gone around that Kate actually changed her choice of university to get closer to the Prince and if it’s the truth, it clearly worked in her favor.
The couple remained friends in their first year despite both seeing other people. Everything changed after the fashion show, where she caught her future husband’s attention after wearing a tiny see-through dress.
13 Brother James Was Called 'The Black Sheep'
The 31-year-old worked with the family’s party planning business initially, but decided to venture on his own and launched his own company that sold kits to clients who were looking for customized cakes. In May 2015, the company known as Cake Kit Company was dissolved. After this, James invested in a different venture, Boomf, which is a customized gift business and a marshmallow company that has grown to offer various gifts. Boomf, however, isn’t doing so well and reportedly had losses of over £900,000 in 2017, according to abbreviated accounts registered with Companies House.
However, in an interview with The Daily Mail, James refuted the claims stating that the company would break even the following year. James has had an on and off relationship with Donna Air, a British television personality since 2013. There have been controversies surrounding their relationship, including a breakup, but in an interview, James insisted that they got back together.
12 Pippa Middleton's Book Tumbled Down The Charts
Pippa, born Philippa, is the middle child and she became thrust into the limelight after her sister’s wedding to the Royal family where she wore a form-fitting, sexy dress as a bridesmaid (which she later called insignificantly).
Pippa graduated from the University of Edinburgh and worked briefly at a public relations firm, Table Talk, in 2008 as a marketing and PR coordinator. Her job involved promotion of luxury products and the company’s clients, but she later shifted jobs and worked as an events manager.
Pippa worked with her family’s company, Party Pieces, where she wrote blog content for the company’s website.
While at Party Pieces, Pippa published a book dubbed A Year of British Festivities for Family and Friends, which was published by Penguin, but reportedly wasn’t well received.
The book is packed with inspirational ideas, crafts, and recipes and contains clear illustrations and beautiful designs.
11 Uncle Gary Caused Quite A Bit Of Controversy
Gary Goldsmith is Carole’s younger brother and the most controversial of the Middletons. The uncle of the Middleton trio can be relied upon to spark gossip.
Gary is a self-made millionaire who has invested IT recruitment and is what we’d call a lovable all rounded rogue. Since Gary catapulted into fame, he has made several bloopers, including a 16-page interview he gave to Hello!
The bloke spends half the year at his scandalous Ibiza house, crudely dubbed La Maison de Bang Bang. Gary was filmed offering illegal substances to a reporter working undercover for News of the World. Goldsmith boasted to the journalist about a holiday his niece, Kate, and the husband took at his villa. Afterward, he did snow as he offered to set up the reporter with high-end female workers.
Uncle Gary has had a shaky relationship with the Middletons due to the numerous times he ended up in the press.
10 The Media Called Out Their Family Business
Carole and Michael’s main source of income comes from the sale of kids Halloween costumes. The costumes have been criticized by some people, referring to them as 'racy.'
In a scandal that occurred in October of 2017, Halloween costumes manufactured by their company were interpreted by a majority as sexualizing girls of tender age. This scandal definitely puts Kate in the spotlight. However, the profits and losses of the company are unavailable to the public, increasing the speculations as to how the family made their fortune.
According to TheSun.co.uk, the family is definitely no average middle-class one with properties ranging from a flat in Chelsea, which is worth around £1.2 million and owes no mortgage. The family also has an annual membership to the exclusive Tennis Club, which is the Queen’s in London where they pay a cool £11,000 annually.
Other properties that the family owns are in Bucklebury, Berkshire – including commercial buildings worth over £1.3 million and their personal detached house worth around £1 million and land that was bought for cash back in 2005.
9 Pippa's Wedding Cost Over A Million Dollars
The Middletons seem to be the most successful with businesses ranging from writing to party planning. Pippa reportedly made over £200,000 between 2013 and 2014.
Since her sister’s wedding in 2011, paparazzi have constantly pursued her every move, her then boyfriend questioned by the press and every outfit she wore was scrutinized. She once described how startling it felt to be recognized globally on her sister’s account.
The wedding did not get as much attention and viewership as Kate’s, but got attention, nonetheless. Pippa wedded James Matthews, a hedge fund manager who reportedly surprised her with a proposal. Lady Glen Affric was the title she inherited upon getting married to her boyfriend, who proposed with less than a year into courtship. Sounds a little bit opportunistic!
The engagement ring reportedly cost a whooping £200,000, while the wedding cost over a million dollars according to The Daily Beast.com. The ceremony cost ten times what normal UK weddings cost, and 350 guests were invited.
8 The Middleton’s Ancestors Were Famous
Here’s just some dandy information to put in the back of your mind:
the Middletons are distant relatives to George Washington, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society based in Boston has published a book that investigates the ancestry of Kate Middleton, and according to them, the wife to the Prince is George Washington’s eighth cousin, seven times removed. Sounds so complicated you don’t wish to wrap your head around it, but in layman’s terms, both Kate and George had a common ancestor, Sir William Gascoigne who died in 1487. Sounds totally ancient!
The brunette is also apparently related to Francis Scott Key, the legendary songwriter who composed the national anthem of the United States. Turns out the Middleton family is one of the families at the end of the 17th century who moved to Virginia in the United States.
Tom Champoux, the genealogical society’s marketing director argues that if that’s the case, tens of thousands of Americans are therefore distant cousins of the Middletons.
7 Papa Middleton's Bag Of Money
The family would probably not be in the position that they are in now if not for the inheritance that Michael received from his family. Upon the death of Michael’s dad, he bequeathed an estate worth £432,121, the net sum of all outstanding debts and affairs were settled. The amount was shared among the four sons, which was a very timely windfall for Michael and Carole who’d promised to chip in up to £50,000 for Kate’s big day.
The family owned a prominent wool manufacturing and selling venture that dates back to the 18th century. The affluent family managed to run a very profitable business with family biographer’s stating that their assets through many generations have trickled down.
Michael Middleton was brought up in Leeds, a city in West Yorkshire. His dad was a pilot and the Telegraph reports that a neighbor they interviewed claimed that Michael and his brothers attended boarding school and the wealthy family seemed refined despite being down to earth.
6 The Middleton Kids Attended Exclusive Boarding Schools
The trio, thanks to the trust set up for them and their parents’ party supply business, got to attend the most exclusive boarding schools in Britain, which charged high tuition fees. Kate for instance, enrolled in St. Andrew's Prep School located in Reading. The mom of three was a day boarder then and the school that occupies 54 acres of land is known to charge up to £16,950 annually for a weekly boarder.
According to the Mirror, while at a meet-and-greet at her former school with the students, she described her experience at St. Andrews as amazing, stating that she loved it and hoped to go to back teaching.
All three Middleton siblings, James, Kate, and Pippa went to the high-end Marlborough College, where the annual boarding fees cost over £32,000.
Clearly, rubbing shoulders with the elite significantly increased their upbringing expense, which was definitely a price worth paying.
5 The Family Lived In Jordan For Two Years
The family was able to travel and live abroad, spending a couple of years away in the Middle East when the girls were tots. Michael and Carole moved with the girls to Jordan for two and a half years. The family moved in 1984 to Amman when Kate and Pippa were two years and eight-months-old respectively.
Michael Middleton was working for British Airways at the time and agreed to relocate and work in a new position for the airline’s headquarters. Kate was registered into an English pre-school and her mom, Carole, stayed home to watch Pippa since she was on maternity leave. The family seems to have managed to keep most of their life a secret as there was probably nothing of great note that occurred, but the family released a photo of Michael and his girls in Jerash while at the Roman ruins among other photos.
4 Kate And Pippa Are Very Close
Kate and the sister Pippa were reportedly close as kids and the girls were only a year apart. According to AOL.com, the girls loved to host camping game parties as kids in their Victorian, picturesque home in their childhood backyard.
During their uncle’s wedding in 1991, the girls twinned as bridesmaids.
They also enjoyed helping out in the family business while younger and enjoyed the usual county walks, as well as anticipated Christmas celebrations where their dad amused them by rocking various costumes and making an entrance as a sumo wrestler one year. Their age proximity could explain their closeness, but probably the girls just have the sisterhood bond. The inseparable duo both attended Marlborough College and were both on the hockey team where Pippa was the captain.
The young sisters, while living in their Chelsea mansion remained roommates for a while. Totally adorable!
3 ...And Love Spending Time Together
Pippa insists that the sisters’ relationship has remained rock solid and in an interview in 2014 on the Today Show, Pippa told Matt Lauer that their relationship is just like any other normal sister relationship and described being close to her sister, adding that they are both supportive of each other and completely respect and understand each person’s opinions.
The sisters have on several occasions been photographed together and seem to have a lot of common interests, including watching tennis. They attended the Wimbledon Championships in 2012 and have continued to go to matches together, along with their partners in the stands. Kate and Pippa both watched Prince William on the sidelines in 2006 as he participated in a polo match and in 2007, Kate and Pippa went to a book launch party in London together. In 2008, the girls were photographed having a girls’ night out in London.
In 2011 they attended a wedding in England at the St. Michael and All Angels church. The sisters were also there for each other during their weddings, right by the side of the other proving that they’re inseparable. Their brother, however, seems to be missing from every photo.
2 Kate's Parents Worked In The Airline Industry
Carole was born in London to Ronald and Dorothy Goldsmith and was brought up in Southall. She is actually related to the Queen Mother, but distantly. However, the mom of three has ancestors who have worked as both miners and laborers in County Durham. Carole worked as a flight attendant with British Airways.
James on the other hand, was born to the Lupton family, which is a famous and affluent dynasty. James attended Clifton College, which is in Bristol after which he became a flight dispatcher with British Airways.
The two, despite coming from different backgrounds met while both working with the airline. They fell in love and married in 1980 in Buckinghamshire at St. James Church. Despite being together for over 35 years, the CloserWeekly.com reports that rumors have been making rounds about them having a divorce.
Carole had her first child in 1982, who she named Catherine, Pippa followed in 1984, and James was born in 1987.
1 Family Holidays In Mustique
The family loved to holiday in Mustique, which is a Caribbean island. Kate got to fly out in 2016 for the family holiday with the folks, sister and brother. Prince William was left behind at his Anglesey home in North Wales since he had just returned from a hunting holiday with his brother, Prince Harry, in Spain.
The Daily Mail reported that Prince William wasn’t able to make time out of his busy work schedule to join Kate, but he later flew out to meet his wife and her family in the Caribbean before the holiday ended. The Middleton family flew to St. Lucia on first class tickets from Gatwick and eventually transferred to Mustique. The island is popular for its beautiful beaches and balmy climate with conducive temperatures.
The DailyMail.co.uk states that Kate’s parents had a plan underway to purchase a holiday mansion on the island since they regularly visit.
Kate and William also spent some time at the island in a luxury villa in 2006. The islands have often been associated with royalty after Princess Margaret purchased ten acres of land on the island in the sixties.