People are obsessed with the royal family of England. Maybe our deep love of all things royal comes from childhood; watching Disney movies in which the main characters are some form of prince or princess. Monarchs enthrall us—they take us back to the days of yore when the heads of state were not elected by officials but were born into rule. Maybe they are so interesting because they reflect a modern image of a time long ago.
Pippa Middleton is not technically royalty—yet. She burst onto the scene after her now-famous sister married into the royal family. Pippa is smart, funny, and beautiful—and she has made a lot of faux pas that are rare to see in someone associated with the Queen of England. Her radiant smile has been plastered on magazine covers because of her family—but now she is getting attention for something all of her own.
She is pregnant.
But what do we really know about Pippa Middleton? What did she do before she was thrust into the spotlight? What is she like? Who is the baby’s father?
Worry not, friends. We have culminated 15 facts about Pippa that paint a clearer picture of who she really is…
15 Her Real Name Is Not Pippa
That’s correct—just when you thought you at least knew one thing about Pippa—you realize you don’t know much at all. She is still very mysterious. As it turns out, most of us did not even know her real name. While Pippa is a cute nickname—it is just that.
Her christened name is Philippa Charlotte Middleton. (Am I the only one who is now putting two and two together that her niece, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, might be named after her?) But according to ABC News, most of her family calls her Pip.
Philippa means “lover of horses” and is of Greek origin. King Edward of England married Philippa of Hainault in the fourteenth century, which may have introduced the name into the masses. The name had fallen out of fashion but has recently made a comeback, and Nameberry suggests that is actually popular on British Girls Names Lists.
It would be interesting to know how much of the name’s popularity was inspired by Pippa herself.
Fun fact: members of the royal family have been influencing what parents name their kids for generations. A study by ancestry.co.uk. show that they have been shaping trends as far back as the 1800s.
14 She Is A Professional Party Planner
Professional party planner sounds like a pretty sweet gig, doesn’t it? You get to spend other people’s money and plan them fantastic, awe-inspiring get-togethers that incorporate an array of themes and products! How fun!
Express details how Pippa went from a public relations job to “promoting luxery goods”, before she found a place at a London company that organized events: Table Talk.
Pippa also wrote a party planning book, entitled Celebrate, that fans were expecting to contain all of the fabulousness of Pippa herself, but most were sorely disappointed.
Gordon Rayner, Chief Reproter for the Telegraph wrote, “Her debut book was one of the most eagerly awaited of the year, but when it was published in October it immediately became one of the most widely ridiculed.”
Maybe writing a book was not her strong suit…
One Amazon reviewer noted, “Ina Garten's book is better, but this one is interesting and the recipes are ok. Not fantastic but not bad. I admit that I bought it because it was by the duchess's sister and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I don't regret buying it. Cute book to have lying around on a table and consult once in a while.”
13 She Has More Than One Tie To Royalty
By now everyone should be aware of Pippa’s most obvious tie to royality—her sister Kate’s marriage to Prince William. But Pippa has made connections of her own to people high up in the English court—she has been dancing in their circles for some time now.
When attending university at Edinburgh, Pippa roomed with George Percy. Percy is the oldest son of the Duke of Northumberland (I know this name sounds made up but I swear this is all real).
Back in 2001, the Telegraph published a piece on Pippa’s connections to Percy. “It stated, For 700 years, the rich, ruthless and noble Percys of Northumberland have been turning up in all the most interesting places – in jails, on the end of pikestaffs, across fields of battle and in the pages of Proust. But now things are serious. Pippa Middleton, our shapely First Sister, is reported to have fallen into the arms of a Percy. If so, history suggests she would be wise to watch out.”
The publication may have gotten the pair’s relationship wrong, but it did not stop the masses from questioning if another Middleton sister would marry into royalty.
Sorry guys, Pippa apparently had other plans.
12 She Was Once Named "No. 1 Society Singleton"
If you are not British than this title of “No. 1 Society Singleton” might sound so random that it does not have much meaning. Maybe equating it to something American would make it more relatable—like People’s Most Eligible Bachelors. But this list has both males and females on it.
The 2008 edition of Tatler magazine put Pippa at the number one position on the list, and her completion was stiff. She was paired against James Blunt and Princess Eugenie.
In 2014 the magazine put Pippa on its cover again with the title, “Pippa: The Bottom Line”. The photo was taken at the royal wedding and shows a black and white snap shot of Pippa’s smiling face.
Journalist Annabel Rivkin wrote within the publication, "Pippa seems almost to have become the whole point of the most recent royal wedding. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are jolly and popular; the consensus seems to be that William has chosen wisely and that Kate is a solid, grounded middle-class soul who will inject some focus into a royal family battered by its own human frailty. But while Kate and William bounce off to Wales, where he can be a helicopter rescue pilot and she can be a housewife, Pippa…has gone global.”
11 She Is Married To James Matthews
On Saturday May, 20th, 2017 Pippa married James Matthews. They wed at St. Mark’s church in Englefield whose attendees included a list of royals and celebrities.
But who is this James Matthews? What does he do and where did he come from?
Matthews is a financier—i.e. he manages a hedge fund. He also has a lot of common ties with Pippa—he went to school with both of her brothers-in-law—Prince William and Prince Harry. Matthews has clearly done well for himself for it is estimated that his net worth is over £2 billion ($2.6 billion). Ain’t too shabby…
Romper reports, “With what he brings home as a financier, it's clear that Matthews can definitely provide for his family, whether that be just him and Middleton or the couple with a baby. But, let's talk numbers: according to The-Net-Worth, the reported dad-to-be is estimated to be worth about $2.6 billion. Yes, you read that correctly, he's reportedly a billionaire. And it seems like Matthews is definitely smart with his money, too. According to Heavy, Matthews learned a lot about finance and, as such, he eventually chose to start his own hedge fund group, the Eden Rock Capital Management Group, in 2001.”
10 Her Wedding Included Royalty
It is common for most tight-knit families to include each other in their weddings, and so is the case for Pippa Middleton. Lucky for Pippa, her little niece and nephew are not only adorable but they are royalty.
Prince George was a page boy in Pippa’s nuptials, while Princess Charlotte was a bridesmaid. And may I say-- they almost stole the show. Charlotte was dressed in a light cream dress with a mocha colored belt, tied neatly in the back in a bow. She also wore a sweet headband adorned with fresh white flowers. George wore a collared white shirt and adorable green bottoms. The children looked straight out of a magazine.
Harpers Bazar reported that the Duchess of Cambridge herself “organized the procession of page boys and bridesmaids that would escort the bride down the aisle. While on line, Charlotte gave the photographers on standby a cheeky smirk–and stuck out her tongue. The youngest bridesmaid in the bunch, Charlotte stayed close to Kate before the ceremony.”
The article went on to explain that, “Noted as being nervous about how her children would handle the crowds and behave at the ceremony, Kate was every bit the super mom before and after the ceremony.”
9 She Had A "No-Ring, No-Bring" Wedding Policy
Pippa Middleton apparently did what most of us should have done at our weddings—she made a “no ring, no bring” policy. The idea is that you do not have to pay for people’s guests who they are not serious about. In an effort to keep the wedding smaller and more intimate, only the most important and lifelong friends attend.
Pippa did leave some wiggle room for certain guests. Technically, although Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are engaged, they are not yet married. Technically, Meghan should not have been able to attend the ceremony. I guess Pippa has a soft spot in her heart for the actress.
AOL reports, "Although Pippa originally planned to only have Meghan at her wedding reception, she's instead decided to officially invite the "Suits" actress to all of the ceremonial events. It's worth noting that the groom's brother, Spencer Matthews, will not be permitted to bring his own girlfriend, Vogue Williams. (Hey, for the most part, Pippa was serious about that rule!)”
To be fair to Meghan she does have a ring on her finger, be it an engagement ring not a wedding ring. But the rule implies that a ring is all you need…
8 She Had Troubles Involving A...
Pippa Middleton has lived for a while now in the spot light, which means that inevitably something dark would come to light. She is a person, a human, and our species is known for being less than perfect.
Pippa was riding in the front passenger seat of a convertible in Paris when the subjects inside started being haggled by the paparazzi. (Does this story not sound scarily reminiscent of Princess Diana already?).
The driver of the car pulled a gun and pointed it towards the photographers.
Complaints were filed and the police were called.
"If the evidence points to [Pippa Middleton's] involvement, she will be prosecuted," a judicial source told Us Weekly. "Anybody involved in the illegal use of a handgun in public is liable to arrest and interrogation."
The Telegraph reported that Pippa “thought it was funny. It is fine in France to do that and the police are not investigating.” He went on to explain "I have spoken with Pippa, she thinks this is all a joke and a funny game. We were just having a laugh. We are funny people, it's what we do.”
French police didn’t think the incident was as humorous. But no charges were filed against Pippa.
7 She's Kate Middleton's Younger Sister
Pippa Middleton is the younger sister of Kate Middelton, who married Prince William…making Pippa sister-in-law to the future king of England. No big deal.
An interviewer once described the differences between Pippa and Kate. He stated, “Her hair is different, too - while Kate's distinctive swishy brunette mane is her crowning glory, Pippa's hair is straighter, darker, and more under control. As is Pippa. Although friendly and humorous while talking about her new book she is nervous and hesitant when she fends off questions she feels are, as she puts it, 'out of bounds.' But just occasionally her dark eyes take on a steely glint when she speaks about the downside of life in the spotlight.”
He went on to say, “Instantly familiar as one of the most photographed women in the land, she is much prettier in the flesh. At 5ft 6ins she is 4in shorter than her older sister, and, at 33, 18 months younger. She is dressed down in a white collarless blouse from Joseph and a pair skinny dark blue chinos from upmarket fashion brand Massimo Dutti, set off with a pair of navy flats. Perched on the chair next to her is a £200 black tote from the luxury British brand Lamb.”
6 She Was A Brownie
Can you not just picture perfectly how cute Pippa Middleton would have been in her little Brownie costume? Both her and sister Kate were in a Brownie troop when they were children, boasting yellow and brown uniforms , and big old smiles.
A photograph, published by The Daily Mail, show the two sisters in the back row of their troop picture which was taken in 1991 at the Bradfield Southend Village Flower Festival. Kate (Catherine) was nine-years-old at the time and Pippa (Phillppa) was seven. The Daily Mail interviewed Brown Owl June Scutter who was in charge of the pack, and remembered the two sisters very clearly.
Mrs. Scutter stated, “There was a cook but the girls had to help with the housework and make their own beds. They had to follow an itinerary and spend a couple of days washing up or wiping up or sweeping to get their badge. They would peel potatoes and onions, which would make them cry. Some of them had never even done the washing-up before.”
Perhaps some of their Brownie training helped them later on in life when they were on a first name basis with the Queen of England. “They would bring in a cake and table decoration and make tea,’ said Mrs Scutter. ‘It was good preparation for the future.”
5 She Graduated From University
Pippa isn’t just a pretty face—she is also quite smart. Both her and her sister, Kate, attended Scottish universities; Kate to study history at St. Andrews, and Pippa to study English at Edinburgh.
Express reports , “As soon as she arrived she made sure she joined the right circle,” says one acquaintance. “At Edinburgh, the aristo crowd is divided into two social sets. One crowd goes to London at weekends to party and the other set is a bit more staid and go to each other’s country houses for the weekend. Pippa joined the country set.”
Pippa graduated in 2007 and moved in with Kate in flat in Chelsea. The apartment, owned by the girls parents, was estimated to upwards of £850,000 at the time—a nice place for two recent college grads to crash.
Pippa is not just book smart—she has handled her fame with grace. Kate Reardon remarked to the New York Times, "How she exploits these opportunities is going to be very much up to her—there are many people in her situation who, within weeks, would befalling out of nightclubs and hanging out with celebrities and getting a huge head about all of this."
4 She Is Extremely Charitable
Pippa Middleton fits the stereotype of a proper English woman, especially the clause about being charitable. Pippa is an ambassador for Too Many Women, a breast cancer research foundation. Piippa donates not only her name and money, but also uses her skills as a party planner to raise funds for the cause.
Pippa told The Sunday Times in regards to a Spanish-themed party she threw to benefit the fund, "[The event] was very simple: We had about 95 people and really good music. I was going for quite cool Ibiza chic, and a lot of good dancing."
Pippa has been linked to other organizations, as well. She is involved with the Mary Hare School which “provides education and support to both profoundly and severely deaf children and young people from all over the UK.”
Principal of the school Tony Shaw commented, “Mary Hare spends a lot of time and energy finding new ways of telling families of deaf children about its work. We really value Pippa’s support which will undoubtedly bring the School to the attention of a much wider audience. I want every family of a deaf child in the UK to know about all the options for their child’s education, and that includes Mary Hare School”.
3 She Is Very Fit
Remarking on the body of a woman in this day and age seems passé and unnecessary. But for the sake of argument, Pippa is not only very fit but very into fitness. This is not so much commentary about her body, but more shedding light on the fact that she is a very active person.
She does not sit around in a dress painting her nails all day.
ENews reported that Pippa has a “tireless workout regime (especially in the months leading up to her wedding) comes a killer fitness closet to match.”
ENews went on to describe Pippa as a “fitness fanatic, Pippa always has subscribed to healthy living and exercising. She casually climbed the Swiss Alps for charity last April; seriously, it was a 33-mile charity course, which she completed in five hours and 58 minutes. She also took part in the legendary Inferno race in Switzerland a few months prior, and less than one month later she competed in the Birkebeiner Ski Race in Norway.”
See what I mean—this girl isn’t just fit—she is really into fitness. There are not a lot of celebrities out there who are racing through the Swiss Alps and running 33 miles by choice.
2 She Is A Dog Person
Pippa is apparently a dog person. She has a Cocker Spaniel that she named Rafa, and also a black Labrador that is her husband, James’, dog. Pippa is often seen around London dressed in boots and coat, walking her pups.
The press is quick to point out Pippa’s innate happiness, and maybe some of that is due to her canine companions. Psychology Today published a piece detailing the incredible health and emotional benefits to having a dog.
It states, There is now a large amount of data confirming that pets are good for your psychological health and may increase, not only the quality of your life, but also your longevity. The benefits are not just short term but last well beyond the time that the pet is in the room, and the positive effects build up over time. One important study of 5,741 people was conducted in Melbourne, Australia. Researchers found the pet owners had lower levels of blood pressure and cholesterol than non-pet-owners, even when both groups had the same poor life styles involving smoking and high-fat diets.”
As an added bonus: researchers say that "babies who grow up in homes with a pet — namely a dog or a cat — are less likely to get sick than children who live pet-free."
1 She Has A Great Sense Of Humor
Pippa Middleton was already drawing attention to herself before her sister, Kate, married Prince William. But it was not until the wedding day when Pippa was a bridesmaid, that she really made the papers. Her star rose to the top of the sky that fateful day.
People referred to her as “the world’s most famous bridesmaid” for the sheer, formfitting dress she donned at the couple’s nuptials. The Alexander McQueen dress was already slightly taboo for being white like the brides (a big no no), but what really caught people’s attention was the fact that Pippa had to bend over multiple times to pick up the train for Kate, at which point the shape of her backside became very apparent.
Pippa handled the situation like a pro.
According to The Mirror, Pippa acknowledged that wearing that dress did not go exactly as she had planned. "As I have found out, recognition has its upside, its downside and — you may say — its backside,” she quipped.
Her quick humor and ability to make light of a somewhat embarrassing situation only garnered her more fans. Women seemed to be relieved to see that someone as beautiful and poised as Pippa could be a real human, as well.
References: abcnews.com, thedailymail.com, Nameberry.com, ancestry.co.uk, express.co.uk, nytimes.com, amazon.com, telegraph.co.uk, pippa-middleton.co.uk, usmagazine.com, eonline.com, romper.com, www.the-net-worth.com, psychologytoday.com, time.com, people.com, mirror.co.uk, AOL.com, usweekly.com,