Millions of people across the world tuned in to watch Prince William and his new wife Catherine exchange vows in 2011, in the biggest royal wedding in decades.
And now the Duchess of Cambridge’s mother Carole Middleton has revealed she had a hand in planning the big day in her first ever interview since being thrown into the spotlight.
The 63-year-old mother of three sat down with British newspaper The Telegraph in her office in Bucklebury in west Berkshire, where she and husband Michael run their hugely successful business Party Pieces, to discuss her family and her “lovely” son-in-law William – revealing she helped Catherine with the finer wedding details in the run-up to the royal nuptials.
“We talked about music… everything. I was involved lots with both Pip’s and Catherine’s weddings,” she told the publication.
However, Carole said that while she had “all the ideas in the world” on both Catherine and her younger daughter Pippa’s weddings, she learned while helping them with the planning that she needed to hold herself back and honour their own wishes, especially when it came to the guest lists.
She no doubt drew from her experience planning every part of her own wedding to Michael, from the venue and wedding breakfast, right down to a bonfire for guests and even a chilli con carne during the evening celebrations.
The Middleton matriarch has remained largely out of the spotlight since her daughter married into the royal family, and reporter Lisa Armstrong noted she appeared to be constantly holding herself back throughout the interview, keen not to share too much or overstep any boundaries with what she divulged.
And while she insisted she wasn’t any more stressed than any other mother on their daughter’s wedding day, (despite hers being viewed across the world), Carole said the most important thing for her was to make both of her daughters proud. And that included choosing the perfect outfit.
Carole shone out at Catherine’s wedding in April 2011 in a sky blue Catherine Walker coat and matching dress, appearing completely at ease as she waved to fans outside before taking her seat at the front of Westminster Abbey.
“Like every mother, I wanted to look my best, make my children proud and enjoy the day,” she added.
Despite stealing the show as a very stylish mother of the bride at both of her daughters’ weddings, Carole surprisingly admitted in the interview that she’s not a huge fan of clothes shopping, stating there simply isn’t enough choice for women of her age – a sentiment no doubt echoed by many.
Meanwhile, Catherine’s relationship with William came hand-in-hand with an introduction to the whole royal family for Carole and Michael, but the dedicated mum and businesswoman doesn’t seem daunted by their status – simply describing both of her sons-in-law – William and Pippa’s husband James Matthews – as “lovely”.
And she’s certainly not done matchmaking just yet, as Carole also joked that she can’t wait to have a lovely daughter-in-law too, referring to her son James Middleton’s possible future wife.
Carole is keen not to let Catherine’s so-called “impact” change her own quiet rural lifestyle, and said she still views royal events such as Louis’ christening as “family events” that slot in to her own busy work schedule running the party business.
And while Carole joked she should really prioritise things like meditating now over work, the reporter noted how energetic she was throughout the interview – clearly still prioritising the busy lifestyle she’s always been used to. That being said, Carole insisted her family will always come first.
Part of that is of course her role as grandmother to not only Catherine’s kids George, Charlotte and Louis, but also Pippa’s son Arthur. And Carole said she’s embraced her new role, having been inspired by her mother-in-law who was always very close to her children while they were growing up.
Elsewhere, like many mothers, Carole candidly revealed her biggest fear was always losing her family as they grew up and moved out, but insisted it hasn’t happened and they’re all as close as ever.
And while it’s fair to say Carole has stepped seamlessly into her new nearly-royal lifestyle, she’s certainly not immune to her own mishap now and again. Recalling one sweet memory, she told the publication she made a ‘Bridget Jones-style’ error when cooking for Michael for the first time and attempted a mushroom risotto – but it ended up resembling “grey porridge”.