Carole Middleton has barely made a peep since her eldest daughter married the most eligible bachelor in the world, but now she’s opened up in her first-ever interview and spoken about her royal grandkids, modest upbringing and the prospect of retirement.
The Middleton Matriarch, 62, invited British daily The Telegraph to her office in Bucklebury in west Berkshire, where she and husband Michael run their hugely successful business, Party Pieces, which is celebrating 30 years in operation.
Despite her royal connections it seems Carole is entirely unassuming and down to earth, with reporter Lisa Armstrong describing her as youthful, with a “modern posh” accent, and a lot of fun.
The accent it seems was something The Telegraph’s readers were keen to learn about since the public has never actually heard Carole speak.
The wide-ranging chat covered everything from family life to business and painted Carole as a go-getter who loves her family more than anything else.
At one point, Carole recalled her modest childhood and spending the first six months of her life in a council flat. She left school at 16 and got a job before realising she hated it and asking her father’s permission to return to school to get her A levels.
She said it was after working in a series of retail jobs for departments stores that she realised she was interested in selling things, but it wasn’t until years later after meeting Catherine’s father Michael while working for BEA, now British Airways, that Party Pieces was born.
It’s been no secret over the years that Catherine came from a successful family, but Carole elaborated a little further on the Middleton business and revealed they dispatch around 4,000 orders for party supplies a week during their busy periods – a demand rate that’s proved extremely lucrative for the family and has enabled them to purchase a sprawling mansion in their hometown of Bucklebury.
Speaking of her mansion, Carole touched on her grandkids briefly in the interview and revealed that just like most grandparents, she can’t help but spoil them at Christmas time.
She confessed she loves Christmas and tends to go a bit overboard putting up a tree in as many rooms as possible in the house, including in the grandchildren’s rooms, “so that they can decorate it themselves”.
The article also touched on the tight-knit relationship between the Middleton family members, with Carole even pausing the chat for a moment after receiving a good-luck text from Catherine at the start of the interview.
It also described the mother-of-three, who confessed she loves cooking and owns more cook books than anything else, as the centre of the family and someone that all of her children and their spouses gravitate towards.
Despite her and Michael’s demanding business, she said retirement wasn’t on the cards anytime soon and said even if she did pack up to travel the world, she’d miss her four grandchildren too much.
“I don’t see myself stopping [work]. If I did I’d have to have so many projects on,” she said. “I’d have to redecorate the house. I’d love to travel, but then I’d miss the grandchildren. No, I’ve got a billion ideas I still want to do.”