Inside Kate Middleton's Relationship With Her Brother, James

Princess Catherine is set to be the future queen consort of England, and many think that she will do a fine job when the time comes. When Catherine was a young girl, her wildest dreams likely didn't come close to the life she now lives. After all, she grew up just like any other kid, with normal non-royal parents and siblings. But her ascend to royalty and fame has not only had a significant impact on her own life but on the lives of her family as well. While it appears that Catherine's sister, Pippa Middleton, has handled the fame that befell her because of her sister just fine, Catherine's younger brother, James Middleton, hasn't had it very easy.

In her book, "Kate: The Future Queen," Katie Nicholl reveals that the Middletons are a very close family. Catherine and her siblings all attended St. Andrews, and James joined his two sisters for some after-school activities, attending drama camp and having fun on stage at school plays. Their lives were pretty ordinary — until Catherine started dating Prince William, that is. Suddenly, James and Pippa were making regular visits to Balmoral, and the media soon took an interest in their lives. Of course, Catherine had no control over this, and ever since, James and Pippa's lives have been placed under a magnifying glass.

Perhaps it's because they were so close growing up, but the media hasn't managed to drive a rift between Catherine and her brother. If anything, they are closer than ever.

He has experienced some pressure because of his famous sister

Any public figure will tell you that fame isn't all it's cracked up to be. The pressure that comes with it can at times be overwhelming, and in Princess Catherine's case, this pressure extended to her brother, James Middleton. He suddenly found himself famous by association, and there was no escaping it. He was 23 when Catherine got married to William and still trying to figure out his life, all under the watchful eye of the British media. "Suddenly, and very publicly, I was being judged about whether I was a success or a failure. That does put pressure on you," he told Tatler.

Middleton had just started to get his business, Boomf, off the ground, and the media was quick to poke holes in his venture, questioning its success. For Middleton, this was hard to deal with. He didn't have a healthy dose of self-confidence to begin with — he has dyslexia and never quite felt like he could keep up with his sisters, least of all Catherine. Finally, he was doing something he loved and was good at, and the media was ready to tear it to shreds the first chance they got.

When reports surfaced that his company was hemorrhaging money, Middleton told the Daily Mail that these claims were not only false but also had a very negative impact on his staff. "It upsets me because these guys have put their trust in me," Middleton said.

James Middleton embarrassed Catherine on more than one occasion

James Middleton put Princess Catherine in a very difficult position during his 21st birthday bash. He was three sheets to the wind in record time, so much so that his parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, realized they needed to take him home. While that would already be embarrassing enough for most, Middleton also had to face the press waiting outside the venue, and while what ensued put him in a pretty bad light, it was even worse for Catherine, who probably had to explain her brother's behavior to the royal family afterward.

In a commentary piece royal biographer Katie Nicholl wrote for GQ, she provided more details on what occurred that night. Catherine was also at the club to celebrate with Middleton, but when her parents escorted him outside, she stayed behind to avoid being photographed with her brother in his drunken state. She made the right call — Middleton, who could barely walk, urinated on the sidewalk in full view of the paparazzi before his parents could usher him into the waiting car. "Michael had to literally carry James to the car. He was all over the place and couldn't stand up properly," Niraj Tanna, a photographer who was there that night, told Nicholl.

The media also unearthed old pictures of Middleton. In some, he was wearing his sisters' clothes, in another, he was stark naked. Pretty soon, Catherine's brother was painted a party boy and likened to Prince Harry.

He used to feel like he was living in Catherine's shadow

While it's clear that James Middleton and Princess Catherine are very close, the youngest Middleton had often felt like he was lagging behind and not living up to expectations. Princess Catherine impressed her teachers at school, so by the time Middleton arrived, people had a preconceived idea of him and his abilities. "My sisters were very successful and confident," he told the Daily Mail. "And so I was automatically put into the top sports teams and academic sets," he added. People would soon realize he wasn't exactly good at everything Catherine excelled at. "Then it would be, "Are you sure you're a Middleton?" he recalled.

Middleton is under no illusion that the world's view of him as Catherine's "little brother" will ever change, and he's okay with it. In fact, he said that he's proud to be Catherine's sibling and that he knows she is proud of him too. It took a while to come to terms with his sister's fame, however. When Catherine was dating Prince William, Middleton said he got pretty sick of being questioned about his sister by his roommates, so he made sure to get up extra early so he could get his hands on the morning paper first and tear out any articles about Catherine before they could see it.

He took on a special role in Princess Catherine's wedding

Princess Catherine and Prince William's wedding was practically a global event, and James Middleton got to play a special role in the ceremony. Catherine asked him to read from Romans 12 during her nuptials, and Middleton, who has dyslexia and doesn't exactly like crowds, agreed to do it regardless. According to a GQ piece written by royal biographer Katie Nicholl, he memorized the entire verse so he wouldn't have to read it on the day and hired voice coach Anthony Gordon Lennox to help him with his delivery. People loved it, and Middleton suddenly found himself immensely popular after Catherine's wedding.

Middleton continued to show up to support Catherine. He was spotted at the royal christenings of her children, and kind of unintentionally stole the show when all people could talk about after Princess Charlotte's christening was his beard. Catherine likely found this hilarious, while we suspect Middleton was probably a little mortified.

A couple of years later, Catherine attended Middleton's wedding in 2021. She and Prince William traveled to the South of France with their three children to celebrate the day with Middleton and his bride, Alizée Thevenet. Two short years later, royal watchers spotted Middleton at King Charles III's coronation ceremony. It was no surprise that Middleton was there to watch his sister officially become the Princess of Wales, and it's likely Catherine and William spent some quality time with Middleton afterward, too.

James Middleton is the person Catherine turns to when the going gets tough

With all the royal drama that has played out over the past couple of years, Princess Catherine's had her hands full, and it's no secret that she and Meghan Markle didn't always see eye to eye. Royal expert Neil Sean took to his YouTube channel in 2021 to share with viewers who Catherine's closest and most trusted confidante is, and it's none other than James Middleton.

Sean elaborated on his claims, saying that Middleton's calm demeanor is the reason Catherine turns to him whenever the craziness of royal life reaches its peak. "She liked his calm and relaxing influence, and of course his very sage advice," Sean said (via Express), referring to the unease that existed between Cambridges and the Sussexes at the time. Sean also claimed that Catherine knew she could trust her brother and that the things she told him would never make it to the press, adding that Middleton is Catherine's "rock."

Middleton has made it clear to reporters and the public that they won't get anything about Catherine out of him, no matter how hard they try. Speaking to royal biographer Katie Nicholl for GQ, Middleton said that he understands he has to maintain an amicable relationship with the press, but that would never include selling out Catherine. If Middleton ever had to write a tell-all memoir, we'd bet good money it'll sell even faster than Prince Harry's "Spare."

He is very proud of Catherine and all she's accomplished

James Middleton might not speak to the press about Princess Catherine's private life, but one thing he will say about his sister is how proud he is of her. Middleton granted an interview to "Good Morning Britain" (something that rarely happens since he's so private), and he made an exception to talk about how he's in awe of all Catherine has accomplished since she joined the royal family. "She's my sister ... and I'm extremely proud and I'm always taken aback by how much she does do, and that continues to stay at the forefront of my mind," James gushed (via Hello!), adding, "To see her blossoming in that role ... I'm very proud of her." Our royal-loving hearts just grew two sizes.

Middleton, who is a passionate advocate for mental health, is likely very proud of Catherine's Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood, among other things, which focuses on helping children navigate their mental health. Catherine also showed she's a princess who cares when she took the initiative to start a donation program for baby banks across the U.K. in 2020 to help little ones in need whose parents could no longer provide for them due to the pandemic. Her efforts received raving headlines from various outlets. Royal editor Russell Myers praised Catherine's efforts on the podcast, "Pod Save the Queen." "This is what we expect [the monarchy] to be doing," Myers said.

James Middleton gave Catherine and her family their first dog

Those in the know are aware that James Middleton is a dog-lover, and as it turns out, he gave Princess Catherine and Prince William their very first dog after they got married. How sweet! We can't think of a better wedding gift. Middleton breeds cocker spaniels, and the black pup he gave William and Catherine was named Lupo. 

Royal watchers got a peek at the now famous dog from various childhood pictures Catherine posted of her children over the years — Lupo was often stealing the spotlight in plenty of those snaps. Sadly, Lupo died in 2020, with Catherine and William sharing the news of his death with fans on Instagram. "He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much," they captioned the post.

A source told the Daily Mail that Catherine and William had noticed Lupo was not himself anymore, and Middleton gave them a new cocker spaniel puppy, who they named Orla, to give Lupo a new zest for life. Sadly, Lupo died not long after, but Orla provided the family with plenty of cuddles and happiness when they needed it most. Orla was officially introduced to the world when Catherine posted a snap of Charlotte to Instagram cuddling the new pup. "I'm really pleased that [Catherine's children] are able to enjoy and have the benefit of a dog in their lives," Middleton told OK! Magazine.

Catherine inspired her brother to speak up about his depression

While countless people have likely found the courage to speak up about their mental health thanks to Princess Catherine, Prince William, and Prince Harry's Heads Together mental health charity, it also provided the gentle push James Middleton needed to seek help for his own depression.

In an article Middleton wrote for the Daily Mail, he speaks candidly about his struggle with depression, and how the work Catherine has done with Heads Together has encouraged him to speak about his own journey. "They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations," Middleton wrote, adding, "So it wouldn't be honest to suppress my story. I want to speak out, and they are my motivation for doing so."

Catherine supported her brother during what was the darkest time of his life. When Middleton started his therapy sessions, his family began to attend some of them with him, including Catherine. "That was so important because that helped them understand me and how my mind was working," he told The Telegraph. During an interview with "Good Morning Britain," Middleton said that he's proud that Catherine and William are using their platform to speak up about mental health. "I think what is fantastic is that they're in a position where they are talking about their own mental health," he said (via Hindustan Times).

Both siblings love supporting charitable causes

Princess Catherine and James Middleton love to lend a helping hand wherever and whenever they can. Catherine has supported and established several charities in her capacity as a royal, and Middleton is doing the same thing on his end. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, both Middleton and Catherine have since taken steps to provide some help and relief (it's very likely these two even strategized together).

Middleton took to Instagram in May 2023 to share that he'd donated dog food from his company Ella & Co to K9 Rescue International. This organization is working tirelessly to help dogs in need across war-affected areas in Ukraine. Middleton was touched and inspired by the company's work and wanted to do his part to actively help them in their efforts. "I've always believed that dogs are some of the purest creatures on earth, and they deserve nothing but love and care," Middleton wrote in the caption, adding, "Let's continue to make a difference, one bowl of food at a time."

Catherine, meanwhile, joined efforts with Prince William to donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) humanitarian appeal and inspired countless others in Britain to follow their example. The donations amounted to a whopping £120 million (approximately $152 million), which provided welcome relief to Ukrainians in need. If you ask us, we can just start referring to Catherine and Middleton as the super siblings already.