The Truth About Kate Middleton's Mom Carole

Kate Middleton's mom, Carole Middleton, has become quite a popular public figure since her daughter married Prince William.

Middleton has undergone a stunning transformation from her days as a young and in love college student. Today, she's a poised senior member of the royal family, getting ready for her future role as the queen. However, Middleton wasn't born into this role; instead, she joined the royal family only when she married Prince William in 2011, subsequently thrusting herself and her family into the spotlight. One can only imagine what this must feel like for her mother, Carole, who likely never expected her daughter to one day be the future Queen of England.

After a decade of being royal family-adjacent, Carole is probably used to her unofficial role now, even though it comes with scrutiny that could lead people to be unhappy with her. Still, despite her family's rise in prominence, it seems as if Carole has remained true to the humble values with which she was raised. There are plenty of things you don't know about Kate Middleton, and her mother's background is one of them. Here's a look at the truth about Kate Middleton's mom, Carole. 

Kate Middleton's mom Carole got a "glamorous" job after leaving school

Kate Middleton's mom Carole had a vastly different childhood than the lavish lives of her grandchildren. According to The Telegraph, she grew up in a council house (a home built by the government for the working class) and worked weekends as a teenager. Sean Smith's biography of Kate Middleton reveals Carole wanted more for herself than her hometown could offer.

After leaving school, Carole went to work at BOAC (an airline that would later be swallowed up by British Airways) as an air hostess (via Sean Smith's Kate: A Biography of Kate Middleton). During the so-called "Golden Age" of flying, Carole's job was a highly coveted opportunity. One former BOAC air hostess told The Telegraph, "It really was the most glamorous job in the world, like being a supermodel, or an actress today." 

However, Carole's job wasn't just a trendy way to leave her humble upbringing behind her. According to Sean Smith's 2011 biography of Kate Middleton, Carole's place of work turned out to be the very place she met her future husband, Michael Middleton.

Kate Middleton's mom Carole couldn't wait to settle down in the country

Though Carole Middleton wanted to get away from her small town, she still couldn't wait to settle down in the country when it came time to start a family. According to Sean Smith's Kate: A Biography of Kate Middleton, Carole and Michael Middleton's first home together was a conveniently-located flat in an industrial area near Heathrow airport. However, this was not the place the young couple wanted to put down roots.

As Carole's brother Gary told The Daily Mail, "I'm the city yuppie and she's the country girl." As it turns out, Carole stayed true to this characterization when selecting her home. According to Kate Middleton's 2011 biography, Michael and Carole Middleton selected a home in a small village that had everything a young family could need.

Though Carole and Michael moved their family to Jordan for a few years, they quickly moved back and settled into village life, with Carole reportedly having no desire to return to her once-trendy job as an air hostess.

A universal struggle gave Kate Middleton's mom Carole a brilliant business idea

The time Kate Middleton's mom Carole spent living in a countryside village eventually gave her the inspiration to quite literally change her family's life. In 1987, Carole founded a party supply company out of her garden shed, eventually deciding to call it Party Pieces. However, her party supply venture wasn't able to be contained in her garden shed for very long.

Sean Smith's Kate: A Biography of Kate Middleton reveals further details of the company's founding. According to Smith, Carole said, "I was looking for party stuff for my own children's parties. It was impossible to find anything easily in the shops and trying to find value for money party bag presents was a complete nightmare." Of course, it's not difficult to see how the idea for Party Pieces came together.

According to Smith's biography, Party Pieces became so successful that it quickly became Carole's full-time job. And unsurprisingly, that success only continued to grow when Party Pieces started conducting business on the world wide web. Take that, Shark Tank!

Kate Middleton's mom Carole was determined to give her kids more than she had

Kate Middleton's mom Carole comes from humble beginnings, according to The Telegraph. As Carole herself has revealed, her family lacked the money to send her to college. In fact, she decided to leave school at 16 to start working (though, she did return to finish later).

This experience was not remotely close to what Carole's children — Kate, Pippa, and James — would have. According to Sean Smith's Kate: A Biography of Kate Middleton, Carole and Michael Middleton sent Kate to Pangbourne's St. Andrew's School at £4,000 per term — which is no small sum, even today. Per Kate Middleton's biographer, St. Andrew's is a school for children from well-to-do families that want their kids to become respectable young adults.

Of St. Andrew's, a former classmate of Kate Middleton's told biographer Sean Smith, "There were a lot of moneyed people who went to the school. There were also a lot of aspiring middle-class families who wanted to turn their children into 'gentlemen.'" Of course, considering her experience as a child, one can understand why Carole wanted to give her children the best education available.

Kate Middleton's mom Carole focused on her business while still being a good mom

Though Kate Middleton's mom Carole has clearly been a good, devoted mother, she's also made a reputation for herself as a reputable businesswomen. 

As noted by her November 2018 profile in The Telegraph, Party Pieces was just getting off the ground when Carole had her third child, which meant she suddenly had to balance managing Party Pieces while raising three young children. However, Carole learned to draw on her resources as a mom to help her business. 

According to The Telegraph, Carole put up fliers at Kate's daycare and got help promoting her party supply business from other local moms. Fortunately, as Carole told The Telegraph, balancing her business and family life wasn't all that difficult, considering she had the ability to create her own schedule. "It was my business, so I could work around the holidays," Carole explained, revealing that she made a point to be home with her three children every evening. 

Kate Middleton's mom Carole's business was so successful her husband quit his job

Kate Middleton's mom Carole started Party Pieces long before people could come up with a small business idea one day and begin selling products on Etsy the next. According to The Telegraph, Carole Middleton started the business by making party favors in her kitchen. The business didn't really become successful until Carole began purchasing ads in a children's magazine.

According to Sean Smith's Kate: A Biography of Kate Middleton, Party Pieces became so successful that Michael Middleton left his job to support Carole's business full-time. Once the couple took the business online in 1992, they really started to see the returns and soon moved their family into a million-dollar home. 

Per The Telegraph, the figures of Party Pieces are not public information. However, Marie Claire notes that Carole and Michael have an estimated net worth of $30-$50 million — a fortune built almost entirely off of Carole's idea for a business that would help parents throw their kids' birthday parties (via the Party Pieces website).

Carole Middleton's kids were all involved in the family business

Kate Middleton's mom Carole raised her kids to follow in her business-savvy footsteps.

Speaking with The Telegraph in November 2018, Carole Middleton revealed, "I never really felt I was a working mother although I was  — and the children didn't [feel like that] either." She continued, saying, "They grew up with it." However, it seems they were also a part of it. According to The Telegraph, each of Carole's children participated in the business in some way. Kate, Pippa, and James all modeled for the party supply company; and, as adults, they each contributed in more substantial ways. As Carole told The Telegraph, "[Kate] did some styling and set up the First Birthday side of the business. Pippa did the blog." The mother of three continued, saying, "I still value their ideas and opinions."

While Sean Smith's Kate: A Biography of Kate Middleton alleged that Kate's role at the company may not have been very substantial, The Huffington Post reported that Kate stepped down from her position as a photographer and website designer at Party Pieces shortly before starting her lavish life with Prince William.

Family is everything to Kate Middleton's mom Carole

Kate Middleton's mom Carole is a family gal, through-and-through.

In May 2020, Carole's son James Middleton shared a video of himself on social media that gave a peak into his life while quarantined with his fiancée and parents at their home (via Hello! Magazine). In the video, James' fiancée can be seen hanging out with Carole and Michael Middleton in the backyard.

Spending time with family has always been important to Carole, who told The Telegraph, "I'd like to find space to do more stuff I love, but my family are paramount." She continued, saying, "They come first and that will always be the case, even when I have more me time." Though Carole is also admittedly very busy with Party Pieces, she also revealed to The Telegraph that she was afraid of losing her family as her children began their own lives. However, her son's post on social media proves they've stayed close.

Kate Middleton's mom Carole's maiden name is referenced in the Middleton family coat of arms

Kate Middleton's mom Carol and the rest of the Middleton family revealed their new, colorful coat of arms in April 2011. As noted by The Guardian, the coat of arms was developed shortly before Kate's marriage to Prince Williams, and features acorns and gold and white chevrons. It's certainly an elegant-looking image to represent the family — and it even features a subtle, special nod to Carole.

Per The Guardian, the gold chevron featured on the coat of arms is a reference to Carole's family name: Goldsmith. The emblem's designer told The Guardian, "The purpose is to provide a traditional heraldic identity for Catherine as she marries into the royal family." Added the designer, "The intent was to represent the whole Middleton family together, [as well as] their home, and aspects of what they enjoy."

Prince William and Kate Middleton's joint coat of arms combines the Middleton family sigil to the one the Prince William received from the Queen when he turned 18 (via The Guardian).

Kate Middleton's mom Carole supports her daughter's work

Kate Middleton's mom Carole was thrust into the spotlight when her eldest child married into the royal family. Of course, Carole doesn't have an official title, even though she is the mother of the future queen (or queen consort) — as well as the grandmother of the future king. However, Carole still offers loads of support for Kate whenever she can.

On a professional level, this means Party Pieces publicly supported Kate Middleton's Early Years initiative — unveiled in February 2020 — by encouraging people to participate in the program's "5 Big Questions on the Under Fives" survey (via Hello! Magazine). 

On a personal level, Carole revealed to The Telegraph that she was involved in the planning of Kate's wedding to Prince William. However, according to Carole, her primary role in helping Kate plan her wedding was offering a listening ear. "I think the most important thing, as a parent, is to listen to what your daughter wants," Carole revealed. She continued, saying, "You can have all the ideas in the world, but it has to be about them. And don't muscle in on the guest list."

Kate Middleton is the spitting image of her mom Carole

Kate Middleton and her mom Carole could totally be twins, as revealed by some old throwback photos.

In a March 2020 Instagram post for Mother's Day, Prince William and Kate Middleton shared a collection of photos on Instagram. One of the included photos was a snap of Carole Middleton holding her eldest daughter as a baby. As many fans soon noticed, it's nearly impossible not to notice the resemblance between the young Carole and the future Queen of England, as both share voluminous, chestnut brown hair, a similar face shape, and those signature dimples. In other images of the mother-daughter pair, it's evident Kate's thousand-watt smile also comes from her mother.

The pair's uncanny resemblance is a stark contrast to Kate Middleton's resemblance to her own children. A royal source told People that Kate will often joke about how Prince Louis looks so much like her, saying he's "the only one of her kids who actually looks like her!" As fans of the royal family are well-aware, Kate's other two children with Prince William resemble their father far more than they do their mother.

Kate Middleton's mom Carole has a very particular sense of style

Kate Middleton's mom Carole has made a splash with her style, much like her eldest daughter. 

Members of the royal family — particularly the women — are no strangers to having their fashion choices incessantly scrutinized by the media (just ask Meghan Markle). Apparently, royal outfits mean more than you might realize. Speaking with The Telegraph about the ensemble she wore to Kate's wedding, Carole Middleton revealed that looking her best was definitely a priority. "Like every mother, I wanted to look my best, make my children proud, and enjoy the day," Carole told the publication. However, she also revealed that she often has trouble shopping, saying, "I'm bigger 'round my top half than I [once] was, so that's why I prefer dresses to trousers and I don't like anything tight." Added Carole, "One of the reasons I don't like shopping for clothes is that there aren't enough for women my age. I know what I want, but I can't find it." 

Despite having issues finding clothes to her taste (an experience most women can relate to), Carole has rarely disappointed with her fashion.

Kate Middleton's mom Carole tries to live a relatively normal lifestyle

Kate Middleton's mom Carole has tried to live a relatively normal lifestyle despite being the mother of the Duchess of Cambridge. Speaking with The Telegraph about the attention she and her family often receive, Carole revealed her life is still "really normal — most of the time."

According to Carole, she thrives in normalcy. The mother of three told The Telegraph, "If I come across as normal, that would be great, because that's what I am." Of course, it doesn't take a stretch of the imagination to see that Carole's desire to be normal likely comes from her humble upbringing and years of working hard. After all, Carole's younger years were much more conventional than the lavish lifestyles members of the royal family enjoy.

When she's not looking fabulous while attending royal weddings, Carole's life does actually seem pretty normal. The businesswoman told The Telegraph, "As a family, we try to have as many meals together as possible because that's when you talk and have fun." Between spending time with family and working, Carole's life isn't all that different than the average person's day-to-day life.

Kate Middleton's mom Carole has no plans to stop working

Kate Middleton's mom Carole has amassed a net worth of $30-$50 million, along with her husband, Michael Middleton (via Marie Claire). And it appears Carole has no plans to stop working and hand over her business, Party Pieces, to someone else.

Carole told The Telegraph, "I don't see myself stopping [work]." She continued, telling the publication, "If I did I'd have to have so many projects on. I'd have to redecorate the house." Added Carole, "I'd love to travel, but then I'd miss the grandchildren. No, I've got a billion ideas I still want to do."

Carole's ambition to put off retirement for as long as possible is understandable. After all, per the Party Pieces website, she built her company from the ground up and has kept it successfully operating for more than 30 years. Throughout her life, Carole has clearly mastered how to balance running a successful business and spending quality time with family. If she can have it all, why should she stop now?