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The Shadiest Details To Come Out About Carole Middleton

By many accounts, Carole Middleton is a supportive mother to Kate Middleton, an affectionate mother-in-law to Prince William, and a doting grandmother to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. But some shady details about the Middleton matriarch have surfaced over the years, even though she has worked hard to keep her personal life private. Much of the criticism refers to her life’s trajectory, ascending from her family’s humble origins to the royal family.

For many, if Kate and Pippa Middleton are called the “wisteria sisters” for their social climbing ambitions, they have their mother to blame. Carole is said to have always had her eyes on bigger and better things, a trait even her family admits to. “She’s anxious to better herself and to make sure she is financially secure — you only get that when you’re born with nothing. She is ambitious, very ambitious for her family. And why not?” a relative told the Daily Mail in 2011.

But many believe Carole has taken it too far, meddling in Kate’s relationship with William and even pressuring him to propose. Because of her ambition and dedication to her family, Carole has been compared to celeb momager Kris Jenner. While her ambitious nature led to a fruitful career as an entrepreneur, her leadership skills have been criticized by Party Pieces employees. The bankruptcy of Carole’s multi-million dollar business has also attracted negative attention for its toll on the taxpayers. Carole has many redeeming qualities, but her shady side hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Carole Middleton reportedly gave Prince William an ultimatum

Kate Middleton and Prince William met at the University of St. Andrews in 2001 and began dating between 2002 and 2003. They wouldn’t get engaged until October 2010, earning the now-Princess of Wales the nickname “Waity Katie.” Carole Middleton wasn’t oblivious to any of it. She supposedly worried about where the relationship was heading. “It is rumored that Carole Middleton took the delicate matter of her daughter’s future into her own hands,” royal expert Katie Nicholl said in the documentary “When the Middletons Met the Monarchy” (via Express).

Carole reportedly summoned William for a heart-to-heart and gave him an ultimatum. “She sat down with William and just said to him, ‘Is this going to end in a marriage?” Nicholl said. The meeting went well, according to the royal author. “William gave his assurance that he was going to make an honest woman of Kate. He wasn’t going to leave her on the shelf,” she said. In true royal fashion, the couple has never addressed the rumors.

But William and Kate have given a different version of how the engagement conversation with the Middletons went down. William hesitated to ask Michael Middleton for his daughter’s hand out of fear he might not be okay with it, suggesting they weren’t hounding him. “So I thought if I ask Kate first then he can’t really say no,” she said in their ITV News engagement interview in November 2010. “So I did it that way round.”

Carole Middleton’s company left the taxpayer to foot a hefty debt

Carole Middleton successfully ran Party Pieces for decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on social gatherings and her personal decision to scale back her involvement proved fatal. As a result, Kate Middleton’s parents suffered financially. Party Pieces’ financial issues are said to have started around 2019, when Carole stepped back from administrative duties to spend more time with her family. When she realized the state the company was in, she jumped into action.

She applied for a government-sponsored coronavirus loan she couldn’t repay, leaving the taxpayers to foot a £220,000 debt (roughly $275,000), The Times reported. Carole was left with no option but to sell the company. James Sinclair bought it for £180,000 (about $225,000) in May 2023, when it was £2.6 million (more than $3 million) in debt. The media and the creditors who were owed money were not kind on the Middletons.

Some publicly accused Carole of using her connection to the royal family to get them on board. “What hurt me the most was that I trusted her as the mother-in-law of the future king — and she just betrayed me,” one creditor told the Daily Mail. Carole’s carefully guarded image took a hit. “The royals are meant to be inspirational for hard-working people, not those that are seen to profit from the loss of others,” a source told the Express. Carole and Michael Middleton reportedly squashed other business plans to safeguard Kate’s image.

Carole Middleton’s employees painted ugly picture of her management style

Carole Middleton built her business from the ground up, but some of her former employees have contended that her dedication meant bad news for them. Speaking with the Daily Mail in 2019, Party Pieces staff members portrayed Carole as a boss who often snapped her fingers to get their attention and had no issue sending upwards of 70 emails to an employee in one day.

She made everyone log their hours on a computer and docked their pay if they were even a few minutes late. “I could understand having to clock in if you are being paid by the hour — but we were salaried staff,” one employee said. If workers needed to miss a couple of hours for a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment, they had to make up their hours. Some staff members recalled tensing up at the sound of her vehicle pulling up outside the office.

Some of Carole’s patrons also questioned her customer service in the years leading up to the company’s sale. Party Pieces continued to deliver its products during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many customers contended the company failed to fulfill its promise. “Its my brothers birthday tomorrow and we have still not received our order,” one customer wrote in a March 2020 post. The following post received a series of similar comments. “I am deeply concerned as to see all these other comments too,” one penned, asking about an order that hadn’t arrived.

Carole Middleton supposedly plotted Kate and William’s romance

“The Crown” may have popularized the rumor that Carole Middleton orchestrated Kate Middleton’s romance with Prince William in its sixth season released in 2023, but it had been around for years. In the 2022 book “The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — The Truth and the Turmoil,” royal author Tina Brown suggested Carole was behind some of her daughter’s most strategic decisions that put her in William’s path.

For example, Carole was responsible for convincing Kate to ditch the University of Edinburgh for William’s school of choice and to take a gap year to guarantee she would be in his class. “Carole’s fingerprints are all over Kate’s first move on the royal chessboard,” Brown wrote. Omid Scobie made similar claims in his controversial 2023 book “Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival” (via Express). “Carole calculatingly placed Kate right at the center of young Prince William’s world,” he wrote.

Carole’s role in the romance didn’t end there. She continued to advise Kate throughout the relationship, ensuring her daughter stayed on track in the face of adversity. “Coach Carole would dress her wounds, advise her on moves, and urge her to keep her eyes on the prize,” Brown wrote. Carole’s brother, Gary Goldsmith, came out in her support after Season 6 was released. “I don’t understand why Carole hasn’t taken legal action cause literally it’s that bad,” he said on “The Crown: Fact or Fiction” podcast (via People).

Carole Middleton still owes quite a bit of money

After Carole Middleton sold Party Pieces, new owner James Sinclair became responsible for its multi-million debt. But the Middletons still owe £260,000 (roughly $326,000) to Interpath Advisory, the insolvency firm they hired to oversee the company’s recovery, The Times reported in April 2024. The firm, which charged an hourly fee of £566 (about $710), had to put in more hours than initially expected, running a bill bigger than the company’s assets.

The Middletons’ financial woes come at a particularly trying time for their daughter. In March 2024, Kate announced she had cancer and was undergoing preventative chemotherapy to treat it. And her mother doesn’t want her own troubles to add to her daughter’s stress. “Carole is desperately trying to keep Catherine fully focused on her recovery,” a source told Us Weekly after The Telegraph’s report.

The insider also emphasized that Carole won’t turn to her family for help. “It’s a very worrying time for the family but they are not looking for any assistance from their children and don’t want them to worry,” the source added. She is also said to have forbidden Kate to ask her anything relating to the Party Pieces situation. “She will be pulling out all the stops to shield her daughter from this,” the insider added. Despite her struggles, Carole is doing what she can to help Kate and William, having cleared her schedule to be available to care for the children, the Daily Mail reported.


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