Carole Middleton

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Carole Middleton
Carole Elizabeth Middleton on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.jpg
Born Carole Elizabeth Goldsmith
(1955-01-31) 31 January 1955 (age 60)
Perivale, London, England
Occupation Businessperson
Spouse(s) Michael Middleton (m. 1980)
Children Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Philippa Charlotte Middleton
James William Middleton
Parent(s) Ronald Goldsmith (1931–2003)
Dorothy Harrison (1935–2006)
Relatives Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (son-in-law)
Prince George of Cambridge (grandson)
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (granddaughter)

Carole Elizabeth Middleton (née Goldsmith; born 31 January 1955)[1][2] is a former flight attendant turned businesswoman, and mother of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and her siblings, Philippa "Pippa" Charlotte Middleton and James William Middleton.[3]

Middleton's first grandchild, Prince George of Cambridge, was born on 22 July 2013 and is third in the line of succession to the British throne. On 2 May 2015, her first granddaughter, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, was born, who is now fourth in line to succeed to the British throne.

Early life[edit]

Born at Perivale Maternity Hospital, the daughter of Dorothy Harrison and Ronald Goldsmith, she is the elder sister of IT recruitment multi-millionaire Gary Goldsmith.[4] She spent her early years in a small house in Southall, attending the local state schools.[5][6][7]

She met flight dispatcher Michael Francis Middleton while working with British Airways as a flight attendant. The couple were married on 21 June 1980, at the Church of St James, in Dorney, Buckinghamshire. Leeds-born Michael was the son of pilot Peter Middleton whose mother Olive, was a member of the Lupton family who are described in the City of Leeds archives as being "landed gentry; a political and business dynasty".[8][9]

Business success and husband's inherited wealth[edit]

In the mid 1980s, when her two eldest children were at a pre-school and the family was living at Bradfield Southend, she set up Party Pieces, a company which began by making party bags and which now sells party supplies and decorations by mail order. By 1995 the firm, run by both Carole and Michael, was so successful that it moved into a range of farm buildings at Ashampstead Common.[10][11] This wealth, combined with the trust funds that Michael Middleton inherited from his grandmother, Olive Middleton has meant that the Middletons are reported to be millionaires.[12][13][14]

Carole and her husband Michael own Bucklebury Manor, in Bucklebury, West Berkshire - a substantial Grade II-listed Georgian manor house set on over 18 acres. The Middletons' grandson, Prince George spent his first few weeks at Bucklebury Manor. In 2002, Carole and Michael Middleton bought "with cash" a flat in Chelsea, London, in which their children lived after completing their university studies.[15]

The gold chevron on the coat of arms taken out by her husband Michael is in reference to Carole's maiden name of Goldsmith.[16]



Researchers revealed in 2011 that Carole Middleton's great-great-grandmother, Jane Liddle (d. 1881), was a great-great-granddaughter of Sir Thomas Blakiston Conyers, 9th Bt (1731–1810), himself a descendant of King Edward IV.[17][18] It was reported in December 2014 that Sir Thomas Conyers shared a direct ancestor with Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, née Bowes-Lyon (1900–2002). Their common ancestor was County Durham's Sir William Blakiston. The famous Blakiston-Bowes Cabinet, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was created to celebrate the union of the Blakiston baronets and the Bowes-Lyon family. This connection makes Carole a distant blood cousin of the Queen Mother.[19][20][21]


Carole's maternal great-grandfather was Durham coal miner John Harrison (1874–1956). Her paternal great-great-grandfather was John Goldsmith (d. 1888), a labourer and brick maker from Hoxton in the East End of London.[22]


  1. ^ Poppy Bradbury (3 May 2011), "Kate Middleton's mum's old school hosts Royal Wedding party", Ealing Gazette 
  2. ^ "Person Page 20097". Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Geoffrey Levy (18 November 2010). "For Kate Middleton's mother Carole being royal in-law will be no laughing matter | Mail Online". London: Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Tominey, Camilla. "Is Gary Goldsmith really the Black Sheep of the Middleton family?". UK Express, 24 March 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Smith, Sean. Kate: A Biography of Kate Middleton. First Gallery Books, 2011, Chapter 1, Page 2. Retrieved 29 November 2014. Eventually Dorothy and Ron moved into a council flat nearby before borrowing the deposit to buy a small house of their own in Southall, where they were living when Carole was born in 1955. 
  6. ^ Levy, Geoffrey; Kay, Richard (17 April 2011). "Kate Middleton's character shaped by generations of social-climbing matriarchs | Mail Online". London: Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "News: Kate Middleton's Southall connections". Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  8. ^ City of Leeds Archives, Leodis,. "Headingley Castle". Leodis – A Photographic Archive of Leeds. UK Government. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Rayner, Gordon. "Middle-class Duchess of Cambridge's relative wore crown and attended George Vs coronation.". News – page 7; "(Michael Middleton's) ancestors were very much landed gentry, and as we now know some of them were titled." (Page 7) Middle-class Duchess of Cambridge's relative wore crown and attended George Vs coronation. UK Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Party Pieces Princess in News of the World (21 November 2010), pg. 4
  11. ^ About us at, accessed 19 February 2011
  12. ^ A Photographic Archive of Leeds, Leodis. "Potternewton Hall, Potternewton Lane". UK Gov. City of Leeds. Retrieved 12 November 2014. When Olive Middleton died in 1936, her will shows that she left a personal estate of £52,031. Olive's will also discloses that by 1936 there were three separate family trusts in operation controlling the bulk of her and her family's fortune 
  13. ^ Lewis, Jason. "How a Victorian industrialist helped Kate Middleton's parents". UK Daily Telegraph 27 November 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2014. By 1936 there were three separate family trusts in operation controlling the bulk of her and her family's fortune 
  14. ^ "Generation why-should-I?". Edinburgh: Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Brennan, Zoe. "The family fortune of the minted Middletons". UK Daily Telegraph - 19 March 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2015. This (flat) was bought with cash for £780,000 in 2002 and is worth some £1.2 million now (in 2011). Land Registry records show there is no mortgage on it. 
  16. ^ Bates, Stephen (19 April 2011). "Kate Middleton's coat of arms blends in-jokes, symbolism and history". London: Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  17. ^ Bianca, London. "Kate is a Brummie! Historian discovers the Duchess of Cambridge is descended from Birmingham's most notable families". UK Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 November 2014. And in another family connection, Middleton's mother Carole is many times great granddaughter of (Edward IV and thus) Edward III 
  18. ^ Child, Christopher Challander. "Child, Christopher Challender (Fall 2011). "A Gratifying Discovery: Connecting Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, to Sir Thomas Conyers, 9th Bt. of Horden, Durham". American Ancestors (New England Historic Genealogical Society) 12 (4): 35–36." (PDF). New England Genealogical Society Fall 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  19. ^ Cliff, Martha. "Kate really was destined for royalty! The Duchess of Cambridge shares an ancestor with the late Queen Mother historian reveals". UK Daily Mail, 9 December 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014. The family connection between the two women came when the two biggest families in County Durham married – the Blakistons and the Bowes-Lyons 
  20. ^ Perring, Rebecca. "Proof Kate Middleton IS related to Queen Mother: Duchess to view cabinet proving ancestry". UK Daily Express Monday, 8 December 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  21. ^ Banerjee, Nirajita. "Destined For Royalty: Kate Middleton Shares an Ancestor With the Late Queen Mother, Reveals Historian". International Business Times, 9 December 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  22. ^ Reitwiesner, William Addams. "Ancestry of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge". New England Historic Genealogical Society, April 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 

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