James Middleton (British businessman)

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James Middleton
James William Middleton

(1987-04-15) 15 April 1987 (age 32)

James William Middleton (born 15 April 1987)[1] is an English entrepreneur and member of the Middleton family and the younger brother of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. In 2013 he founded personalised greeting card company Boomf. In January 2019 Middleton revealed his private battle with depression.[2] His motivation to speak out was thanks to his sister’s charity Heads Together. Middleton has spoken about his love of dogs, Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu and Mabel. James's dog, Ella, is the mother of Lupo, the dog of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; Lupo was gifted as a wedding present.[3] James and Ella now volunteer with the Pets As Therapy charity[4]

Personal life[edit]

Middleton was born on 15 April 1987 at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading,[1] the youngest child and only son of Michael Middleton (born 1949), formerly a British Airways flight dispatcher,[5] and Carole Goldsmith (born 1955), formerly flight attendant.[6][7][8] His father came from a line of solicitors who resided in Leeds, in West Yorkshire, and one of James' great-grandmothers, Olive Middleton, was a member of the Lupton family who are described by the City of Leeds archives as "landed gentry; a business and political dynasty".[9][10] Carole Middleton's mother's family were labourers and miners from County Durham.[8][11][12][13] His elder sisters are Catherine (born 1982) and Pippa (born 1983).

Middleton was educated at St Andrew's School, Pangbourne, followed by Marlborough College. He attended the University of Edinburgh for a year in 2006 before dropping out.[14][15]

He has said that he is dyslexic and is speaking out to raise awareness about the condition.[16] In January 2019, Middleton revealed his struggles with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.[17]


Middleton's cake-making business, which is now defunct, was inspired by reading that a mother's baking is a highly evocative childhood memory.[14] He said that he wanted to supply baking kits so home bakers would be able to get all the ingredients in one place for adventurous creations such as "football cakes".[14] He started baking using the family kitchen and expanded into a freight container and converted barns.[14] Birthday cake baking kits were created with themes and distributed through his parents' company, Party Pieces.[14][18]

Themed cakes were baked for companies such as Jigsaw, 3 and Ralph Lauren.[14] Middleton was said to have caused "shudders" at Buckingham Palace after taking part in a Hello magazine photoshoot for which he was commissioned to bake 21 different cakes commemorating its 21st birthday, each iced with one of the magazine's memorable front covers – amongst them, several members of the Royal family, including Diana, Princess of Wales.[19] The business won Smarta 100 and Haines Watts Young Entrepreneur awards.[20]

In April 2011 he registered three more businesses: Nice Cakes, Nice Wine and Nice Group London and indicated that he planned to expand the Cake Kit Company.[14][19]

James Middleton's company Boomf made a loss of £3 million between 2015-2018.[21]

Glen Affric Estate[edit]

Middleton hosts deer stalking parties at Glen Affric Estate, owned by the family of his sister Pippa

Middleton was reported in June 2019 as hosting the "odd weekend"[22][23] at the 10,000 acre Glen Affric Estate. Middleton hosts deer stalking parties at the estate which is owned by Laird David Matthews, his sister Pippa's father-in-law. The family-owned estate is managed in collaboration with the Oetker Collection.[24][25][26][27]

James Matthews paid Middleton €110,000 for 12,800 Boomf shares.[28]

Royal connections and ancestry[edit]

Middleton read the lesson, Epistle to the Romans chapter 12, verses 1–2 and 9–18, from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible at the wedding of his sister Catherine to Prince William.[29]

Through his father's Lupton lineage, Middleton is descended from Sir Thomas Fairfax (d. 1520), whose wife, Agnes Gascoigne, was a descendant of King Edward III.[30] On his mother's side, he is descended from Sir Thomas Conyers, 9th Baronet (1731–1810), a descendant of King Edward IV.



  1. ^ a b Nicholl, Katie (12 August 2012). "The Other Middleton". GQ. UK. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  2. ^ "JAMES MIDDLETON: The torment of my secret mental illness". Mail Online. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  3. ^ Murphy, Victoria (12 November 2014). "Kate Middleton's brother gave royal couple cocker spaniel for wedding present". mirror. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  4. ^ Brunetti, Nic (12 January 2019). "James Middleton reveals his battle with the 'cancer' of depression". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  5. ^ Rayner, Gordon (16 November 2010). "Royal wedding: Kate Middleton's family background". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  6. ^ Ancestry of Kate Middleton at wargs.com, accessed 4 January 2011
  7. ^ Berlau, John (28 April 2011). "The Entrepreneurs' Princess". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  8. ^ a b Bradford, Sarah (29 April 2011). "Like the Queen Mother and Diana, Kate has the common touch". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  9. ^ - A Photographic Archive of Leeds, Leodis. "Headingley Castle". Leodis - UK Gov. Leeds. UK Leeds Gov. Retrieved 19 October 2014. The Luptons of Leeds were landed gentry; a political and business dynasty.
  10. ^ The Leeds connection in Yorkshire Evening Post
  11. ^ Duncan, Pearl (24 April 2011). "The History of Families New and Long Lost: An American Compares Coat of Arms with Kate Middleton's". History News Network. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  12. ^ Marquand, Robert (29 April 2011). "Royal wedding: Kate Middleton makes history as she walks down the aisle". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  13. ^ "Kate Middleton's relatives revealed - the postman, the fishmonger and the burlesque dancer". Now Magazine. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Zoe Brennan (27 April 2011), "The very ambitious Mr Middleton", Daily Telegraph
  15. ^ "5 Things You Didn't Know About James Middleton". US Weekly. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  16. ^ Walker, Tim (29 October 2012). "James Middleton finally speaks up for dyslexia". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  17. ^ Brunetti, Nic (12 January 2019). "James Middleton reveals his battle with the 'cancer' of depression". The Telegraph.
  18. ^ Jessica Fellowes (1 October 2008), "The 'posh-preneurs' who mean business", Daily Telegraph
  19. ^ a b Eden, Richard (24 April 2011). "Kate Middleton's brother wants a bigger slice of the cake". Telegraph. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  20. ^ "Family Value: Why Britain can't get too much of brand Middleton". The Independent. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  21. ^ "Kate Middleton's brother is working as a tour guide in Scottish hotel after company woes". 30 September 2018.
  22. ^ Walsh, K. (24 June 2019). "Kate Middleton's brother James says he hates being 'judged' and wants to be 'separate' from the royals". RSVP. Retrieved 25 June 2019. I was a host and I still do host the odd weekend, because I like being there (Glen Affric Estate) ," he explained.
  23. ^ Money-Coutts, S. (21 June 2019). "Wild swimming, hiking and hearty breakfasts: on holiday with James Middleton at a luxury Highlands lodge". UK Daily Telegraph. Got that? James Middleton will be your host.
  24. ^ O'Ceallaigh, J. (21 September 2018). "An old dog house and shooting with a Middleton". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  25. ^ Isaac-Goizé, Tina (21 September 2018). "Glen Affric - World travelers in search of extraordinary destinations, take note: James Middleton has a few ideas for you". Vogue. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  26. ^ Vaughan, H. (October 2018). "James Middleton gets hotel job after business losses". The Times. The Times (UK) - 1 October 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2018. His (Middleton's) brother-in-law, James Matthews, heir to the Laird of Glen Affric title, has spoken highly of Mr Middleton, adding: 'He's a much better host than I am.'
  27. ^ Vaughan, Henry (October 2018). "James Middleton gets hotel job after business losses". The Times.
  28. ^ "James Middleton's marshmallow firm has just recorded massive losses".
  29. ^ Tim Ross (29 April 2011), "How Kate Middleton's brother risks upsetting the Prince of Wales", Daily Telegraph
  30. ^ Rayner, Gordon (13 September 2013). "'Middle-class' Duchess of Cambridge's relative wore crown and attended George V's coronation". Daily Telegraph. UK. p. 7. Retrieved 13 November 2014.

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