Growing up in Chapel Row, a village near Newbury, Berkshire, Catherine, Pippa and James lived a charmed life. Their parents, Carole and Michael, were running a highly successful party planning business and all three children attended the posh private British Schools St. Andrews school and Marlborough College. Now grown up with careers and lives of their own, the siblings remain close. Though life in the spotlight, thanks to Catherine’s marriage to Prince William, wasn’t part their plan, the Middletons have adjusted to their new royal by association roles.
Born Carole Goldsmith in London to Dorothy Harrison and Ronald Goldsmith, Carole is actually a very distant relative of The Queen Mother. However, she also has ancestors who worked as laborers and miners in County Durham. Carole met flight dispatcher Michael Middleton while working as a flight attendant for British Airways and they married on June 21 1980, at the Church of St James, in Buckinghamshire. She had her first child, Catherine, in 1982, followed by Pippa in 1984 and James in 1987, the same year she founded founded Party Pieces, a mail order party supply and decoration company. Her self-made company is now estimated to be worth over $50 million. Her older brother, Gary Goldsmith, is also very successful. He became a multi-millionaire after founding an IT recruitment firm.
Michael Francis Middleton was born in Leeds to a wealthy Yorkshire family with blood ties to the British aristocracy. Trust funds which were established over 100 years ago have been passed down to Michael. His paternal grandmother, Olive Middleton, belonged to the Lupton family, a known political dynasty. After attending Clifton College in Bristol, he worked for British Airways as a flight dispatcher, where he met and shortly after married Carole Goldsmith. Michael moved his family to Amman, Jordan from May 1984 to September 1986 for his job.
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton is the eldest of three siblings. She grew up in Bucklebury, Berkshire and was known as a bit of a tomboy. Kate went on to study art history in Scotland at the University of , which is where she met Prince William in 2001. After a long, closely followed courtship during which Kate earned the nickname Waity Katie, the couple announced their engagement on November 16, 2010. Prior to the royal nuptials, the Middleton family posted up at The Goring Hotel, located just behind Buckingham Palace. The wedding was held on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey, and was watched around the world by an estimated viewership of over a billion people. Catherine became the Duchess of Cambridge and went on to have two children with William. Her first, Prince George, was born July 22, 2013, followed by on May 2, 2015. The duchess suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum throughout both of her pregnancies, which made the process difficult for her.
Before marrying royalty, Kate, now a global style icon, worked in the fashion business. From 2006 to 2007, she worked part-time as an accessory buyer for the clothing chain Jigsaw. Kate also worked up until her engagement at her family business Party Pieces where she helped with catalogue design and production, marketing, and photography. Kate is still an avid photographer who loves taking photos of her children.
The middle Middleton child, Pippa—born Philippa Charlotte Middleton in September 1983—was thrust into the global spotlight following her sister’s royal wedding, when the world tuned in to see her in what was described as a sexy, form-fitting bridesmaid’s dress. (Pippa later called the gown “insignificant.”)
Following her graduation from the University of Edinburgh, Middleton briefly worked in 2008 at a public relations firm promoting luxury products and then had an events management job. She also worked for Party Pieces writing some of its blog content and eventually published a book on hosting events, which was not well-received.
Kate’s younger brother James, 30 still seems to be searching for his true calling. After years of working with his family party planning business, the youngest Middleton struck out on his own. James launched the "Cake Kit Company" which sold kits for buyers to create their own themed cakes, however the company dissolved in May 2015. He’s now heavily invested in a new personalized gift business, Boomf, a marshmallow company which has expanded to offer a range of gifts.
James has been dating British television personality Donna Air on and off since 2013. When he's not working, he pursues an interesting set of hobbies: He keeps bees, restores old tractors and Land Rovers, and breeds dogs. In fact, Lupo, Kate and William’s dog, was a gift from James.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.