Carole Middleton is a rude boss, claims unnamed Party Pieces employees

2017 Wimbledon Championships

It’s been a weird few months for Carole Middleton. Out of nowhere last December, she granted two extensive interviews. She had rarely offered public statements before, so the royal courtiers were reportedly “baffled” by why Carole was suddenly so keen to be heard from. Then last month, there was a flurry of rumors about the state of Party Pieces, the Middleton’s family business. Reportedly, Party Pieces is in financial trouble and they’re laying off staff right and left. Reportedly, office morale is at an all-time low. And now it seems like the recently fired ex-employees are spilling some tea about what Carole is really like as a boss. The Mail on Sunday did a lengthy story about Carole the Evil Boss – you can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Employees felt terrorized by Carole: One employee is said to have received 71 emails from her in one day, an amount many might consider excessive, even for a busy working office. Other staff said that she would occasionally click her fingers to get someone’s attention when she was under pressure, which was seen as irritating. For some staff even the ‘sound of her Range Rover pulling up’ outside the office was enough to set them ‘on edge’.

How Party Pieces operates: The business is a 15-minute drive from their home. Staff arriving for work are required to enter a personal code into a computer. It logs exactly when they come and go and ensures that they have worked their allotted hours. The company accountant may then send Mrs Middleton the names of anyone who might have fallen short of their quota. Sometimes they may be emailed and given the choice of having money deducted from their pay or making up their hours.

Trips to the dentist: Even time off for a dentist appointment might count against staff, claimed one ex-employee. ‘I could understand having to clock in if you are being paid by the hour – but we were salaried staff,’ he said.

No Christmas decorations: One former staff member said there wasn’t so much as a bit of tinsel at the office. He added: ‘It was miserable. You would think a company selling party items would be full of cheer. Carole once spoke about us playing rounders in a field near her home, but it failed to materialise.’

Carole snapped her fingers: ‘Once she clicked her fingers wanting someone to come over to her desk, which I thought was demeaning and unprofessional. I saw her doing it to others as well.’

The late-night demands: ‘Mike would be full of praise and appreciative of our efforts. She would expect us to respond to emails at seven or eight at night. And they weren’t simple – it would be her demanding, something to the effect of ‘I need you to do this and send it back to me tonight. Often we would have to work late or over the weekend because she hadn’t signed something off until very late. She insisted on signing off everything but often she would disappear for hours. She was once needed desperately to sign something off but no one could get hold of her. I then saw her on the TV at Wimbledon. Carole’s main job was to produce the quarterly catalogue – and she did a good job of it, but there were two occasions where people had to work throughout their weekend putting it together because she insisted on last-minute changes. There was never an apology, she just expected people to do it.’

Party Pieces is struggling financially: While Mrs Middleton has wisely avoided exploiting her quasi-Royal status, the business – for a while at least – unquestionably benefited from it. Staff say sales ‘soared’ after Kate and William’s wedding in 2011, for instance. But an insider said the company is now having to contend with the buying power of Amazon and Tesco, both of which are selling party goods. One staff member said: ‘Recently there were bans introduced on buying new stock – there was no money to buy anything in so we had to try and get rid of the stuff that hadn’t sold, rather than buy in what was popular.’ One senior manager who spent two years at the firm said that the pressure-cooker environment eventually forced him to quit in 2014.

[From The Daily Mail]

There’s more in there about Carole being extremely rude or curt to her employees and how Michael Middleton is lovely, and how he’s the one everyone loves in the office. I mean, some of this is just sexism, the kinds of tone-policing bullsh-t that female bosses get constantly. But some of it feels like… Party Pieces is crashing and the crash is messy, and people are letting go of years of pent up resentment and anger. I’m very curious as to why Carole did those interviews last year and why we’re hearing all of this stuff right now. Hm.

Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton at Wimbledon Tennis Tournament

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red and Backgrid.

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106 Responses to “Carole Middleton is a rude boss, claims unnamed Party Pieces employees”

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  1. Croatian says:

    No, this sounds like “she’s so rude” because she acts like a boss, which she is.

    • Jo says:

      Disagree. Being a boss never means that you need to treat people poorly. You can manage your staff with a degree of trust, structure and compassion and create a terrific and productive environment. A lesson I learned early in my career is that when people feel engaged and motivated, they’re far more productive and take much more ownership in their work.

      • ds says:

        I agree with Jo. Especially as someone who is also Croatian (hey Croatian 🙂 ). We’ve gotten used to this kind of behaviour from managers who actually don’t know how to manage their employees and have no respect for individual time or efforts. This is rude behaviour. Be it a man or woman. It’s what insecure people do and it’s not professional. This is one of the reasons why so many people in Croatia are fleeing and looking for jobs elsewhere.

      • Iknow says:

        I agree. In my working history, I’ve worked for every kind of boss. One time I forgot to do something at work and my boss, who was a lovely woman, didn’t yell, didn’t demean me. She spoke to me with a quiet voice and I could feel her disappointment. I can’t tell you how much that affected me. Much more than the other monsters I’ve worked for.

      • Natalia says:

        Agreed Jo. She sounds like a real B. But what does one expect from the middle class equivalent of Rose Hanbury’s mother?!

    • Aang says:

      I would never snap my fingers at someone, no matter the situation. And as for answering emails outside work hours, no. People need time off.

      • Lady D says:

        I have never had a boss that expected after work hours communication. For me, it wouldn’t happen, and if it did, I’d expect overtime pay.

    • Jan says:

      Sorry but snapping your fingers at someone like they are a dog is NOT acceptable behavior as a boss.

      • Phat girl says:

        Agreed. Snap at me like a dog and I might just bite you on the ass like one too!

    • Ashley says:

      Agreed. So you’re her employee and she treats you in a business, no nonsense manner and expects you to work a certain amount of hours? And the problem is?

    • whitecat says:

      Carol’s behavior is beyond unprofessional, even if it is a man who acted like this – no. I’ve worked for nightmare bosses and the worst is when they contact you outside of working hours, expecting you to work at night AND deduct your pay when you have a doctor’s appointment. And snapping your fingers at somebody? No, this is so rude. I would never do that to anybody.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I think it is a case of that for years Carole did not give a “Rats Ass” because the money was rolling in to the Middleton coffers. Now that Party Pieces has hit a road block she is micromanaging & behaving rudely due to being worried and stress out over her business. This type of unacceptable managerial behavior and its cause is more common than one would think.

    • KidV says:

      I would never snap my fingers at my employees. Nor anyone, for that matter. It’s rude. I also don’t email after hours. While my business is my life 24/7, it’s not theirs. They’re employees paid for specific times of the day. I have good employees, we have fun and get the work done.

      • Aims says:

        Agreed. This doesn’t feel like sexism, but rather a real bad attitude toward her staff. Never in a million years would I ever snap my fingers or be demanding or treat my employees disrespectfuly. My feeling is that we’re a team with the same goal. When you treat people well and respectfully, you will have employees who will want to come into work and be their best.

    • holly hobby says:

      You can get what you want and manage your resources without being a jerk. Management 101. Has nothing to do with her gender. If she were a he, they’d be saying the same thing -“what a dick.”

      • AM says:

        Why don’t they have money for inventory these days?

        One point in a article I read on the weekend said she would discuss family or personal family things at the table meetings with staff and it made the staff really uncomfortable.
        I wonder what she was saying!?

    • Mellie says:

      I think the snapping is a bit much, but asking people to work a full day and not cheat on their time is certainly not out of the question. But, if I’m working 9-5, I’m not going to answer a 7p.m. email, not happening.

  2. Kittycat says:

    I really hate anonymous sources.

    I wonder if Caroke has people sign NDAs?

  3. Becks1 says:

    But, did she send texts at 5 am?!?!?

    I am sure there is some sexism at play with the criticism of Carole as opposed to Mike, but I can also see her being more….lets say, assertive, and him being more laid back and easygoing. That’s just kind of the vibe I get from seeing them together.

    But that aspect of it aside – it is interesting to consider why these stories are now getting published. IS Party pieces about to go out of business? Are they laying off staff in larger numbers than first reported, and those people are going to the press? I guess we will find out soon enough.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I think in Carole’s case there has been stories for years about her snottiness and high handedness – I recall reading stories about her being rude to shop assistants etc.. But yeah I get the vibe she’s very assertive and he’s not so much. You can be an assertive boss and not make your employee’s feel like crap, it all depends if you have empathy and are capable of respecting others.

      Yeah PP is about to go under and they are looking for a buyer or investment – these stories are a warning to the Middletons and Cambridges. It is interesting that this is all happening now – makes you wonder what is going on behind the royal curtains.

    • Megan says:

      I don’t know how Amazon works in the UK, but in the US something like half of their sales are through third-party retailers who use the Amazon platform. Since almost no business can compete with Amazon’s reach and brand, Carole is missing the boat.

      • AM says:

        Right now no one can see their business details,mor income details,but they couldn’t do that if they went full fledge into selling on Amazon, I think?

        Something is making them to want to keep details of the business private.

        P.S. There is one point in the article where it said the business really took off after William and Kate married or got together. I guess the novelty of a Royal association only last for so long.

        Also Party Pieces products have nothing that is unique about them, that would make people need to go there,.

      • Megan says:

        In the US, you pay $40 a month to sell on the platform. I don’t think any financial disclosures are needed. If you don’t meet Amazon’s standards they just boot you.

      • AM says:

        She would have to disclose certain bank details of the company to Amazon.

      • Princessk says:

        I read a comment on this very DM about Carole by someonewho said that they went to a ‘certain company ‘ to inspect the tax affairs or something and some documents were missing but a staff member later quietly produced some documents which showed that private expenses were being presented as business expenses.

  4. Mindy_dopple says:

    Someone had mentioned what a success their company had been overall, and that ending due to Amazon isn’t newsworthy in itself. The Middleton’s had a nice long run with their own business, had they had a company meeting once they realized they wouldn’t make it intact another year and done the right thing, laid off people, severance packages, look to get bought out, etc. This would be a non story. Instead, they’re riding it out until the bitter end. Maybe their hoping people will quit so they don’t have to pay unemployment? I don’t know how it works, but obviously they can’t retire just yet, so here they are.

    • FuefinaWG says:

      I wonder why they don’t just sell their stuff on Amazon? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

  5. Templatefox says:

    So on one hand people say how the press and the daily mail in particular are in the pockets of the Middletons, but yet it is the mail that has written a few negative stories about the Middletons businesses. This is why I don’t believe the narrative that the Middletons ae the ones controlling the press cause if they did we wouldn’t be getting these stories in the first place.

    • Lorelei says:

      Seriously I would love to be a fly on the wall in some of these meetings where editorial decisions are being made, especially recently. It’s fascinating!

    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t think they control the press, but I do think they have some well placed connections. In general though, that’s why I find this story interesting. Not the actual story, but the fact that something so negative is being printed about Carole.

    • The Hench says:

      As another poster on here has said before, the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday are different editorial teams. The Middletons have contacts inside the Daily Mail but the Mail on Sunday has written several negative things about them.

      • V says:

        Not really. As someone here has said before it’s the Mail on Sunday’s editor the one who has the special connections with Carole and is working for her to smear Meghan..
        I dont’t know if people realize how these conspiracy theories are getting ridiculous.

      • B says:

        @V thank you for this “I dont’t know if people realize how these conspiracy theories are getting ridiculous.” 1 million high fives

      • Bella DuPont says:

        @ v


        The Daily Mail/Mail online etc are peerless at writing hit pieces disguised as complimentary stories (see half of all Meghan Markle stories for good examples)…’s their stock in trade.

        This is just the opposite (but similar) tactic. It’s an article describing a strong business woman, jam packed with praise and flattering anecdotes, thinly sprinkled with a few vaguely unflattering ones, masquerading as a hit piece.

      • V says:

        You’re right about the hit pieces disguised as complimentary stories,which is something they’ve done withe the Cambridges many times too,but,while there’s nothing incredibly damaging,I really don’t see here any praise and flattering anecdotes about her. And the story about her son’s business was even worse. It seems to me that some people are grasping at straws because they have to justify their own biased narrative.

      • Tina says:

        I honestly couldn’t give a toss who at the DM/MoS is supportive of the Middletons or not, but it is a fact that they are different papers with different editorial teams. This is common in the UK. See also the Times/Sunday Times, Guardian/Observer, etc. And not all the stories from the DM/MoS are picked up on MailOnline, at least not straight away.

    • bucketbot says:

      i find it more likely that these connections might be on a quid-pro-quid basis, If the Mids can give any reporter some exclusive (about W&K or any one, it may not have to be a very big thing, though obviously big exclusives will mean more) , that reporter will write something nice about them in exchange. But this would be a one and done. You can’t expect the reporter to be loyal lifelong without constant payment of some sort, especially in these times of social media where information reaches far and wide way too soon, and is constantly updated.

    • V says:

      I guess the Mail on Sunday’s editor didn’t see it,lol. Someone here is very sure that he was Carole’s pr person and is currently working with her for her smearing campaigns. And,obviously,the daily mail is on the Cambridges/Middletons payroll..

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      The Middleton’s are tight with the previous and current Editor In Chief of the Fail but am not sure they control the digital edition (I think it has its own editor) and is likely why there is a bit of a jekyll and hyde coverage of them on the site. You will only ever see negative stories about them on the website and not the print edition.

      Plus if the other tabs are running these stories (it was either the Sun or the Mirror that ran this first) then the Fail will also run them as not to loose click throughs.

      • AM says:

        Katie Nicholl once called Kate’s personal phone on a holiday with William, and implied this was not the first time, Kate answered. Kate only hung up the phone when William appeared out of the bathroom.

        Years ago another Mail Reporter described how he went to the Middletons back door or kitchen door of their home and was invited in by Carole and Pippa.

        No way a reporter got across their lawn and up to the door, unless it was ok by someone inside.

      • V says:

        I highly doubt it was just on their website that,suddenly, has a different management. Please. These are excuse and attempts to justify something that doesn’t suit personal narratives and agendas. Also,this story,like the one about her son’s company,was first run by the daily mail.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Yes, their long-time PR consultants are the current and past Sunday DM editors. And the new Tattler editor is cozy with Kate from university. No surprise Tattler now hates Meghan.

    • Princessk says:

      Well l wrote a letter of complaint to several editors of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, about the cruel treatment being meted out to Meghan and l got two responses, which showed clearly that they were getting lots of complaints about this. So l think they are beginning to be ever so slightly more even handed when they are dishing out articles designed to expose the royals and their close connections.

  6. Toot says:

    Carole did that interview to try and drum up attention for the business. I also think the London apartment they recently sold was to get some cash that may be needed.

    • Eliza says:

      They are selling the business. I think it was to promote it but to buyers.

    • Chrome says:

      The London apartment is still under offer, and the article last year said PP/ Carole was looking for investors. That’s why she did the article. I checked out local reviews for PP. Not good. Orders arriving late, no tracking provided and lots of customers complaining that stuff they ordered was out of stock. Didn’t one employee say they couldn’t re-order stock cos there was no money? Sounds bad. They made lots of dosh selling their mailing lists early on. Their stuff is expensive and that kind of throwaway stuff can be bought from the local High Street here or online.

      I don’t think the criticism of Carole is sexist. A bad boss is a bad boss, no matter the gender. She comes across as throwing her weight around because she can. And certainly did that when managing staff at Anmer hall. They left. Snapping your fingers at staff is plain arrogant and rude, What a piece of work. Managing people is an art if you want to keep and get the best out of them. She’s disorganised if she’s not around to sign off work, expecting staff to carry her on THEIR time when she’s delayed making decisions etc. The 71 emails is ridiculous. Definitely not on top of her workload. Maybe too busy being papped at Wimbledon.

      As a mother she did not set her kids up with a work ethic, unless sniffing out wealthy men qualifies. The Middleton’s have capitalised on their royal adjacent status from the girlfriend days, asking and getting discounts on cars etc. They’ve had their moment in the sun and then some.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        The problem with PP is that it coasted on the royal connection for years and they got complacent. Given the competition from Amazon, Etsy and local pound shops they should have diversified but they didn’t, thinking their royal connections made them stand out.

        They made a lot of money in the beginning and yeah they made a mint selling their substantial mailing list but since GDPR came into law 2 years ago, they lost that source of income. GDPR gave the consumer control over their own personal data and how companies can use it and consumers in their droves are now NOT allowing companies to sell on their data to 3rd parties for money. Seems that PP failed to update its business model to account for that and again failed to diversify their business. TBH a business like PP has no value in today’s world, particularly in an over saturated market place like party supplies. Even before this article they were always going to struggle for a buyer or investor.

        They products were bad quality, over priced with expensive shipping costs. They priced themselves out of the market.

      • jan90067 says:

        I find it very interesting that everyone is taking this “she sends 71 emails in one day!” as the Gospel about Carole, but when Meg was accused of it, saying she sends out 50-odd ones a day to her staff (beginning at 5 am!) “That’s bullish!t! Racists! Piling on a WOC”.

        People…it’s bullish!t about BOTH women! I seriously doubt EITHER woman is doing ANY of what this rag claims about them. C’mon…. it’s THE FAIL.

        As a teacher, we had to sign in when we got to work, and out when we left, in the office. The Principal would put a red dot by your time if you were even a few min. late due to traffic. Horrid, but done. (and no, you didn’t get ANYTHING credited towards working later than your expected time, be that by minutes or (more often) hours on campus) 😫. And yes, you had to use your 10 “sick days” for any medical appts. or actually being sick. So I totally can get this in PP. The only thing I think is rude (IF TRUE) is the snapping of the fingers at people. But I’ve known a LOT of bosses in my working life that do that. Not that it makes it “right”, but it’s done to get attention (if you’re/they’re on the phone, etc).

      • Ms K says:

        Agree. The GDPR compliance deadline was last year. I suspect renting their email/mailing list was a significant source of income for them.

  7. Eliza says:

    I’m confused about the dentist comment, in the UK do you not use PTO (paid time off) for your medical appointments? I just had a dental appointment last week at lunch, it ran long, so I made up my time. If I have a longer appointment I take a half day off. Just because you’re base salary doesn’t mean the 40 hours is a suggestion.

    Also Im not crazy emailer, but if a milestone is approaching I joke everyone must hate me because it’s the time when I need to follow up and many people need to be cc:d. If there’s a discussion back and forth those numbers can grow easily in the day.

    I think the snapping fingers is extremely rude though. No reason for that. That’s not sexism that’s just nasty.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think this depends on your particular company. I know people who work for companies that don’t have PTO, you just get your work done (pluses and minuses to this.) So if you leave an hour early to go to the dentist, NBD. there will probably be a day when you work an extra hour to get something done.

      • Royalwatcher says:

        Yeah, I think it’s about the comment that staff was expected to work after hours (and not get paid extra, I assume)…but then getting docked for the dentist appointment. I mean, F that ish.

        Also, the staffer said they are salaried. I don’t know about in the UK, but in the US, salaried employees generally “work to get the job done” – so sometimes that might be a 50 hour week and sometimes it’s a 30 hour week. But generally, salaried employees are not punching a clock or tracking their hours since they are not being paid hourly!

    • runcmc says:

      Also that whole bit about having to clock in and out so she knows when you enter and leave the building, and that accountants look at those figures.

      Uh, that’s called processing payroll. That is done at basically every job, ever. If someone is missing hours it’s part of the accountant’s job to note that. There is nothing crazy about that at all.

      • Erinn says:

        Yeah, that part confuses me. I have to clock in and out. But on top of that, I have to clock into specific tasks as they change throughout the day. My incentive is based on productivity/quality. And that’s how it’s tracked.

        My husband has to clock into each plumbing job he goes to, and the app his company uses tracks where you are at all times essentially. They said they’re not obsessively tracking them and not to worry if they stop off for a coffee or to grab something at the store as long as it’s quick and not excessive. The only time they’ll say something is if something weird shows up in the numbers.

      • Royalwatcher says:

        But the staff person said they are salaried employees. Salaried employees are not paid by the hour so there isn’t any need to track their hours like that. It’s about whether they are getting the job done. To me, this is just a level of micro-managing that goes with the other complaints like her having to sign of on every little thing the staff are doing. It shows a lack of trust in her employees.

      • Erinn says:

        Royalwatcher – one of my friends at work was a salaried employee (grandfathered in) doing the same job I was. She still had to clock in and out. It really depends on the company.

      • Becks1 says:

        I have to clock in and out (salaried employee) but I work for the government, so all bets are off there, ha.

      • Nic919 says:

        It’s not the clocking in and out that’s the issue so much as if they are docking pay as a result of it and they are a salaried employee.

      • runcmc says:

        Your salary is based on a certain number of hours- mine is based on a 40 hour week. If you’re not working your full week, then why would you be entitled to be paid for it?

        My last company required that we “clock” in and out (we had to swipe our employee card to check in). It was for safety reasons, in case something happened in the building they would know who was there. But also, as an accountant, if I noticed people who were constantly working fewer hours than they should but they were being paid normally it would be my job to say something about it.

      • Nic919 says:

        If they are docking pay for missing an hour during the regular business hours but also not giving credit to hours worked beyond that, it’s an unfair labour practice . Most decent workplaces provide an opportunity to make up for missed time when you are a salaried employee, especially for things like doctor appointments. If what is being described in the article is accurate then there are potential constructive dismissal claims by some of these employees.

      • Ange says:

        It’s strange for salaried workers though. I have to submit a timesheet but I do it myself and it’s sent in fortnightly. I don’t clock when I go to the doctors or little things like that, I do plenty of odd hours so my boss knows it all works out. She trusts us to manage our time, unlike someone who would demand clocking in and out and take time off for appointments while demanding people work late.

  8. Raina says:

    I can’t believe she made her employees work.

    Could live without the snapping of the fingers though.

  9. Casey02 says:

    Carole is a Bit**. Let’s be is Carole who provided counsel to Kate to wait for PW for 7 year. To be at his beck and call and not to work or develop her own interest. Prince Charles really despises this woman. Having said that WTF… she’s running a business. She’s not going to let her employees run over her, I mean really. One employee complained because Carole provided oversight on when they clocked in and out to make sure she paid them correctly. Just another example that makes the British people look foolish. My overall feeling of Carole Middleton…. is watch your back, she will cut a B!!!

    • Beth says:

      The complaint about clocking in was that they’re salaried workers, not hourly. This is supported by her expectation that they respond to emails when they are not at work (and off the clock). The point of being on salary is flexibility in your schedule. I don’t know the laws in the UK, but I would question the legality of docking salaried pay based on hours they’ve clocked in. If someone is abusing the system and consistently not working the expected number of hours, that is a separate conversation.

      There is a difference between expecting your employees to do their jobs and having bad policies. Obviously this information is one sided, and provided by employees who have been laid off, so it’s biased.

      • Casey02 says:

        Beth… it states clocked in and worked allotted hours. Salary doesn’t clock in as use stated usually works more than allotted time. Either way, as a small business owner everyone time should be checked for accuracy and employees should understand. What’s your take on Carole??

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Am in the Uk and while am not an employment law expert, if its in the contract of employment they signed then yeah they could dock a salaried persons pay. Am a contractor and I have seen in a few contracts a stipulation that the company can dock money if the employee has taken un-approved leave but it is rarely enforced. In my experience most employers will let salaried staff take some time off for medical/dental appointments if you agree to make the time up. I don’t know if this person has prior permission for a dental appointment but to actually dock someone’s pay over it is really bad and is not just a sign of bad management but dire financial straights.

        Many years ago I experienced something similar with a small company run by a husband and wife – when I left she came up with all sorts of excuses to delay paying me my final salary and started making threats to dock some money because of vague reasons – she was only doing it because she could and was a total utter beyatch (and is why i left). I had gone to a bigger company with a proper HR dept and the HR manager told me what that woman was doing was illegal and she was in breach of the terms of the employment contract. So after me telling said beyotch this and threatening to sue her I got my full final salary but not my P45 (which I needed for tax reasons), in the end the HR lady said I didn’t really need it anyway and they’d sort it all out for me.

      • Royalwatcher says:

        But I just feel like Carole can’t have it both ways – she cannot expect her salaried employees to work late into the night for no extra pay and then also to dock them for taking an hour for the dentist. That’s not how a salaried position works.

        It seems like she wanted the salaried “rules” when it works in her favor (making employees work after hours) but not when it works in the employee’s favor (taking an hour to go to the dentist).

  10. Original Jenns says:

    But did the employee receive 71 emails at 5am like the employees of some bossy, know nothing American we rarely mention??? Because that would be true terror.

    The working details sound like they are micromanaged, but no more so than other business can micromanage. I hate time stamping in, because I feel like as an adult I can be trusted to come to work on time, but that’s not up to me. And I, as a salaried worker, have to take sick/vacation time to go to Drs. That’s not surprising. The only thing that rings me as bad (aside from the late nights, which can happen in any business and, hey, boss needs it is a reason even if it sucks), is the snapping of the fingers. That’s rude and dismissive, and would have me looking for another job. I’m not a dog. ** Edited to add, I didn’t read the article, so if there are more items about her being rude and curt and awful, it sounds a lot like the Anmer situation, where people were quitting and going back to the Queen’s employ while Carol was running everything for Kate and Will. Which has me believing it a lot more than just on it’s own legs.

    I do think all the hit pieces on Party Pieces are very odd. Either Carol is this terrible boss and is losing control (and we did hear about royal employees resenting her when she was running Anmer for Kate and Will, and it sounds like the same behavior mentioned here), or people have a large ax to grind against her or the Cambridges, and this is how they do it. I also think she and Mike are living separate lives, and he just gets to float around, smile at everyone, and then leave and do his own thing.

    • Chrome says:

      Micromanaging means you don’t trust your staff. So why employ them? Old saying: No point in havin’ a dog if you wanna bark yourself. A good boss respects his/her people and shows them courtesy. I’ve worked for both excellent and appalling bosses. The latter pull the ladder up behind them, are demanding and are actually pretty piss poor at their jobs. The former are magnificent – they mentor, encourage and work damn hard themselves. Garbage people are garbage people, no matter the gender.

      Don’t know why this story about PP has come up or the William-Rose thing. Both hit pieces on the Cambridges. Yeah, Carole and Mike are together, but apart. Another person in the frame, for at least two years now.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      These PP hit pieces mean that someone is sharpening their knives for Carole and the Middletons. She’s finally pissed off the wrong person who has their own press contacts to be able to fight back.

      If its true they are looking for a buyer – these articles will make that much more difficult as it will scare potential’s off.

      This could be payback from the Hanbury’s for the Mids/Cams throwing their daughter under the bus to protect Kate and William.

    • tuille says:

      I often send business emails after hours, even very late at night or early am, but I don’t expect responses until regular business hours. Sometimes I’ll remember something important @ bedtime or get a call from a client at night which necessitates a change in the next day’s schedule so I send emails to the appropriate recipients.

      Most people do not log into their business email until they get to work, so “no harm no foul” as far as I can see. I could be traveling @ start of business day or in a meeting & unable to send an email @ exactly start of day. Doesn’t matter if I sent message @ 11pm, 2 am, or 5 am since recipient won’t see it anyway until they come in to start work. No big deal.

  11. ShockandAwwww says:

    I am legitimately shocked to see anyone defending her, on this site of all sites. I am a bit torn. Snapping her fingers is unprofessional and rude (holy shhh if anyone snapped at me, or anyone else in my presenc, ever, I would rip them apart); Sending 70 emails is excessive, and I personally quit my last job due to their expectations that I respond to texts or emails after work hours (I was NOT salaried, however). Having said all of this, she absolutely sounds like a normal boss.

  12. Talie says:

    I’m sure she has gotten offers from some big wholesaler to take over her business – she and Mike she should just do it. They are close to retirement age and Amazon has probably put a dent.

    • AM says:

      It doesn’t sound like they have any inventory or short supply.
      Also their products are a dime a dozen, nothing special.

      Basically who needs Party Pieces with so many other companies doing similar or better products?

  13. Loretta says:

    But Meghan was diffcult for 5 emails LOL

  14. Marissa says:

    If we shouldn’t believe anything the DM prints about Meghan, we shouldn’t believe this.

  15. B says:

    Ok if she snapped her fingers that is not great and I don’t condone that, I also think 71 emails is a lot but not unheard of and really not worth complaining about to the press. Honest questions to the people who are British on this site- what is your work culture? Because Megan is attacked for sending 5 am emails (no where did it say she expected an immediate response) now Carole is for sending to many?

    Also the no Christmas decorations- seriously? That is the most asinine thing I have ever heard like whoever said that should feel so embarrassed and frankly dumb. Also why just Christmas? England does have a Jewish and Muslim population not focusing on one event doesn’t seem mean but fair to all.

    And yes this is sexist she is a woman in charge and demands respect- and a lot of people don’t like that.

    All these stories do make me wonder who the leak is and more and more I think the only people who have leaked are Andrew, palace staff and finally the aristo set. They have never liked Kate but she tried with them and I think the royal family adding another “commoner” was just to much and they are out to destroy. Difference between Megan and Kate is Kate cares as its part of her culture and I don’t think Megan does because lets be real she’s tight with who matters in her country and we don’t do the aristo thing here.

    • Tina says:

      This sort of thing is not completely unknown in UK work culture. If you are a top lawyer or investment banker, you might receive 5 am texts or 71 emails from your boss in a day. But you are compensated accordingly. If you are a worker for a party supply firm? That is wildly outside of expected UK work culture.

      • Gina says:

        Thank You!
        There are businesses where a lot of emails and after-hours is expected but I highly doubt such a work culture is necessary in a party stuff supplier. In medicine or finance or law unexpected things happen which require employees to do after-hours. But not in such a party stuff supplier because their business is relatively predictable. They know well in advance when they have to make their next advertisments or when they plan for a new design and such or when they need to reorder and they likely know well how long it takes. They have likely higher turnarounds before the big festivities like Christmas or New Year or … Easter?
        If they have to do lots of overtime and after-hours then the management is to blame.

  16. Chaine says:

    Just trying to figure out how the DM will find a way to blame Meghan for the failure of Party Pieces….

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Daily Fail is still trying to find a way to blame Meghan for the failed BREXIT deal! LOL! LOL!

  17. Tourmaline says:

    I would bet that Carole is hangry most of the time.

    Seriously though they should have seen the writing on the wall and sold Party Pieces a few years ago with the boom in business for the 2011 royal wedding. The fact that they didn’t, and instead Pippa faffed around with her failed party book and James did whatever the hell he was doing with printed cakes and marshmallows makes me think their business acumen is quite outdated.

  18. Mumbles says:

    I am seriously scratching my head at the idea of this being a profitable company in the day and age of bulk party supply stores and Amazon etc.

    • AM says:

      There’s a reason it’s kept private. No one will truly be able to see what they actually made.
      I don’t see those products making millions year after year despite the PR that has been fed to the press.

  19. Jessica says:

    Kate looks so much like her mom. It’s amazing.

  20. guest says:

    Snapping her fingers to get attention? I believe it. Hmmm wonder why this story came out and no I dont think 9 month pregnant meghan is doing it ( dailyfail comments).

    • Heather says:

      I almost think this is totally not royalty related and is getting some press because they’re royalty adjacent. PP is in some trouble, right? Whether a permanent downturn or just a minor one I don’t know. But if I wanted to buy a company with a built in market and some name recognition, I might start some rumors to drive down the price. Just a thought.

  21. Jessica says:

    71 emails a day from a single person is excessive in MOST jobs, wth? If I received 71 emails in one day from ONLY my boss, we had better be preparing for a visit from a Pope or King or something similarly important or mission-critical. Dealing with that many emails cuts into productivity as well, because you aren’t able to devote proper attention to other tasks. I work in publishing so my daily email traffic is usually somewhat heavy, but Party Pieces is a small, boutique business, is it not?

    The finger snapping is extremely rude, uncouth, demeaning and unprofessional. Yikes.

    I think sexism usually factors into this kind of criticism of women, but that doesn’t mean it’s the sole driving factor or that all criticism is unmerited. Some of their complaints sound like “mean old Carole expected us to work,” but some of it is more troubling.

    And yeah, what kind of office doesn’t have any holiday decorations? Especially when you…sell decorations? It’s not the most important thing, but it gives you a sense of the overall atmosphere.

    Employees who feel appreciated and adequately resourced usually don’t air public criticisms. Treat your employees with respect and everyone, including you, benefits. She was said to be running off employees at Anmer Hall too.

  22. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    If I’m a salaried employee and I’m not allowed to go to the dentist or doctor without making up my hours or getting docked in pay I’m surely not responding to any emails after I get home from work.

  23. A says:

    In my experience, male bosses who are jovial and friendly and all that are often so much worse. They’re more worried about being nice to their employees that they have a complete incapacity to confront people who are really not doing a great job. Like Glenn from Superstore.

    I’d rather have a boss who’s maybe a bit standoffish. At least she won’t lie to someone to be nice to them. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely abusive bosses as well, but none of this strikes me as that. It just seems like Carol runs a tight ship and she had the misfortune of hiring employees who complain about being expected to do the job they were hired for.

  24. Lucia says:

    This makes me want to roll my eyes. I think people just don’t like having a female boss. A male boss with this type of behavior would be accepted. Carole has a business to run. If part of the job was to expect after-hours calls, it better have been described as such and I’m betting it was.

    I’ve long suspected that Michael and Carole haven’t been romantically together for a very long time. I think they stay married but I don’t think they’re really with each other. Everything I’ve read about Carole and Michael makes it sound like they don’t really enjoy each other’s company.

    • Gina says:

      I am betting after-hours calls wasn’t part of the job. Cause it wasn’t a job in finance nor law nor any job where unexpected things can be expected frequently. They supply party stuff to private customers so things can be planned well in advance if one is capable of managing one’s calender.

  25. V says:

    The snapping of the fingers sounds rude,IF it’s true and IF they actually talked with ex employees. As for the rest,there’s nothing really damaging.
    She just looks demanding,but not really rude or nasty,which is also what one the persons quoted says. What is perfectly believable is that their business isn’t going well,and it’s normal in the current market. It’s also clear why she started to release interviews months ago,and that it didn’t have anything to do with Meghan..

  26. Lory says:

    I don’t believe the negative remarks are sexist because they’re not putting her down for being assertive or even being a boss but for being a micromanager. I had both a male and female micromanager and it made me regret the day I took the job. After I had them as bosses I got this really assertive and also kind of rude/abrasive female boss but she was an absolute godsend because she actually had enough faith in my talents to not have to check every single thing I did.

    The part about the e-mails triggered a flashback about the female micromanager I had. I had to interview someone in prison and I felt quite excited about being in a prison because I had never seen one from the inside. I was a little early and had to hand over my phones so I read and answered all my e-mails and then went in for the interview. The interview didn’t last more than 50 minuten but after the interview I immediately checked my e-mails: 19 were from her and about 2/3s were marked as urgent. And she did this quite literally day and night. She also sent me 8 e-mails at once about one single subject with each e-mail containing only one question about a small part of what she wanted to know. It irritated me so much she didn’t just send me one e-mail that I answered every single e-mail separately. She actually came over to me to complain I had spammed her. Uhm yeah I did but you started it (yeah, childish of me but I was sick of receiving 90+ e-mails a day).

  27. AprilMay says:

    Saw some people dig up tweets from former employees going back to 2010 calling Carole out for demeaning and rude behaviour. And I for one believe it.

  28. Mia says:

    I live in the US and was salaried on a previous job. While others checked emails late into the night, worked during their vacation, I didn’t. I worked hard but also had a life. Not a fan but the only thing I didn’t like was the snappy fingers and docking salaried employees when they made up the hours.

  29. Ange says:

    She sounds like a boss I had who was an absolute nightmare. My old boss also HAD to sign off on every single little thing but would randomly go missing for hours and hours each day. Do you have any idea how much that messes up your productivity? She also had a super fun habit of berating you for being behind but you were only behind because you’d been waiting for her ok so you could finish the damn task. The old boss would also send emails at stupid times of the night expecting answers, her own time management was so woeful you were stuck on her schedule because it was the only way you’d finish anything. The sad thing is she had a good staff but she was the one ruining everything because she couldn’t trust them. Why hire people you can’t trust? It baffles me.

    Team staff on this one, all the way.

  30. Gina says:

    That is probably why Party Pieces is in financial troubles.

    As an excuse for Carole I have to say it can’t be easy to nanny daughter Kate in her marriage to William and to support James business ideas and to .. what was it she does for Pippa?
    Btw. did Pippa get specially designed earrings from her parents as well? Kate got those acorn earrings, but Pippa?