Robert Lacey: Carole ‘Butter Wouldn’t Melt’ Middleton was a ‘ferocious negotiator’

Michael Middleton and Carole Middleton

I think this might be the last of the excerpts from Robert Lacey’s Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult. That being said, I assume we’ll still be getting stories about the book in the weeks to come, especially as royal commentators get a chance to read the full book. It’s also interesting that Lacey’s book went from mega-hyped by the worst of the commentators to… those same people basically ignoring the excerpts because the book is not what they imagined it would be. They thought it was going to be a book about how everything was Prince Harry’s fault and how he needs to abandon his wife and child and “come home” to be controlled by William. What Lacey has done is basically show people that A) Harry’s exit was a long time coming and not just about Meghan and B) William has significant rage issues.

Interestingly enough, Lacey seems to explore Prince William and Kate’s relationship in detail too. He doesn’t have much new information, but he comes close to pointing out just how thoroughly Kate stalked William for years, and how she always took him back when he went off and cheated on her. And now this: Lacey does a deeper dive into the Middleton family. Of course he doesn’t have any dirt on that curious pot farm adjacent to the Middletons’ property. Of course he doesn’t have any new info about Uncle Gary.

Kate’s grandmother: A formidable role model in the life of the young Catherine Middleton was her grandmother on her mother’s side, Dorothy Goldsmith, known affectionately to some in her family as ‘Lady Dorothy’ — though she was no aristocrat…Dorothy left school early to work as a shop assistant at the Dorothy ­Perkins fashion chain — and at just 18, she married Kate’s grandfather, 22-year old builder Ronald Goldsmith. The couple settled in a council flat in Southall, West London. In 1955, their daughter Carole was born, and Dorothy was so delighted with her new baby that they bought little Carole ‘the biggest Silver Cross pram you have ever seen’. Today, in 2020, a Silver Cross Balmoral pram, complete with huge curved springs and wire-spoked wheels, will set you back £1,800. In 1955 you did not see many Silver Cross prams on council estates, and this seems to have been the moment when the nickname of ‘Lady Dorothy’ started to be applied to Mrs Goldsmith.

Social climbing in the family tree: ‘We all thought Dorothy was a bit of a snob,’ recalled ­Ronald’s niece, Ann Terry, who at one point worked beside her in a jewellery store. ‘She always wanted to better herself.’ ‘My grandmother used to grumble about Dorothy,’ remembered another relative. ‘She thought Dorothy always wanted to be the top brick in the chimney.’

Carole landed Michael Middleton, someone with family money: When the couple married in 1980, it was Middleton money that bought their first home, a Victorian semi-detached cottage in a village near Bucklebury in Berkshire, where they lived with their baby daughters Pippa and Kate. By 1987, Carole was 32 and pregnant with their third child, James.

Hustling for Party Pieces: Within months of James’s birth, Mrs Middleton created her own trading company, Party Pieces — a one-stop, mail-order destination from which you could order anything you needed for a children’s party. She went to the Spring Fair at Birmingham in 1987, hooked up with some suppliers of paper plates and cups, stuck up a self-designed flyer at Kate’s playgroup in Bucklebury — and began stuffing colourful party bags on her kitchen table. These were pre-internet days, and business was slow. But then Carole had the idea of advertising with a children’s book club which she’d subscribed to. She paid to send out 10,000 flyers, then later 100,000 — and the orders took off.

Carole screams too: Carole Middleton’s haggling skills became legendary in the direct-mail business. ‘Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth most of the time, but she was a ferocious negotiator,’ recalls one of her suppliers. ‘I remember her almost screaming down the phone on one occasion when I refused to drop my price on something. People could hear her on the other side of the office — and that was in my office with her voice coming through the phone from Bucklebury, or wherever.’

She gets results: But Carole undoubtedly got results. The Middletons were already millionaires by the time Kate found herself at St Andrews University with Prince William in the early 2000s.

[From The Daily Mail]

I’ve been longing for someone, anyone to do a deeper dive on the years between “Carole starting Party Pieces” and “suddenly the Middletons are millionaires.” I’ve always said this: I believe Party Pieces was once a successful business and it probably earned the Middletons a comfortable existence. But I just have my doubts about whether they would have been able to afford a private education for all three kids, then an extended adolescence where none of those kids worked or did much of anything throughout their 20s. Plus the Middletons “bought” a London apartment for Kate to be closer to William, and the Middletons bankrolled a huge chunk of the courtship and on and on. It was a major investment. And I think Gary Goldsmith’s money financed it. So why can’t they just say that?

As for Carole “Butter Wouldn’t Melt” Middleton… I mean… I think social-climbing and putting on airs is in her DNA. In America, that kind of upward social mobility is praised and admired. In Britain… not so much.


Pippa Middleton, Carole Middleton, Kate Middleton

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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231 Responses to “Robert Lacey: Carole ‘Butter Wouldn’t Melt’ Middleton was a ‘ferocious negotiator’”

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  1. Mumbles says:

    Hyacinth Bucket, if Hyacinth had a money-laundering brother. With Party City and its ilk readily available, I just don’t see selling confetti on line the path to the lifestyle they’ve had.

    • Mignionette says:

      I agree. I also call bullsh*t on securing supplies from the UK. This is a supply chain company so likely PP’s sold cheap crap from China, that is the only way she could have generated huge enough margins to generate that kind of wealth. Also the advent of e-commerce would have killed that business. The story about advertsting in a book club is quaint, but when you’re making pennies on the pound profit wise on cheap disposable goods, then that book club would need to be huge. The UK has a population of circa 68-70 M so about 3x that of NY. Even with the best marketing I can’t see them making that much money.

      It is possible that they re-invested that money and that created the wealth. I know they bought property in central London like most sloanes for when their children come of age. But applying that standard makes half of London millionaires. Also note that Kate’s apartment was sold a few years after she married prompting speculation of cash flow issues.

      Bill also had to crowd source funds from the public purse to ‘reinforce security’ at Buckleberry. These feckers are lying….

      I believe PP’s was a money laundering factory partly for Uncle Gary amongst other things.

      I will give Carole some credit for her brilliance in maintaining the business as it essentially gave the family legitimacy and a ‘back story’ for all that money….

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        Hmm. Carole is Kris Jenner. You have to admire her ability to feed the 5000 with five loaves and two fishes courtesy of Uncle Gary. Hope he continues to keep his mouth shut though. I think his recent slagging off of the Sussexes was to remind his family of his existence and power to embarrass them should he choose to do so.

      • notasugarhere says:

        They were caught selling products made in Mexico by child labour.

    • Nic919 says:

      As we have seen from the US president, people with a certain amount of money can live a luxurious existence that is highly leveraged. I am sure Uncle Gary has helped too, but I think at this point Party Pieces is played out. They can’t sell third party mailing lists in the UK or EU anymore and that’s where they made their money beyond Uncle Gary.

    • Züri says:

      I agree that there is no way they were drawing in such considerable profits to be millionaires, and probably not also likely through investments. The most expensive item on PP was 49.95 and the company was only the third most popular party supply mail order service in the UK. I’m sure they saw some kind of surge around the wedding and the birth of George, particularly as they marketed “first birthday” items around his bday. A friend of mine who is a corporate bankruptcy barrister in London said there have long been murmurs about their solvency and sources of income.

    • Indiesr says:


    • Sid says:

      I think you would have had to be on the level of something like Oriental Trading Company to be able to make millions off selling party supplies online, and that is a business with an over 80 year history and a much bigger size and scale than PP ever was.

      • HeyJude says:

        Even Oriental Trading filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010.

        Party City meanwhile is currently on the brink of bankruptcy themselves too.

        But I’m sure Carole Middleton the Top Top CEO is somehow vastly more profitable with her niche company in a single small market than those two industry leaders.

      • Sid says:

        “But I’m sure Carole Middleton the Top Top CEO is somehow vastly more profitable with her niche company in a single small market than those two industry leaders.”

        That is it in a nutshell. Any way you cut it the math just does not work.

  2. Seraphina says:

    Can someone please explain the Butter expression to me. I am lost.

  3. Mignionette says:

    OOOhhhh…. it’s the turn of the Midds…..

    *sips tea*

    • Myra says:

      Hmmm… FF wasn’t so bad after all. I’m just gonna sit here and mind my own business.

      *slurps tea*

    • PrincessK says:

      It is said that Prince Charles loathes her.

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        That just sounds like a situation where someone hates their own reflection. The thing that probably offends him the most is that it’s Council House Carole.

  4. Eleonor says:

    Carole Middleton is the English Kris Jenner soulmate.
    It seems to me in UK they praise only people who inherit money and have never worked one day in their life.

    • Mumbles says:

      Maybe the Daily Mail. But most Brits I know don’t care two whits about the Royal Family, aristos, and their hangers-on. Just like Americans here don’t care about the Kardashians, but it doesn’t stop the DM or the tabloids to cover them nonstop.

      • Merricat says:

        Lol. Now I’m picturing the house of Windsor as Kardashians, and it’s made me snort my coffee. I actually do think the Kardashians are the result of a degraded society, and I think the same of the Cambridges and British society.

      • Eleonor says:

        @Merricat: well basically the Windsor get attention only for gossip.
        Sometimes you have a royal who knows how to use the international platform for projects and charities Diana, Charles, Harry and Meghan, otherwise we are all here discussing their dramas and how the Wives are dressed. Just like the Kardashian. Only difference: the Windsor receive their money from the taxpayers. The Kardashian make their own money.

    • 809Matriarch says:

      I found this out when I watched Downton Abbey. Matthew Crawley the “heir” was looked at with disdain for having a JOB because “gentlemen don’t work.”

      • BayTampaBay says:

        There are actually some aristos that luck down on Sir Richard Branson and James Dyson because they made their money in “trade” . The Brits I know personally have great respect. just like Yanks & Canadians for people who are self-made or took what they inherited from their parents and increased it through work.

      • February-Pisces says:

        @btb it’s only the aristos that actually look down on them, because their egos can’t handle the fact that people from working class background can actually make billions just using their own brains. But a lot of them actually latch on to these billionaires, because it helps to have cash rich friends to sponge off.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @February-Pisces – What blows my mind is that one of the richest people in the world, Mr. Jeff Bezo person, made his money in trade and one of the richest families in the world, The Waltons, made their money in trade.

        The Westminster family’s global Grosvenor Estate aside, do the rich UK Turnip Toff aristos actually make that much money farming their lands, breeding horses or collecting rents on cottages?

    • Nyro says:

      The difference is, Carole is ashamed of her origins. Kris is proud to have been a middle class girl who was a flight attendant, married a successful man, and taking a situation that could have ruined her daughter and turning it into an empire. The Kardashians have their issues but none of them come off snobby. The Middletons seem ashamed of their roots and seem grander than the actual aristocrats and royals.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Nor do the Kardashian girls come off as lazy in any way whatsoever IMPO.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Is there a word…a specific pathology for people whose entire persona is defined by being ashamed of their roots to the point of stepping on whomever they need to?

      • L84Tea says:

        Delores Umbridge Syndrome?

      • Jaded says:

        @Bettyrose – try “meretricious”, apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity.

      • Montrealaise says:

        The difference is that Carole is British and Kris is American. Americans admire people who are self-made after coming from humble origins – the “rags to riches” tale is very much a part of the American psyche. Britain has a much more rigid class structure and people are expected to know their place and stay there. I’m Canadian but I have British friends – one of them, a respected professional from a “good” background, is absolutely horrified that a future Queen (Kate)comes from a working class background. Americans take pride in the fact that Abraham Lincoln was born in a backwoods log cabin; the Brits, at least those of a certain class, sneer at any politician who wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his or her mouth.

      • Nic919 says:

        They should have been horrified by Kate’s laziness more than her background. A 29 year old woman who did nothing with her life despite many privileges is a pretty sad indictment of Carole’s goals for her daughter. Maybe that’s why the British empire crumbled if they still cling to their silly notions of class and miss the larger picture.

      • bettyrose says:

        Jaded – Love it!

        Next time I encounter this type (been awhile, thankfully), I’ll dazzle them with an obscure compliment they have to look up later. 🙂

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        I’m actually a K part time defender. I admire they work constantly and act committed to their brand 24/7. However, they are snobs. They behave like elites on every level when not in front of a camera.

    • minx says:

      Well, that’s it. We can talk all day about how terrible Carole and Kate are, but they got what they wanted. They’re in the history books and now have access to fortune and power. So who has the last laugh?

      • Nic919 says:

        Then why is Carole giving interviews bashing Meghan and her work ethic? If she had it all then she’s pretty concerned about losing it based on the massively insecure behaviour.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        I wouldn’t be too smug if I were them. They haven’t quite secured the bag. Joffrey of Windsor might decide to divorce Kate in a pique of midlife crisis. Something happens to a man (or woman) when he realises he has lived almost half of his life and he doesn’t want to be stuck in a loveless marriage. It seems to really bother him that he has no legacy and he has never been the most popular member of that family. We also know that the children belong to the crown. It won’t take much to turn the kids against the Middletons in aristocratic circles, especially as they themselves seemed ashamed of their roots. If I were Kate, I’d tread quite carefully.

      • Sofia says:

        @Elizabeth Regina: Yeah that’s all good in theory but do you honestly think that will happen in reality? Do you think William will a) find someone who’s happy to sit back and do nothing b) have a family who kisses the ground he walks on and c) be allowed to divorce especially as his reputation and continuation of the monarchy is dependent on William be “better” than Charles therefore a divorce would prove he’s not.

        This is why a divorce will never happen. Too much is at stake with the Cambridge’s marriage. A lot of the PR around the monarchy is “If you don’t like Charles, don’t worry! William and Kate are next” because they are seen as the epitome of stability in the eyes of the royalists. Divorce is not stability and it will prove that Charles and William are not that different, which is not what the royalists want

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “which is not what the royalists want”

        Nor does 90% of the Daily Fail Commentariat.

      • Nikki* says:

        You know Minx, one of my daughters said the same thing, and she said “Good for Kate!” I have a different perspective from many of the readers here, because my husband and I met very young, and he also did NOT want to get married so young. What guy wants to wed right out of college? I think a lot of men want to get married partly when the timing is right for them in their “life scheme of things”, not just when the “perfect girl” comes along. I think that William could have really cared for Kate, but not wanted to get married. She knew this and understood it, and did everything she could to get him to the altar, including flaunt her happiness and appeal after he’d dumped her, and guess what? It worked! I don’t think it’s proof William doesn’t care for her; he’s a spoiled, entitled twit and I don’t think he’d be a thoughtful, supportive husband to anyone he’d married.

      • Nic919 says:

        Divorce lawyers have made a lot of money over the years with women thinking a “good marriage” sets them for life. Kate sacrificed her dignity and soul for that title and while that’s the deal she’s freely made, it’s really a poor example for any woman who wants to retain her self respect. Does Kate look happy? Sure she has her kids but she’s got hyena grins when she steps out. She frantically returns to being super thin after pregnancy and self medicates with obsessive shopping and clings to youth with endless fillers and Botox. It’s really a poor message to send to little girls. A superficial life is a meaningless one and eventually you pay the price.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Sofia, the Church of England was started by a randy king who wanted to divorce his wife and marry his mistress. Forty percent of marriages in the UK end in divorce. The Church has allowed divorced people to marry in the Church for almost two decades.

        Divorce is not shocking, it is not unusual, it is not immortal, and it is no reason why either Charles or William would be denied the throne.

        William wants to be a player on the global stage, and he knows he picked the wrong consort for that. He is embarrassed by her and we know he hates to be embarrassed. Kate and her position are by no means set in stone. As written before, I can see Charles and William holding off on the POW title until a divorce. Second wife would be Princess of Wales, Kate would keep the Cambridge title no one else (not even the kids) would use.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        William was told to marry Kate or find someone else to marry. While with Kate he seemed to always be looking elsewhere.

        I don’t think he married Kate for love. Whitaker (so?) said after talking to William about Kate he had love for her, but didn’t feel he was in love.

        Thinking William only married What was available.

      • bettyrose says:

        Did they, though? Presumably they thought that winning would feel good. Couldn’t feel that good – or that secure – if they mean-girled Meghan outta town.

    • Rhys says:

      I noticed that too. If you inherit money and a title, you are a person, but if you don’t… you are nothing. And god forbid if you try to make a better life for yourself. Stay in your line! LMAO

    • Waitwhat? says:

      It always makes me think of Gosford Park, where Elsie the maid says of the aristos, “None of them have got the brains to earn enough for a packet of tea.”

  5. Steph says:

    What did/ does Michael Middleton do for a living? Are either of them still working?

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      He’s pretty much running PP and helping James with his ‘business endeavours’ – Carole is too busy playing at Dowager Duchess with the Cambridges.

      It’s worth pointing out that I don’t have I have ever seen Carole ‘papped’ with Pippa and her son – or even just with Pippa’s son. We see plenty of Pippa out with her baby but no sign of Carole. Carole was ALL over the press with George.

      • Steph says:

        Oh! I didn’t realize PP was a family business. I thought it was just Carole’s and Michael had his own career.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        Michael Mids also came from a “comfortable” background; his family trust is what what used for the kids’ education (I remember reading that in many different articles). Not millionaire money, but enough for private schools. For all the rest, yeah…I’m going with Creepy Uncle Gary.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Michael Middleton had a career at British Airways. He was chief of British Airways ground-control at Heathrow Airport when he retired IIRC.

      The Middleton’s lived overseas for a while due to Michael’s job(s)-career with British Airways.

      • PrincessK says:

        Interesting that we don’t hear much about Mr Middleton and his background, one would think that Kate only had one parent.

    • bettyrose says:

      To paraphrase Austin Powers, a million dollars isn’t that much anymore. That was in reference to the 1990s, which actually would’ve been when they were paying for expensive schooling. They were probably millionaires in the low 7 figures by that point, but not high 7 or anywhere near 8 figures.

  6. Digital Unicorn says:

    LOL, I know I said yesterday that I wondered if Lacey would burn the Mids at the pry but I was kinda half joking. This is that start of his Middleton burn, wonder if he will drop new tea – or rehash old tea that got buried with the great Kate whitewash after the engagement.

    Plus everyone knows how terrible Carole can be – she’s just like her favourite SIL. A rage monster.

  7. FancyPants says:

    “She always wanted to better herself.” Is this bad? Carole and her mother kinda sound like Boss B*tches here, and I mean that as high praise.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      Apparently wanting to better yourself is seen as social climbing and that’s a bad thing. lol.

      such BS.

      • Mignionette says:

        Not so much. English society is peculiar in that it is one of the last true based class systems in the world. And there is no social mobility amongst some classes i.e. Upper middle classes and Aristo/ Landed gentry. Technically you can remain an Aristocrat and have no wealth, because your class is derivative of your lineage. In the same vein you can have piles of cash and still remain upper middle class. This is why the honors list is so impt to some (and why David Beckham has another 20 years to wait for his knighthood….)

        I think what Lacey is saying here (much like Meghan) is that both had ideas above their station and didn’t ‘know their place’. Knowing your place is a huge thing with Brits and another reason Meg got so much stick. It’s has horrible hallmarks of the ‘uppity’ black woman trope. So in that respect a double whammy for Meg.

        This attitude is still very prevalent amongst the Aristos’s, titled classes and the Royals. It is literally all they have left and can trade on. This was particualy important given the land reforms which happened in the UK in the 60’s and 70’s which left many Aristo’s penniless but titled. They were able to rebuild some wealth and status built on their immovable lineage.

        In contrast however Kate will NEVER be an Aristo, even when she is Queen Consort bc she was never born into those circles.

      • 809Matriarch says:

        Wait. So when Kate Cambridge becomes Her Majesty, Queen-Consort Katherine – she will still be considered a commoner? Huh?

      • Mignionette says:

        @809 Kate will never be HM – that title I believe only goes to the Monarch. She will however be Queen Consort a title derivative of Bill (or whatever his Regnal name is) HM King.

      • Sofia says:

        @Mignionette Kate will be called “Her Majesty The Queen” when the time comes

      • RoyalBlue says:

        yes Mignionette, I have heard about that peculiarity and just can’t believe it’s still a thing held onto so deeply.

      • Mignionette says:

        @Sofia I think you might be right. I found this excerpt :

        “Unlike Prince Philip, Middleton will be crowned alongside William. That’s because, while it’s not protocol for male consorts to be crowned, it is tradition for the female consorts.”

        So seems to suggest that she will become HM Catherine Queen Consort. Makes sense as titles are derivative of the mail line and Betty couldn’t give Filip a title.

      • Nyro says:

        Kate is so stupid imo. She could have branded herself as the “working class Princess” instead of trying to kiss up to a bunch of aristocrats who won’t ever stop looking down on her.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Mignionette – Betty made Philip a Prince of the United Kingdom in his own right. This event was greatly and highly detailed in “The Crown”.

      • Mignionette says:

        @Tampa Bay correct. What I meant was as a woman Betty couldn’t make Filip Mr Betty of Lancaster the way Kate is Mrs Katherine of Cambridge.

      • CherHorowitz says:

        Absolutely agree with the posters above re english class system. You can’t just become upper class by having a lot of money. Someone like Alan sugar is still considered working class because that’s his background even tho he is a multimillionaire. Same applies to Wayne Rooney or other premier league football players! More money than most aristos but absolutely not in a millions years makes him upper class or even middle class. By the same token if you were born upper class, that doesnt diminish if you find yourself broke – your class generally determines how easy you would find it to claw back based on your contacts and avenues available to you. It really isn’t about money in England, at all.

        To be clear, i don’t support this unwritten system at all and think it’s bizarre. But have always been fascinated by the fact that all english people, whether consciously or not, would be be able to immediately answer after just 30 seconds talking to someone what class they are. It’s this weird unspoken thing we all know but don’t often talk about. And we ALL know what class we are.

      • February-Pisces says:

        I definitely agree with what everyone is saying about the class system in the UK, but it’s generally only governed by aristos themselves. They are the ones who are stood at the gates and refuse to let any outsiders in, all because of the need to preserve their relevance.

        I think the aristocracy are very threatened by new money and celebrity culture which has basically become the ‘new aristocracy’ in a way. Back in the olden days the only celebrities were royalty. Poor people had little opportunity to better themselves and they all dreamed about being aristocratic. Now people dream about being rich and famous, no one actually cares about being aristocratic.

        People like Alan Sugar who may come from a working class background, still command huge respect, it’s just aristos that love to remind people who are successful where they come from. Everyone else doesn’t really care, success is still success and still garners respect and admiration.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        One of my British friends, who does not understand the Yank obsession with paved drive ways, once told me that in England having a paved drive way makes one look middle class.

        I told my friend that in the USA having a non-paved driveway makes you look like you ran out of money before you finished your house or cannot afford the house you are living in.

      • Nikki* says:

        My American daughter watched a little English girl. My daughter didn’t hear something said, and asked, “Pardon me?” (which is good manners in the U.S.) The child was wide-eyed, and said in a shocked voice, “Mummy says ‘Pardon’ is worse than ‘fuck’! ” 🙂

    • Chonky Cat says:

      Weird right.. like if you’re born poor or middle class that’s all you can ever be.

      • HeatherC says:

        @Mig the queen mother was addressed as Her Majesty though, right?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Chonky Cat – In the USA the class system, if one even exists, is totally based on money and/or accomplishments (win a Nobel Prize or become a Five-Star General??).

        In England the class system has very little to do with money; It is all about lineage.

        Did your family get their title and lands from William the Conquer, Charles II, Queen Anne or George III?

        The older the title and the older your title to your land is determines much. The English Earl Spencer family always considered themselves much above the German Royal Windsor family. The Spencer lineage is much more English & much more ancient.

        There is no American counter-part to a poor broke destitute British Peer or non-titled aristocrat in the USA.

      • Chaine says:

        BayTampaBay I would disagree with you a little bit. I live in the south and there are definitely still vestiges of a lineage class system here. I could name a half-dozen people I know that get way more respect and perks than they deserve just because their ancestor was once a governor of the state, or a wealthy robber baron from the 1800s that has a college named after them.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Chaine – You are correct and know more than I do. I was basing my post(s) on chats I have had with my English friends from Norfolk, Kent & Leister.

        If you are referring to the “Deep South” in the USA then I totally concur with your POV. I have not lived in the “Deep South” for over 30 years so I forget and tend to base my opinions on USA culture on the Mid-West where I grew up and Florida where I live now.

      • Dilettante says:

        What about descendants of families that came over on the Mayflower, or women who belong to the D. A. R.?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I am a member of the D. A. R.

        My membership card and $5.00 will get me a bad cup of burnt coffee at Starbucks.

      • Nic919 says:

        There are elites and old families in the US and Canada, but they have more flexibility than the UK. And earning money isn’t viewed as poorly especially if it is made and spent in a classy and non showy way.

      • Waitwhat? says:

        I was a huge fan of Dominick Dunne and he certainly wrote about a class-based system in the US. No, it wasn’t/isn’t the same as the British one, but there are “aristocratic” families (the Astors, the Rockefellers), the “right” schools (Miss Porter’s, Dartmouth, and so on) and there are social circles where who your parents are and where you summer definitely matters as much if not more than your bank account. You can break into those circles (such as by buying a house in the Hamptons) but you’ll never be quite treated the same way.

        One of the reasons why Dominick’s work was so compulsively readable was that he had an “in” into that society (he lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, which is very “old money”) on the east coast, and an “in” into Hollywood (because of his previous career as a writer and producer) and so he knew *everyone*. I still miss him.

    • Alexandria says:

      It’s not. But it’s interesting the same perseverance or work ethic did not transfer to her children, except for the perseverance to nab William. If she’s such a boss, it’s a mystery why she allows (and allegedly encourages) her daughter to become a doormat. Anything for the status I guess.

      • Nyro says:

        Carole clearly wanted her girls to be ladies who lunch. I don’t think Carole is proud of the fact that she had to work hard and hustle for a better life. I bet you she sees that part of her life as “vulgar”. And I think she’s proud that her kids have no work ethic. It makes them more aristocratic in her eyes.

    • Sofia says:

      I do admire her determination and work ethic in wanting and literally chasing after a better life for her daughters and son. They desperately want to be part of the aristo set, which still has the social power in the UK, so I can’t blame them for playing the game. And at the end of the day, unless a divorce or abolishment happens, Kate will be Queen so they’ve not played the game, but played it well and, well, /won/. Carole literally hustled her family into the history books which counts for something.

      It’s why they’ve kept silent about the dumb, gross classist abuse they’ve dealt and still deal with over the years. They desperately want to be apart of William’s world and did almost everything for it. Is it worth it? Well only Kate can answer that.

      • Sarah says:

        Sofia, I totally agree. Also,while they will never be aristocratic, at least some of their grandchildren will so in that instance, they’ve won.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      There is a difference between trying to better yourself and pretending to be something you are not (and trying to hide your roots) – the Middleton parents bettered themselves and built up successful business for which they should be applauded for, However, they front like they are millionaires and they are not and lets not forget how Carole pushed her children to befriend aristo’s and push their way into a ‘class’ that should have been abolished a long time ago.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Considering it ‘bettering’ to raise three inept children who think selling themselves (aka marrying money) is ‘bettering’? Yes, I’ll say that’s a bad thing.

    • Rhys says:

      @BayTampaBay “One of my British friends, who does not understand the Yank obsession with paved drive ways, once told me that in England having a paved drive way makes one look middle class.”

      There’s a whole book written in the 80s or the 90s that goes into the minutiae of what makes someone an upper, middle or working class. Even the kind of sports one is watching/playing matters, like hockey is a low-brow, working class entertainment vs polo, the upper classes thing.

  8. Sofia says:

    Again, nothing new here but, again, it’s interesting that this is all being published and rehashed in 2020. I truly do think it’s CH courtiers with maybe some aristos but again, mainly Charles’ employees

    And I absolutely do buy the rumours that she’s the one that “keeps the peace” in the Cambridge marriage and put a “battery in Kate’s back” when it came to the girlfriend years and pursuing William.

    • 2cents says:

      I’m stunned that William/Kensington palace have not yet threatened Robert Lacey with a lawsuit…..Why not? These reports are destroying William’s reputation including his wife’s and in-laws’ even more than the Tatler-Catherine the Great-debacle. It seems now that H&M have left, the press is getting bolder.

      In hindsight it’s not a coincidence that 5 days ago The Queen issued a message of support to the British newspaper industry, praising traditional media outlets in her letter to the News Media Association. The monarch said that “having trusted, reliable sources of information, particularly at a time when there are so many sources competing for our attention, is vital”. Although her message was linked to covid 19, I think it was a direct hint to newspapers and royal reporters to back off from the Lacey book. Many reporters took the hint and refrained from commenting further on these Daily excerpts of Lacey’s book. Which is very unusual given the serious assumptions.

      Nonetheless there are signs William’s weak powerhouse of cards is falling apart: the Tatler fallout, Boris Johnson taking over his Tory private secretary, Harry’s lawsuit exposing leaks against H&M from Kensington palace. Even the increased use of his children as pawns in their PR strategy is a sign of his weakness.

      If Lacey’s book is a product of CH courtiers the message to W&K is that they should stop promoting themselves as the next King and queen consort. Charles is not ready to handover the throne and become William’s whipping boy.

      Looking back at last Christmas’ portrait of the four direct heirs we see Charles resting his trusting hand on George’s shoulder and a clear distance from William, who stands close behind the Queen. It’s a reflection of the competition between William and Charles as highlighted in Lacey’s book.

      Quite interesting🤔

      • blue36 says:

        Like you mentioned, its probably because it’s not getting that much press attention. If this book was mostly excerpts degrading Meghan, there would be a headline everyday on every newspaper about it, plus ALL the talks shows would be going on and on about it as well. It goes to show much the RF controls the media in terms of what stories about them are published and amplified. I think someone also mentioned that the RRs have stopped promoting it. They can’t have this overshadow the prize that William is launching.

      • Mignionette says:

        “I’m stunned that William/ Kensington palace have not yet threatened Robert Lacey with a lawsuit…..Why not?”

        The truth would be an absolute defence to any kind of defamation action. Further given that a lot of this is rehashed information already in the public domain any privacy action would also disappear. And that is probably why Lacey has employed this plan of attack. He gets to present a selective view of Windsor history whilst also weaving in some present day Meg and Harry titillation.

        I also think there is another purpose to this book and I think it has something to do with his writing gig for ‘The Crown’. Technically this book conflicts him as it’s not really ethical to write a historical book and then write a televised series which is embellished in parts. It blurs and muddies the lines, but most notably it discredits him as a historian.

        Personally I feel like this is a ‘primer’ for the later seasons of the Crown. The original brief was a few seasons, but I read somewhere that had changed recently, especially with Sussex-it. I feel like Lacey is lobbying for a few more seasons by showing he is still connected and still has the goods….

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        The Queen seems to be working hard to make sure Lacey’s book is buried given her little speech the other day and the fact it’s been crickets from royal reporters for 3 days. It makes me think the rumors of staff insurrection are correct. It seems like several courtiers from CH were in on this, if not Charles. But it makes him look pretty bad and weak too so his involvement is questionable.

  9. RoyalBlue says:

    “I’ve been longing for someone, anyone to do a deeper dive on the years between “Carole starting Party Pieces” and “suddenly the Middletons are millionaires.”

    This is one of my longings too Kaiser. There are a few articles out there if you really dig, by others who have also tried to find the source of their wealth. One article absolutely debunked it coming from Party Pieces, even with their ‘selling names’ concept. The only thing that makes sense to me is his aristocratic ancestor’s trust fund (not his cash inheritance) that was mean to finance the education of all the children etc. is said to be still around and administered by Solicitors in Leeds.

  10. Ginger says:

    If Party Pieces was SO successful, then why not expand? It is definitely a front for something else.

    I’m glad the Middletons are getting burned. They were always very shady to me.

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      I think a chunk of the income now comes from selling off their mailing lists. This is the reason you get SO MUCH spam from companies you’ve never heard of, let alone signed up to receive email from. Companies sell their database info to other companies who sell it to other companies etc. etc….

      • Nic919 says:

        Which if it is the case means their source of income froze when the GDPR was implemented across the EU a few years ago. You are not allowed to provide your customer information to anyone without explicit written consent from them.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Does that go for non-profits too in the EU?

  11. Chonky Cat says:

    I really admire hustle. I don’t understand why British people seem so obsessed with inheritance and not working.

    • Eleonor says:

      Me neither but it appears a real classist society.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        It is a deeply classist society. When I studied there people always tried to pigeon hole my class, even among a pretty liberal crowd. It was exhausting.

      • ABritGuest says:

        It is. That’s why I don’t see the monarchy going anywhere. Whatever you think of the Middletons it always appalls me that eg as set out in this extract that Kate’s grandmother aspiring to a better life is looked down on. But that’s Britain for you.

        What I don’t like (and where Middletons might rub people the wrong way) is where people rise above their circumstances & start looking down on others or being ashamed of their background & acting fake eg adopting posh accents

      • Merricat says:

        I very much agree with you, ABritGuest.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I have always respected and valued the American idea that being born in a log cabin or in a housing project then becoming a multi-millionaire or Five-Star General was something that was greatly respected.

      • Sass says:

        @BTB I have to say I have not, because what does it say about the US that we have housing projects at all? (That’s rhetorical of course – we know the answer, and it’s because our country is also classist – and deeply racist.)

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Sass – I agree with your POV. You are correct, in the USA we should not have housing projects. However, I do stand behind the idea of my post.

  12. toni says:

    totally Hyacinth Bouquet

  13. Annie says:

    Why is it hard to believe PP would’ve been successful late 80’s and all of the 90’s? Thats a significant time to amass wealth. People didn’t really start shopping online until the 2000’s.

    And theres nothing wrong with being a boss.
    Why do women get called out for ‘screaming’ on the phone? Men do it. No one bats an eye then.

    • Merricat says:

      No, I don’t accept screaming on the phone from anyone. That’s not a display of “boss” power, it’s a tantrum.

      • Annie says:

        My point is that men screaming is not a topic of conversation like it is for women.

      • BeanieBean says:

        It’s entirely possible that the person claiming she screamed down the line at him was a man & that, perhaps, she was a little loud or a little emphatic & he simply characterized it as screaming, because, of course–she’s a woman.

      • Nic919 says:

        Carole was also reported to yell at KP staff for her Chablis so it’s not just one instance of her yelling. Staff have quit because Carole was there a lot in the early years and treated KP staff as her own. Her employees also reported that she was far more difficult to deal with than Mike at PP. there is a pattern here.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I think it was the Telegraph that did an analysis, looking at other mail order companies of similar size and annual orders. No way on earth did it bring in more than 100,000 at the MOST any given year. Nor are those other businesses shady off-shore LLC-types like PP. The Midds are not worth 30 million, no where near it.

      • Kalana says:

        It was the Times.

        Honestly being fair after all the obviously royal commissioned hit pieces on Meghan in the Times, I wonder who pushed for the article on the Middletons. Probably the Yorks?

        I think it was the Times that later revealed the Middletons had a double mortgage on their first Bucklebury house.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      @Anne, I absolutely don’t have a problem with the upward mobility of the Middletons and how hard the parents worked to get them there. This guy Lacey might find “trying to better themselves” insulting, but as an American, we aspire to do just that and I applaud Ma Middleton’s effort on that front. I think the posters here do as well and have clearly been stating that. What’s appalling is how those same people who rise however they did then turn around and mistreat those in situation they exited. I would be a huge fan of the Middletons if I didn’t suspect they played a sizable role in throwing Meghan to the press in order to sabotage her in an effort to embiggen Kate. You can admire them on the one hand and call them out for their reprehensible behavior on the other.

    • Nic919 says:

      In a world where Amazon exists there is no way Party Pieces is that much of a concern anymore.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Carole wouldn’t have done those interviews a year or two ago if she wasn’t trying to sell a pig in a poke. Employees also came out of the woodwork to talk about her abusive behavior, how poorly the place was run, how the customer complaints were through the roof.

  14. Mina_Esq says:

    Believing that PP makes millions is like believing that your friend who bakes cupcakes or jewellery on Facebook makes millions.

  15. tee says:

    A lot of people here seem convinced that Carole/Kate were at least partially behind the Meghan smear campaign, in addition to leveraging the bad press to sanctify Kate, but could the source of that disdain be how easy it was for Meghan to penetrate the royal fold? Could there have been some resentment that this divorced, mixed race, over 30 American woman could come in, and within 2 years accomplish what Carole spent Kate’s entire adult life trying to achieve? And that she could do it while being glamorous and smart, and without diminishing her personality or potential? It’s an entertaining thought lol

    • notasugarhere says:

      Kate sees any other woman as competition, and certainly wouldn’t want a self-assured, glamorous, accomplished, self-made millionaire as a competing royal Duchess. Along comes Meghan, openly beloved by her husband, married within two years of meeting instead of having to wait for 10 years until the groom caved. With every step Meghan makes a mockery of Kate’s laziness excuses, unprofessional behavior, and business arrangement marriage.

      • kerwood says:

        @notasugarhere Agreed. Keen Katie and her non-aristo family resent that Meghan was handed what Kate sweat for 10 years to get. Meghan wasn’t running after a Prince; he ran after her.

        Meghan is also a woman with her own success; she’s not defined by the man she’s married to. Katie probably looks at Meghan and wishes she’d actually done something with her life.

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        Meghan shifted something in Kate creating more competiveness.

        I’ve had a theory for a year or so that Kate likely discovered William’s affair and took her anger out on Meghan because she simply could. It would also make sense if Kate’s picture perfect world started coming down with Meghan’s arrival on the scene. I think seeing Harry as in love with Meghan as he was and was willing to give everything up made Kate think about things she doesn’t want to think about.

    • Sunshine says:

      TEE a couple of RR have indirectly outed Carole as one of their sources. The lady at the Telegraph being one of them.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Carole leaking to RRs and tabloids may have ensured stories about James’s Nazi party supplies and Pippa’s criminal FIL disappeared.

      • Sid says:

        I am still surprised that bigot Tominey actually named Carole in that “penny” tweet of hers after it was revealed the Sussexes were leaving. I couldn’t tell if it was a warning of some sort or if she didn’t realize what she was implying.

      • MerryGirl says:

        Despite what FF said about the Yorks being the source, I’ve always believed Camilla Tominey got her exclusive outing Harry & Meghan’s relationship in October 2016 from Carole Middleton who got it from William & Kate. So again, for those in the back, KP & the Middleton’s have always been the ones behind the smear campaign, sabotaging H&M and leaking to the press. Uncle Gary’s recent outburst is just an extension of the Middleton smear.

    • Mignionette says:

      I think you’re over complicating it.

      They hated Meghan bc of her inbuilt sun tan and bc she was different . That is what made her an easy target. Her Politics also made her a perfect target as Right wing whipping girl for the Tories, right wing press and their right wing take over ambitions, that;s why even the UKIP leaders gf saw her as game. Meghan was the realization of the 70’s cautionary tale of multi-cultural Britain.

      If you want to understand better the fear that some idiotic Brits have of minorities watch Enoch Powell’s rivers of blood speech. According to some of these die hard idiot’s, Meghan is the ‘full circle’ event of the ‘black man having the whip hand over the white man’.

      For a county so obsessed with enslaving and having dominion of so many others they have real issues with any form of subjugation to others => BREXIT.

      • Sofia says:

        Another reason is that Meghan never has and never will lower herself and beg for acceptance amongst the aristos like Kate and her family. She’s not interested to be a part of their “group” and I think that’s caused a lot of hurt egos – especially amongst a group of people who hold themselves so highly.

        She’s also stepped down as a working royal and no longer uses her HRH because she knows it’s not all she has nor is it tied up in her self worth while most of them cling to their titles because it is all they have and is tied up in their self worth

      • kerwood says:

        @Mignionette, Enoch Powell is one of the reasons why my parents decided to leave England. The National Front and the skinheads were on the march and my parents decided that England was no place for their Black children. How interesting that all these years later, Prince Harry made the same decision.

    • Nic919 says:

      Carole did an interview saying that royals don’t need to do speeches which was a clear shot against Meghan being good at giving speeches and Kate being unable to speak English in a way that anyone understands. It can’t be anymore clear that Carole was behind some of the smears and this one was out in the open for all to see. Carole had never done an interview like that either and took the time to snipe at her daughter’s sister in law. They are a massively insecure family.

    • MsIam says:

      @tee, I agree with your thoughts. But imo what really tipped the scales was the public adoration of Meghan. I think Kate and Carole believed that belonged to Kate alone. If the reaction to Meghan would have been “big yawn” then I think they would have put up with her more and just laughed at Meghan behind her back.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Well then their resentment was misdirected. It should be targeted at William who strung Kate along for ten years.

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        But what happens when they target William and he simply pulls the rug out from under them and walks away? I don’t think he’d have a problem even trying to disinherit the kids.

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      I’ve always felt most of the horrible stories about Meghan came from Carole Middleton and I think she has a hate on for Harry rejecting Pippa. I really don’t want it to be her because it will make this whole story be blatantly obvious and therefore boring.

  16. Rae says:

    I’m not against hustling. I’m a Brit who actually appreciates people who try to improve their lives. I remember being perturbed on the Middleton’s behalf during the “Doors to Manual” years, if anyone remembers that quip that Will’s aristo friends used to use.

    However, there is improving your lot in life and grooming your daughters solely just to be able to marry wealthy and take whatever just to have that title.

    Kate could have married well, regardless. She’s pretty, well educated and was in good circles, and would have had no problem bagging a very respectable husband. Upper management, pilot perhaps like her father, etc. It’s the obvious stalking to bag Will that causes the side eye.

    I do, however, actually like Pippa Middleton.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      For some strange, reason with no arguments to back it up, I have always like Pippa too.

    • A says:

      Exactly. She made it the focus of her whole life. It’s not worth that, and anyone would sideeye that shit in today’s society.

    • MerryGirl says:

      I on the other hand have always found Pippa to be as much of a wannabe aristo as her mother and sister so there’s nothing to like.

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      Is it just me or does Pippa seem like the one who told their mother to STFU and seems relieved not to have bagged a royal?

      • notasugarhere says:

        Pippa chased titled men for years, let them sample the wares, but none would marry her. She even tried chasing aristocrats in France, which resulted in the gun scandal. James M was the one always in the background, waiting for her to fail in her title chase, give up, and marry him.

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        Yeah but Pippa’s thing with James always seemed to be in the background and it seemed to be where she wanted to be. I always got the impression Carole was setting her up with these men (seems kinder to say than pimping her out). I figured after the gun scandal she said enough was enough and told her mom she was going to be with James. I just always got the impression her mother was more into her becoming royalty than she actually was. I mean not saying you’re wrong.

        Also, have Pippa and Carole fallen out? There seems to be some distance there.

      • PrincessK says:

        Yes, poor James always knowing that he wasn’t even her third choice.

      • notasugarhere says:

        When Pippa arrived at Uni, she wrote introduction letters to all the aristos, trying to get in. She chased the Percy heir for years, but his mother set him straight about Pippa. It wasn’t Carole chasing-and-bedding anyone with a title, it was Pippa. She was with Nico for years, because it looked like he’d end up wealthy. He moved all the way to Switzerland to get away from her, she tried again to become famous, failed, and settled for James M and his daddy’s bought title.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      Pippa is a Middleton and therefore complicit in the smears. She was so jealous of Meghan and concerned she would upstage her wedding (just like Eugenie was upset Meghan upstaged her wedding) she didn’t invite her. Who knew that a 2 bit B stream actress that no one knew about would upstage her wannabe aristocratic highness?

      • notasugarhere says:

        While also using the idea of Meghan attending the wedding to merch the whole thing. All those articles the Middletons leaked about flower arrangements, glass reception houses? They only got play because of a line here or there about whether or not Meghan was attending.

  17. Julia K. says:

    I have also privately questioned how Party Pieces translates to millionaire status. A very similar business here struggled with low profit margin and competition. No way is this the road to wealth, in my opinion. Which begs the question, where is the money coming from? The Middletons were no doubt vetted before the engagement was announced, and apparently passed royal inspection.

    • MsIam says:

      There is shady money associated with the royals too. So it’s not like they have some moral purity about associating with dirty money. Remember Andrew?

    • notasugarhere says:

      William announced the engagement before telling the royals, remember? I’m sure the royals have plenty of dirt on the Middletons, and Kate was NOT their choice. When and if William wants out, everything the royals have on the Middletons will be outed.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I have always wondered who was the Royal’s choice for William’s wife,

      • MerryGirl says:

        I’ve always thought that they would have been happy with Cressida Bonas as she checked the boxes of blond, aristo, tory and quiet plus she already had an in with his cousins Bea & Eugenie. Meghan’s race, outspoken liberal views and being charismatic like Diana was not what they were looking for.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Did William ever date Cressida Bonas ? I thought William was after her half-sister that married Sam Branson.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Yes, William was after Isabella Calthorpe-now-Branson, along with wanting many other women other than Kate. Charles was said to love the idea of Isabella too.

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        I forget, was it Jecca or Isabella where William got super butt hurt when they broke up?

      • Nic919 says:

        Isabella because Jecca publicly maintains that they never dated and William even made a public statement denying it as well. It’s also why Kate didn’t like Cressida because Isabella would have been part of the family if that relationship went anywhere.

    • Sarah says:

      Nah, dodgy money everywhere. While Kate is on the inside of the BRF it will stay hidden.

  18. Amy Bee says:

    You would think, that given their similar backgrounds as self-made millionaires and as “commoners”, that the Middletons (including Kate) would view Meghan as an ally. But they saw her as a rival and a threat to Kate and felt superior to Meghan because she was black American woman.

    • L4frimaire says:

      Also it was the way Meghan made her money. She was on a tv show, a lucrative influencer side hustle, and a very good lifestyle with some high profile friends. Very glam compared to the Middletons. If Meghan had made her money in tech, maybe less hostile, but being genuinely self made, fully grown and formed, and a hard worker was what brought out the resentment.

    • Nic919 says:

      Kate was the only young female royal the media paid attention to despite being mediocre but once Meghan came onto the scene, it was obvious that Meghan, is smarter, looks younger and prettier, is sexier and made her money on her own and she had done things with her life so at 39 she wasn’t incapable of saying a sentence in public and could mingle with celebrities and politicians in a way that Kate never could or will. Carole identified her as a threat to Kate’s popularity right away and so did Kate. Meghan also had a public profile established so Kate and Carole could try to call her a drunk party girl in the tabloids like they did with Chelsy, who trained to be a solicitor and worked as one for a while, or Cressida who was an aristo trying to be an actress. And when Meghan launched a cookbook months after being engaged and blew Kate’s pretend work ethic out of the water, Carole knew they needed to attack. Broken Britain was suddenly invented and Becky English mentioned it in the DM on the Friday before the cookbook launched. At that point the KP courtiers would have been working on the cookbook launch plans, which surely got to Kate and Carole and hence the keenness had to try to steal some limelight.

      • notasugarhere says:

        My guess is Quinn threw the Broken Britain idea together in hours after some screaming from Carole and Kate. Then they leaked it to the Fail.

  19. S808 says:

    PP gives me “mattress store that’s a front for money laundering” vibes.

    I’m sorry but I highly, HIGHLY doubt PP has made them into millionaires.

    • lanne says:

      I’m surprised that no one’s done a major deep dive into Party Pieces. Sure, no major British mainstream media would do it because it would compromise the royal family (so basically the insinuation is that they really are above the law). No independent source in the UK ever did this? There’s certainly probable cause for it, and the arm of the RF isn’t that long, esp. outside of the UK. Perhaps their leverage would be that the popular royals would never do interviews with their organization again. Does that leverage still exist now, when the most popular royals exist outside of the UK? Maybe the Middletons need to start cooking some books–

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “the arm of the RF isn’t that long, esp. outside of the UK”

        Other than Yank CBers like myself, I doubt anyone in the USA is very interested in money trails to and from the Middletons-Party Pieces.

        Money trails involving Trump, Deutsche Bank and Russians: yes but not the Middletons

      • RoyalBlue says:

        lanne I have seen a few independent analyses in the past but they seem to have been scrubbed from the internet. one was a former auditor who broke it down. we don’t know the PP financials because apparently it’s a partnership and they are not required to publicly disclose their financials. but you can do a comparison of similar sized entities and other public companies in the same industry. it was determined that PP could not have financed their lifestyle. They bought a London flat with cash for Kate to live in. It was rumored that William helped finance their family home, but it is all shrouded in secrecy as they are private citizens.

      • notasugarhere says:

        RoyalBlue, iirc they also went so far as to have their two mortgages through banks in Scandinavia to conceal their tower of cards.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        nota interesting. US magazine (yes trash magazine) was pushing the story in 2012 that Prince William used part of his inheritance to help them buy their mansion in buckleberry. i never really bought that.

        what i have noticed is around the time of the engagement and again in early 2018 there was this media push to try and show the middletons as being incredibly wealthy and explaining how they held no mortgages almost as if to mind mixed Kate’s coal miner roots.

        i have read it in too many publications not to believe it that Marlborough was paid through the Trust which was meant for the education of the future offspring. Trusts can last a very long time and i work with investors who are trusts that have trust deeds going back to the 1800’s. the rich invest and get richer. that aside, the idle rich lifestyle of the three middleton children is not fully explained. i am one who doesn’t believe gary would gift them this for no reason. unless he bought the london flat and it was under his name.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Most of those publications touting the value of the trust merely regurgitate something from the Fail, the Middleton mouthpiece. Meaning not to be trusted. The Times and Telegraph ones dig into the finances and show the inheritance would have played out before the kids started school.

        The Midds pulled the unethical move of using royal connections to get permissions to expand their original home. Those planning permissions are incredibly strict, rarely given. They got it claiming it was required for royal security (get that, royal security for all the times Kate ran home to mummy post-wedding). As soon as the ink was dry on the permissions, they jacked up the price and sold the house.

        If William did use part of his inheritance for their new home? I see it as a post-nup agreement with the Midds. If there is a divorce, Kate has already received her payout in the form of Midd Manor.

        Gary is like Fergie, in it for the royal connections and how much money he can make off them. Remember the drunked Duke of Slough video and his desire for an apartment at Kensington? He’s in it for what he gets on the back end, through royal connections. See Andrew and Fergie for reference.

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      I always figured that’s exactly what it is was.

  20. aang says:

    From council flat to grandmother of the future King? Respect. And hahahahahaha at the comments that say America doesn’t have a class system. The US is in no way a meritocracy, it was once maybe, but not now. It is easier to move up economic classes in many European countries than it is in the US. There is recent research to prove that the US is becoming intractably class based. In the US it is hard to move down even if you are inept, stupid, lazy, or a lunatic. Money buys access to elite education, networking, and opportunities. Just look at trump and his offspring.

    • MsIam says:

      But the classes are based on income and wealth, not birth. It’s not like the British aristocracy. The wealth and wage gap makes it harder to get wealthy in my opinion but once you get there, you will find your tribe. As far as it being hard to move down, look at the white Markles. People forget that while Tom Markle was not rich, he wasn’t some bum.

      • ElleV says:

        Australian, but have lived in North America for a long time now. The persistent belief here that income and wealth are somehow separate from birth is still one of the cultural blindspots/myths/differences that really stands out to me. That and people thinking they don’t have an accent! LOL

        Btw Not a knock on you MsIam – I got a taste of my own medicine when I returned to Australia after years away and THE SCALES FELL FROM MY EYES about all the things I didn’t realize I took for granted growing up. Like the bizarre lack of public toilets??

    • A says:

      The US absolutely has a class system. But it’s not quite the same thing as it is in Britain. In the US, if you were born into a family that worked a “blue collar” profession, or were in it yourself, theoretically that has no bearing on what you can achieve in life. You can be a poor kid growing up in Texas, whose father was an alcoholic who couldn’t even afford shoes, and even that kid could, in theory, become president of the USA. No one would say that they couldn’t. No one would hold the origins of that kid against them in the same way they would in the UK.

      In the UK, if you’re born in the “working class” that designation follows you for life. It affects everything, down to the accent with which you speak, and it gives people the template through which to judge you. A proper working class woman would not have been able to marry into the royal family. Even now, the idea is thought of as laughable. It has nothing to do with your income or your net worth or what job you work at. It has everything to do with what station you’ve been “born” at. That’s why you have relatively cash strapped aristocrats who are still considered posh. You can be poor and still be part of the aristocracy, with all the privileges it provides you. Your own personal merits matter less than they should when it comes to what you can achieve.

      • Sass says:

        A, theoretically you are correct about the US, but in reality it is not the case. Capitalism is a scam. We are seeing right now that it’s meant only for white men to really benefit from. As I said above: racism and classism.

      • ElleV says:

        See my comment above but I’d be curious if say, Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo, could marry a Kennedy. Or like… the whole discourse around the Kardashians. They absolutely parallel the Middletons (and have even described themselves that way!)

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo”

        Never heard of her. Please spill some tea!

      • Nikki* says:

        Replying to ElleV’s comment, according to Anthony Shriver’s widow, JFK Junior and his cousin Anthony were laughing and marvelling tat the unlikeliness that they both ended up married to “Caldor’s girls” – girls who had worked at a store as teenagers. The book also makes it very clear that Caroline Kennedy was absolutely appalled that her brother married someone outside of their social milieu, and refused to ever warm up to her sister-in-law. .

      • ElleV says:

        Nikki* Fascinating! And honestly what I’d expect – fancy men love a shop girl

        BAYTAMPABAY! Omg please do yourself a favour and seek her out on Youtube – star medium of a TLC reality show where she just goes around being a budget Carmela Soprano and randomly yelling at people at the grocery store and nail salon about their dead family members. She’s a con, of course, but that only makes the whole thing more fascinating.

        Fun fact: One time I had the bad luck of getting my hair cut by a girl who got dumped WHILE CUTTING MY HAIR and in her distraction cut too much. She tried to even it out and I ended up with Theresa Caputo Long Island Medium hair. I cried. This post officially doxxes me lol

      • Nikki* says:

        ElleV: replying to your hairdresser story: I was buying a clothes washer when the salesman received a call his aunt had died. I expressed my sympathy and said surely another salesperson could help me. He insisted on finishing my purchase. When the delivery man installed the washer, I discovered it was not at all what I’d supposedly ordered. The salesman had completely messed up my order! Since then, I will walk away if someone helping me gets bad news!

    • kerwood says:

      @aang, But Trump and his offspring were NEVER accepted by American high society, especially NY society. Last night I watched the Daily Show and they interviewed some Trump supporters. They spoke to some QAnon ladies who claimed that JFK Jr. was still alive and had been spotted at Trump rallies. I just about died laughing. JFK Jr., came from two of the most prominent American families. If he was still alive, he wouldn’t be caught ‘dead’ hanging out with Trump and his deplorables. That’s why, with all the fame and money her father had, Jared Kushner, the deadbeat son of a criminal, was the best Ivanka Trump could do.

    • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

      I can give you an explanation but know that this is my personal view of European aristocrats which is probably heavily skewed since I’m Scandanavian and my default is to consider Scandinavian royal houses.

      The UK is the last country with a classic aristocracy for three reasons: 1) All royals who get overthrown find haven in England 2) The royalty and aristos in Europe are far more liberal than in the UK in that they understand they could go away tomorrow and we’d all be fine without them. 3) Church of England not sure why or how but I blame the church of England.

      Aside from the fact your bloodline won’t give you the cash for food, being an out and out aristocrat in Europe within the past century has became dangerous. So in Europe most aristos tend to hide in plain sight and just present the image of “upper middle class” to anyone walking down the street and attend their aristo events low key. They get cushy jobs like bankers, execs, run art galleries, become actresses, but most importantly they blend in and they’d be fine if the rest of the royal houses fell apart tomorrow. Queen Margrethe works as a translator and is an expert on the Danish language (I personally think she should also have the title of most fun monarch in Europe but I’m partial and biased). King Felipe was at one point a professional Olympic boater, Monaco is more of a business than an actual country so Prince Albert’s jobs is more of a general manager that requires a heavy set of business skill, Harald was in the military before he was crowned. Also, their kin are execs on FIFA and the Olympics. Most members of royal famile make up sporting committees. They are making a solid attempt to understand the world and get the life skills needed to be functional people. Most of them, actually do want to use their privilege to help the world even if at times their help is misguided.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Daisy IS the most fun monarch in Europe – and one of the most accomplished: artist, translator, illustrator and scenographer.

        And none of them ascribe to the notion that they are ordained by God and thus only answerable to God. Britain is the ONLY European monarchy that still holds coronations, a ceremony that has NO place in a modern constitutional monarchy.

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        I wasn’t sure if people on this site would understand it if I called her Daisy or how widespread that was. She’s the best. We love her over here. Henrik (when he was alive), not so much, but he hasn’t really been in the picture since the late 80s. I think Phil would have pulled a lot of what Joachim had if Elizabeth and Daisy would have gone to the throne around the same time.

      • notasugarhere says:

        She’s my fav too, and she’s not even my monarch. I’m thankful royal watchers put her documentaries on YT so I can view them.

  21. Florence says:

    So both she and Willy are screaming nutters.

    Kate must have the worst nerves.

    • Mignionette says:

      Or put simply Kate married a male version of her mother. But to what extent we’ll never know…. I wonder what attributes Kate has of Bill’s parents ?

    • notasugarhere says:

      Kate is known as a bully and the staff called her ‘Prickly Princess’. She and William are alike.

    • The Duchess says:

      Kate literally lives on her nerves and it shows more now than it ever has done. The poor girl looks unwell, but of course, this is the life she signed up for.

  22. Sunny says:

    I just wanted to add that the Social Register was a powerful book that featured all of the prominent families in cities like NY, Philadelphia, chicago, even St. Louis.

    And in my hometown of St. Louis, you had to be of the “legacy” old families to belong to the private country clubs (money alone does not cut it) and have your daughter be accepted in the debutante balls, namely the Veiled Prophet. You had to be upper class to be crowned the winner of the pageant.

    St. Louis still tries to cling to that era, and yes, that’s one of the many reasons why it’s overtly racist.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Is the Bush family still in St. Louis?

    • Nikki* says:

      Newport, RI still has a very distinct class system based on old money vs. new money, family background, religion, and race. It’s all beneath the surface though…

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        I’m sure they do but would you know a Rockefeller or a Roosevelt by sight? A lot of people with “old money” have aliases and alternative last names (dropping a hyphenated part, using the family name instead of surname) in their day to day lives because they don’t want people to know their true last name. The difference between the UK and the rest of the world is the UK is the only place on the planet where the aristocrats can be proud aristocrats.

  23. L4frimaire says:

    Basic,basic, basic. Do they have pumpkin spice latte season in Britain because these Middletons are it.

  24. Julia K. says:

    Generous Uncle Gary?

  25. A says:

    I always figured that the reason why the Middletons could afford to educate their kids in private schools was because Micheal Middleton came from money. That’s always been talked about. He had some type of inheritance or trust, but he had money, and that helped a great deal.

    “In America, that kind of upward social mobility is praised and admired. In Britain… not so much.”

    This, exactly. I think that being in Britain brought out the absolute worst of Carole’s behaviour. Being upwardly mobile in America can be done without resorting to snobbery, and if you are going to be a snob of that variety, then you’ll get smacked down. Hard.

    Not so in Britain. It’s already hugely stratified as a society there in so many ways. The gatekeeping is built in as a feature of the system. The only two ways to move past it is to 1) behave like a sycophant and basically undersell yourself and your worth in the face of your “superiors” which is what the royal family and its staffers expect you to do, or 2) act like you’re grander than any of them, which only rubs them the wrong way. You can’t win with those assholes.

    But I do understand why people like Carole want to play the game as it were. Why shouldn’t she? Why shouldn’t her daughter be a FFQC? Rose Hanbury’s mother is a social climber par excellence. Rose and her sister were the Wisteria sisters on steroids, but that goes completely without discussion in a lot of places. I imagine that in Carole’s mind, she’s not doing anything particularly out of the ordinary. Hands down like 8 different posh toffs at a given time have secret pot farm operations going. All of them have their hands in some sticky business or another.

    That being said though, what I do find reprehensible about Carole is like…girl don’t front. Maybe this is a British vs. North American thing, but honestly. It’s the fakeness of her gib that I think people find off putting. She’s not posh, won’t ever be posh, but at the same time, what is wrong with that? Why pretend otherwise? She won, didn’t she? Her daughter is going to be FFQC. The facade is not necessary right now, there’s no need to win points with these inbred idiots anyway. Overcoming those insecurities is easier said than done. But you can’t pretend like you have the moral high ground, especially when, as these people did with Meghan, you use your insecurities to hurt and smear other people to bring yourself up. You just wind up making yourself look like a dumbass.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      “Rose Hanbury’s mother is a social climber par excellence. Rose and her sister were the Wisteria sisters on steroids, but that goes completely without discussion in a lot of places”

      It needs to be talked about as it would very interesting to CBers. In the year of “Rose Who?” and Norfolk Rose Bush cultivation I spent eight hours on Wikipedia & Google web surfing down that rabbit hole. VERY INTERESTING

      • A says:

        ISN’T IT JUST? Her sister’s story though. Imagine if a commoner proposed to someone on FACEBOOK MESSENGER. But of course, all things are endearing and cool when it’s a fusty posh toff with millions in the bank and a title on top of that.

    • Sofia says:

      The thing with the Hanbury’s is that Rose’s maternal grandmother was a Lady (daughter of an Earl) and a bridesmaid at the then Princess Elizabeth’s wedding. That’s a huge deal in those circles. And on her father’s side, I think there’s some landed gentry thing going on (no titles but still considered upper class, or at least upper middle class).

      Did they still do socially advantageous marriages? Of course they did. But what separates Rose vs Kate in the eyes of the aristos is that Rose has aristocratic and titles family members in her tree whereas Kate does not – or at least not the way Rose has. Is it stupid? Yes. But you’ve got to look at it through an aristo’s eyes rather than your own.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “And on her father’s side, I think there’s some landed gentry thing going on”

        I thought they were military’s men with an average landed family estate.

        Tim & Emma Hanbury do not live on an inherited ancestral family estate. They bought some really old pile, Wembury House in Devon England, on their on accord. Tim is a software developer and Emma is some sort of home furnishing designer IIRC. However, Emma’s family tree is loaded with titled aristos.

      • A says:

        I understand fully that this is how the aristos see it. That’s my whole point. The entire thing is a double standard of the highest order, and a particularly classist one at that. The aristocracy is chock full of hypocrites with sub-par IQs who have to convince themselves that they deserve their inherent wealth and privilege.

        And Rose Hanbury’s marriage is not just “advantageous.” The way it happened was downright scandalous, even for their crowd. She “conveniently” got pregnant with the children of an unmarried titled noble, who was 20-odd years older than her, and they had a shotgun wedding. I’m not making any insinuations here about her motivations or anything, but imagine if someone who didn’t have the privilege that being aristocrat-adjacent did the same thing.

        Rose Hanbury moves in circles that think “the lower classes” are trashy for being single parents or getting pregnant out of wedlock, or being cravenly money/status obsessed, but they don’t turn the same lens on themselves. We all know why they don’t, and the fact that they don’t deserves more discussion. They’re not a single hair better than anything the Middletons are. None of this crowd is.

  26. Mariane says:

    Well well..I hope American gossip sites are paying attention. Lacey was clever to publish this in the states becase the keenbridges cant threaten him like they do with british press
    I want to see gossip sites discussing how the Middletons are making their money. I bet that pot farm that was discovered behind their home is clue

    • kelleybelle says:

      Why would the Cambridges threaten him when the letter was calling for Harry and Meghan to lose their titles? Especially when they’ve remained completely silent on every aspect of press abuse to do with Harry and Meghan?

  27. Zaya says:

    Didn’t Pipa get a scholarship (sports?) or something?

    Anyways, for me, what has always bothered me about that fam was that they always seemed to be ashamed of where they came from. Like Kate with that accent of hers.

    And did people really buy stuff via mail in the 80s and 90s? Why not just go to the store?

    • A says:

      Well, why do people buy things online now? Why not just go to the store? Same reason why they bought things off of mail order catalogues.

      • Zaya says:

        It’s a lot easier and more convenient to order things online than via mail.

        Idk, no one in my family (in the us or uk) ever ordered anything by mail.

  28. The Recluse says:

    We like self made people in the US, but no one likes a snob.

  29. Mia says:

    @sunny my grandfather belonged to a group that unmasked the Veil Prophet. I believed this happened in the late 60’s/early 70’s.

  30. kkim says:

    Their schooling was paid for by a trust on michael’s side of the family (this is well-known in the uk)

    • notasugarhere says:

      That is a well-known fiction, mostly spun out of one article from the pro-Middleton Daily Fail. Other exposes, from the Times and Telegraph, show that money was enough to pay for Michael’s schooling and that’s pretty much it.

  31. Jay says:

    No qualms with someone making bank with their haggling skills instead of inheriting an estate. What a backwards world that someone would be ashamed of this?

    • notasugarhere says:

      Many questions remain around how much money was actually made, given that other much larger mail order companies made less than the Middleton fictional ‘fortune’. Their poor business practices of 1) repeatedly having to be warned about copyright infringement for many of their sales campaigns 2) trading on royal connections for theme sales 3) caught selling products made by child labour 4) the costume line that sexualised young children 5) the selling of client information without permission of the clients 6) etc.

      On top of that? If they were made of money, why a second mortgage on their previous house, run through Scandinavian banks to try to hide it. How much of the Prince Campaign funding came from shady Uncle Gary’s shady activities?

    • Nic919 says:

      Why would Carole then devote her life to getting her daughter to marry into the group that doesn’t work and simply inherits wealth? None of her kids have a work ethic so what has she worked for? A title for her daughter? One that isn’t guaranteed if you see what happened to Diana or frankly many married in women ? What sane parent would place their child in that path?

      • Kkat says:

        Carole got the prize, even if PWT dumps kate her grandkid will be King

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        Her own ego. Her children are a reflection of her. Some mothers can’t let go of the idea that their children are their own individual people. I have a sister in law like that.

      • notasugarhere says:

        George IS Carole’s prize, Kkat. Kate is expendable, even to her own mother.

  32. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    I can’t say I know a lot about Gary other than he beats his wife, likes cocaine, and is Kate’s shady uncle. Given Gary’s predilection for cocaine I always assumed he was part of a cartel working to get drugs into Europe and his money is drug money and it was being funneled through Party Pieces.

  33. Sarah says:

    I find the criticism of Carole to be sexist. Where was Michael when the kids were growing up? He also helped grow the business. With regards to attitudes towards Meghan, Carole has no real power and the upper class in the UK doesn’t respect her enough to listen to her even if she didn’t like Meghan.. They will always see her as a flight attendant. Also that whole Lady Dorothy bs is the result of class snobbery. Working class people in the UK can’t stand it if you try to rise above your station. My parents also bought an expensive pram and used it for all 4 kids. A lot of parents work hard so their children can have a better life. My mom had to leave school at 14 to work in a factory in England and she didn’t want her children to have that experience because it’s a hard life. If Carole grew up in a council flat she probably wanted to keep her kids far away from the possibility of returning to it.

    • Nic919 says:

      There is a difference between wanting something more for your kids and then pushing them in the direction of a dysfunctional regime where women are essentially voiceless broodmares. Kate and Pippa and James haven’t worked. They basically partied like Paris Hilton for a decade and Kate and Pippa are reliant on the whims of their spouse because they don’t have any career of skills of their own to rely in if there is a divorce. Who knows about james since he can’t seem to manage any kind of position himself. What kind of parents have that as their goal? Mike is just as bad as Carole because he’s been a part of this scheme and it’s pretty twisted. We are in the wrong century for “marrying well” to be anything but an insane and temporary goal. Nothing is forever, as even the Princess of wales can be a divorcee.

    • notasugarhere says:

      The Lady Dorothy chimney comment came from her relatives, not some outsiders looking down on her. It was the way Dorothy acted towards her own family and their origins, much as Carole does today.

  34. Its just me says:

    When the details first came out. Daily Mail loved it. Now because Lacy focused on Will and Kate they stopped talking about the book..
    I’m told Harper’s Bazaar shut down comments because of the huge number of racist comments about Meghan.