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Carole Middleton
Carole Elizabeth Middleton on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.jpg
Middleton stands on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the Royal Wedding in 2011
Born
Carole Elizabeth Goldsmith

31 January 1955 (1955-01-31) (age 66)
Perivale, London, England
Occupation Businesswoman
Spouse(s)
Michael Middleton (m. 1980)
Children
Family Middleton

Carole Elizabeth Middleton (née Goldsmith; born 31 January 1955) is an English businesswoman. She is the mother of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Philippa Matthews, and James Middleton.

Born in Perivale and brought up in Southall, London, Middleton was educated at state schools before working as a secretary. She joined British Airways and worked as a stewardess until her marriage to Michael Middleton, a member of the Middleton family. Middleton founded Party Pieces, a successful mail-order party supply company, in 1987. Her first three grandchildren, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Cambridge, are third, fourth and fifth in line to the British throne respectively. The Middletons reside at Bucklebury Manor, in Berkshire.

Early life

Carole Elizabeth Goldsmith was born on 31 January 1955 at Perivale Maternity Hospital in Perivale, London, the daughter of Ronald Goldsmith (1931–2003) and Dorothy Goldsmith (née Harrison; 1935–2006); she is the older sister of IT recruitment multi-millionaire Gary Goldsmith. Goldsmith spent her early years in a small house in Southall, attending the local state schools.

She initially left school aged 16, but soon returned and achieved four A Levels. Although she wanted to be a teacher, Goldsmith's parents "couldn't afford to put [her] through college". She then worked as a secretary and can reportedly perform Pitman Shorthand. Brushing up her French, she got a job as ground staff at British Airways. At the time of her marriage, she was recorded as working as a stewardess.

Marriage and family

While working for the airline, she met flight dispatcher Michael Middleton, a grandson of Olive Middleton – a member of the Lupton family who are described in the City of Leeds archives as being "landed gentry; a political and business dynasty".

The couple were married on 21 June 1980 at the Church of St James in Dorney, Buckinghamshire. They bought a Victorian house in Bradfield Southend near Reading, Berkshire. The Middletons had three children: Catherine Elizabeth (b. 9 January 1982), Philippa Charlotte (b. 6 September 1983) and James William (b. 15 April 1987.)

The family moved to Jordan in 1984 before returning to West Berkshire, Bradfield Southend in 1986. In 1995, the Middletons purchased Oak Acre, a Tudor-style manor house in Bucklebury, Berkshire. In 2002, Middleton and her husband bought "with cash" a flat in Chelsea, London, in which their children lived after completing their university studies. The flat was sold in 2018. In 2012, the family bought Bucklebury Manor, in Bucklebury, West Berkshire – a Grade II listed Georgian manor house set on over 18 acres. The Middletons' grandson Prince George spent his first few weeks at Bucklebury Manor.

The gold chevron on the coat of arms commissioned by her husband is in reference to Middleton's maiden name of Goldsmith.

Career and husband's inherited wealth

In 1987, Middleton established Party Pieces, a company that began by making party bags and which now sells party supplies and decorations by mail order. Middleton first began the business "at her kitchen table" and distributed thousands of leaflets to advertise locally. Her husband quit his job at British Airways to join her at the company in 1989. In 1995, the firm's growth necessitated its headquarters be moved to a range of farm buildings at Ashampstead Common. The company is reportedly worth $40 million.

The family's wealth is the result of the success of their business combined with the trust funds inherited from Olive Christiana Middleton (née Lupton), whom the BBC reported in 2011 as being Michael Middleton's aristocrat grandmother. This wealth has resulted in the Middletons being reported to be multi-millionaires.

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