Carole Middleton Reflects on the Values She Hopes to Pass Onto Her Grandchildren
In a wide-ranging interview conducted in January and featured on the cover of the latest April issue of Good Housekeeping, entrepreneur Carole Middleton, who, with her husband Michael Middleton, have built Party Pieces, a thriving party goods business, from the ground up, talks about how she was inspired by other working moms—such as Chrissie Rucker who founded The White Company and Laura Tenison who founded JoJo Maman Bebe—as well as how she and her close-knit family have been staying in touch during the global pandemic.
Middleton is also, of course, the mother of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, the future Queen of the United Kingdom. She has two other children: Pippa Matthews, who is married to hedge fund manager James Matthew (brother of Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews), the couple are expecting their second child; and James Middleton, who is engaged to Alizée Thevenet. James and his fiancee have been living with Carole and Michael since the beginning of the first Covid-related lockdown in England.
While the rare interview focuses mostly on the expansion of Party Pieces and the launch of its own branded products, Middleton also touches on parenting and legacy—and the values that would most like to impart on her children and grandchildren.
"Probably a love of the countryside," she says, when, asked what she'd like to pass down to her grandchildren. "I grew up in a city, so I really see the value of being able to appreciate nature and be active outdoors."
Middleton also talks about how she learned about having a strong work ethic from watching her own parents: "I grew up watching my parents, who both worked extremely hard. My father was a builder, and my mother worked part-time in a jewellery shop and later, would go to work in a factory. I remember them working hard to make ends meet and give us a lifestyle," she says.
As for future generations, she is confident that the same values have been ingrained in her own children, and trusts they'll be good parents themselves.
"I feel it is my children's role to pass on what they think is important to their children," she tells GH. "That will happen; I suspect it will include a work ethic, because I know I have passed it on to my children. I have tried hard to be a listening grandmother and mother-in-law. That is why we are all still close, because our relationships has evolved as my children have had children. I've learned to be a wise grandmother, I hope. I know how hard it was for me bringing up my own children, that you invest a lot in them, and don't really want a know-it-all granny out there."