Queen’s first meeting with Carole Middleton discussed by experts
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Carole, who launched the company Party Pieces more than three decades ago, confessed her daughter Kate unknowingly sparked the idea of creating her own decorations for herself and others. The Duchess’ mother recalled struggling to find the right supplies ahead of Kate’s fifth birthday party.
She told the Daily Mail: “All I could find were basic clown plates.
“I realised there was a gap in the market for partyware that wasn’t too expensive and which looked good, so decided to design my own.
“I took some prototypes to various High Street retailers and was turned away.”
This string of rejection didn’t put Carole off but, rather, pushed her to create her own party bag business, which eventually became her business venture named Party Pieces.
Starting from scratch, she used her kitchen at the Middletons’ Berkshire home as a space to create and advertised her products by leaving leaflets to parents at Kate’s nursery school.
Reflecting on her successful venture, she added: “Thirty-five years later, I’m launching the Party Pieces collection.
“I suppose some things are worth the wait!
“So rather than slowing down, this is an exciting new chapter for me.
“I think I’ll always be interested in party trends.”
While Kate may have provided Carole with a lightbulb moment, the Duchess’ mum said Pippa and James have also inspired her business.
And they continue to do so as they go through different milestones in their lives.
She said: “My children continue to inspire me and, as they have grown up, our brand has evolved.
“From just selling children’s products in the early days, you can now buy one of our popular personalised cakes or balloon bouquets, we curate pieces for all kinds of celebrations, including milestone birthdays, anniversaries and graduations.”
Carole, who married Michael Middleton in 1980, appears to be very present in the life of all her children and loved ones.
While being very respectful of their privacy, she has sometimes opened up on her role of grandmother of the future King, Prince George, and his siblings Charlotte and Louise.
Earlier this year, she spoke to Saga magazine about how important she thinks it is for children to learn to appreciate nature and even “get a bit muddy”.
One of the activities she likes to share with her royal grandchildren is gardening.
She said: “There’s no better way to encourage healthy eating than to allow your grandchildren to see how food is grown and let them pick their own.”
Carole is also the grandmother of Pippa and James Matthew’s children Grace and Arthur.
The 66-year-old appears to have also created a beautiful bond with Alizée Thevenet, who recently married James.
Earlier this month, the Middletons gathered in Bormes-les-Mimosas, France, for the couple’s wedding.
And Alizée donned decided to wear the same dress donned by Carole on her own wedding day with Michael.
The financial analyst told Hello! magazine: “My something borrowed was in fact my dress from my mother in law Carole who last wore it 41 years ago on her wedding day in June, 1980.”
She explained she first tried on the dress during the lockdown, which she spent in Berkshire with her in-laws and James.
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