Meet The Middletons
While the Middleton family isn’t quite like every other family (they are quite wealthy!), they were a far cry from royalty. In the early 19th century, the Middletons were quite well-known in the West Riding of Yorkshire due to their law firm. This law firm was dubbed Messrs Middleton and Sons and it was founded by William Middleton, a gentleman farmer and solicitor.
William Middleton’s son followed in his footsteps as a solicitor: Richard Noel Middleton, who also founded the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra. Richard would become the father of Captain Peter Middleton, who actually became Prince Philip’s co-pilot in touring South America – talk about royal connections!
Captain Peter Middleton would then become the father of Michael Middleton, who heads the tight-knit Middleton family composed of him, his wife Carole, and children Kate, Pippa, and James.
Who Is Michael Middleton?
Michael Francis Middleton was born June 23, 1949 in Leeds, England. His father was Captain Peter Francis Middleton of the Royal Air Force, and his mother was Valerie Glassborow, who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II. He has three brothers: Simon, Nicholas, and Richard.
Like his grandfather and father, Michael went to Clifton College, a boarding school in Bristol. He originally wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a pilot. He studied for six months at the British European Airways’ flight school, before deciding to be part of the ground crew instead. Michael then started working for British Airways as a flight dispatcher.
Meeting The Future Mrs Middleton
It was probably a good thing that Michael chose to be a flight dispatcher instead of a pilot because it was then that he met Carole Goldsmith, who was working as ground staff. Carole originally wanted to become a teacher, but her parents couldn’t afford to send her to college. Instead, she began working to support herself, starting out as a secretary, then ground staff, and eventually, flight stewardess.
Michael and Carole quickly fell in love and married on June 21, 1980, at the Church of St. James in Buckinghamshire. In 1982, they welcomed their first child, daughter Catherine Elizabeth or Kate, the future Duchess of Cambridge. Philippa Charlotte aka Pippa immediately followed in 1983.
The family of four moved to Amman, Jordan for Michael’s job as a British Airways manager. They returned to England in 1987, and their youngest child James William was born, completing the family of five.
Making A Fortune
While Michael and Carole met as employees of British Airways, they didn’t wait until retirement to leave the company. In 1987, while Carole was pregnant with James, she started the family company Party Pieces, which made party bags.
Party Pieces went beyond party bags – they branched out into party supplies and decorations. Business boomed, and by 1995, Michael was also helping out with the company. They both worked hard to make the company succeed, and for a while, it was their only source of income!
Eventually, Michael and Carole would also invest in real estate, which let them build up their income even more. They also invested in racehorse shares, which earned the Middletons a fair amount of through prize money. Michael’s father died in 2010, and left him an inheritance of around $USD 130,000 (around $AUD 191,456), which contributed to the Middletons’ wealth.
“Quiet” and “reserved” were the words that you could use to describe Michael Middleton. Kate Middleton’s very public engagement and marriage to no less than the second in line to the throne, Prince William was something that definitely made him a bit uncomfortable.
Of course, Kate Middleton’s father is very happy to have Prince William as a son-in-law, but the sheer amount of media coverage on their wedding day made him a bit queasy: “Thank goodness that’s over, and I’ll never have to do it again.” We’re certainly glad that Michael allowed the Prince to marry his daughter, otherwise we wouldn’t have Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge now!
Michael and Carole, despite now being members of the Royal family by marriage, lead a relatively quiet life. They are invited to royal events, which they attend with Kate and William, such as the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, though they prefer to cruise peacefully under the radar, away from the news.
Michael recently celebrated his 70th birthday, surrounded by his family: his wife of 39 years, Carole; his three children, Kate, Pippa, and James; and his four grandchildren, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and the latest addition to the Middleton clan, Pippa’s firstborn Arthur Michael!