A Guide To Kate Middleton's Family

The following article mentions domestic violence. 

Being in the ambit of the British royals has given the Middleton family fresh prominence in the last few decades. Princess Catherine's marriage to Prince William in 2011 re-energized the historic ties her family has long held with the British upper class and, with the senior royal only inching closer to the throne, the spotlight on the Middletons is only expected to grow. Their kinship to the monarchy, however, has done little to break down the walls of privacy many Middleton family members — especially the princess' parents — like to maintain. It seems to be an effective measure to keep them from getting involved in whatever drama plagues the royal family each passing day, at least to some degree. As Catherine's mother, Carole Middleton, told The Telegraph in 2018, "Over the years, it's proved wise not to say anything." 

Through the often overwhelming public existence that weighs on their dynamics, the Middletons have managed to retain their strong familial relationships. "The Middleton family has remained an extremely close unit, in spite of the fame and the grandeur of the lives they now live," royal expert Jennie Bond told OK! magazine. Their continued attachment gives one a sense of the kind of support Catherine will receive as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Royal correspondent Katie Nicholl told ET that the princess is likely to lean extensively on her parents and siblings, who are "the real anchors in her life." Read more about the Middletons in this guide to Princess Catherine's family. 

Carole Middleton

Giving Britain its future queen may be considered Carole Middleton's most celebrated achievement by many among the royal fan base. But her merit extends far beyond her exalted status as Princess Catherine's mother. She is a primary force behind the Middleton family business Party Pieces, which she built from the ground up. "I'm not someone to sit on the sofa for a long time," she told Good Housekeeping. "I grew up watching my parents, who both worked extremely hard." 

Carole may brush shoulders with royalty now but she seemingly hasn't lost touch with her humble roots. Her parents worked jobs in construction and factories, with Carole herself beginning her career as a flight attendant for British Airways. It was there that she met Michael Middleton, whom she married in 1980. The couple welcomed three now-famous children together, who have many well-known children of their own. And, as she told GH, Carole is a deeply committed grandmother: "I cook with them, I muck around dancing, we go on bike rides." 

Though the Middletons are protective of their privacy, it hasn't shielded them from scrutiny. Carole found herself in media headlines and discussion forums after the popular series "The Crown" portrayed her in a contentious manner. The show suggested that Catherine's mother was intentional about her becoming a princess — a theory that also found popularity through biographical books like "The Palace Papers" by Tina Brown, which claimed that Carole played a key role in bringing her daughter and Prince William together.

Michael Middleton

Even before she married into royalty, Princess Catherine could speak of ties to the British elite — thanks to her father Michael Middleton. A descendant of the prominent Tudor-era Lupton family that dabbled in business for centuries, Michael possessed heritage that gave some aristocratic distinction to the Middleton family before they deepened ties with the highest powers in the land. Though Michael didn't completely trace the footsteps of his father who served in the Royal Air Force, he verged close by joining the aviation industry as a flight dispatcher for British Airways. After he met and married Carole Middleton, Michael committed himself strongly to empowering his wife's business endeavors, per The Telegraph. 

A brief professional relocation to Jordan later, he brought the family back to England and put Carole's career front and center. He collaborated extensively with her as she set up her successful venture Party Pieces. "Mike and I often talked about work in the evenings or on holiday, but we enjoyed it," Carole said. The family business was sold off in 2023 but the Middletons' financial portfolio remained strong, considering the spread of real estate and ancestral wealth in their name. 

The Telegraph, reporting on the family's "better off than the average middle-class" lifestyle, also brought attention to the $1 million worth residence in London that was used exclusively by the Middleton children and the Princess of Wales' annual $30,000 tuition fee at Marlborough College. Michael has refrained from divulging details about his reported affluence.

Pippa Middleton

All eyes were on Princess Catherine at her royal wedding in 2011. And yet, viewers couldn't help but occasionally turn their attention to her sister Pippa Middleton, who — in her chic, figure-hugging white gown — captured public imagination like few other bridal party members have been able to. Though Pippa was no stranger to fame, having already made a mark among the British elite, her older sister's wedding turned her into an overnight celebrity with a distinction as the world's most famous bridesmaid. 

The flood of reactions to Pippa's turnout was massive and mixed, and in the aftermath of that initial deluge of attention she received, she expressed a complicated relationship with her newfound public status. "I have quite a lot thrown at me, such as being followed by people hiding behind cars and jumping out with cameras," she told the Daily Mail. She claimed that her connection to the British royals has neither unwarrantedly bolstered her privilege, nor derailed her from working toward her independent goals. 

A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Pippa has her finger in the pie of the Middleton family's party business, and has put her literature degree to good use by writing columns and books. Disavowing her wide repute as a socialite and party girl, she told the outlet,  "I just try to live a normal life like many of my friends." She is married to ex-racer and multi-millionaire James Matthews, with whom she shares three children. 

James Matthews

Pippa Middleton's husband, James Matthews, isn't just a prominent member of the Middleton clan but also of British high society. Princess Catherine's brother-in-law is of elite pedigree, hailing from a family with a burgeoning net worth and influence in the luxury hospitality industry. In fact, it was courtesy of Matthews' family-owned Eden Rock Hotel in St Barts that he first crossed paths with Pippa. The couple's relationship went public in 2012 and they tied the knot five years later in a highly-publicized ceremony that had the who's who of the British monarchy in attendance. 

Being in proximity to royalty would have hardly fazed Matthews, given that he shares his alma mater of Eton College with Princes William and Harry. In fact, reports suggest that his huge wealth surpasses that of many royals. A financier and hedge fund manager with his own business consulting venture, Matthews has a fortune that runs into billions, according to L'Officiel. Business expertise isn't the only skill on Matthews' impressive portfolio. 

He also holds distinction as a former professional racer with a high record of championship wins, who stopped short of a Formula 1 career. His sporting interests remained evident as he marked his presence at Wimbledon matches and charity races he participated in with his wife. Matthews' longtime encounters with public attention, however, were apparently not enough to prep him for the scrutiny that would follow his relationship with Pippa, who told Daily Mail: "It's been a real eye-opener for James." 

James Middleton

By virtue of being her brother, James Middleton became a celebrity when Princess Catherine did. A multi-hyphenate with influence across businesses and red carpets, he burst into the spotlight when his oldest sister married into the British monarchy; it quickly became clear that James' ways were as untraditional as Catherine's were traditional. Unlike his sisters Catherine and Pippa, James had little academic inclination and after dropping out of the University of Edinburgh, ventured into the cake business. "People think baking cakes is a funny thing for a guy to do, but I am passionate about it," he told GQ

He founded an award-winning, but short-lived confectionary company in 2007, before moving on to other businesses — including one that let people print their photos on marshmallows. Besides his entrepreneurial talents, James' passion for dogs is well-known, even translating into a book by him titled "Meet Ella: The Dog Who Saved My Life." James has used his platform as a public figure to open up about his experiences with dyslexia, ADHD, and depression.

The Middleton siblings grew up close and, notwithstanding their independent adulthoods, have continued to share profound relationships. It was evident in James' March 2024 message to Princess Catherine, who recently shared her cancer diagnosis with the world. "Over the years, we have climbed many mountains together. As a family, we will climb this one with you too," James wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of a young Catherine and himself. 

Alizee Thevenet

Princess Catherine's family grew when her brother James Middleton tied the knot with Alizee Thevenet in 2021. In keeping with James' disposition to break the mold — as well as the sensitive circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic — the couple chose to forgo the extravagance of celebrations that had defined both Catherine and Pippa Middleton's weddings. They said their "I dos" in an intimate setting in the dreamy locales of France, from where Alizee hails. A financier by profession, she currently works with the fintech company TreasurySpring and is a graduate of the Queen Mary University of London. So how did a white-collar brainiac like herself come to cross paths with the insular world of the royals?

The story, as narrated by James, is nothing short of a Hollywood rom-com. As he told The Telegraph, he was at the South Kensington Club with his dog Ella one day in 2018. At one point, Ella darted out from where she was sitting near James and went over to the woman who was to be his future wife. "Rather embarrassed, I went over to apologize and bring Ella back," he recalled. And the rest, as they say, is history. In addition to the big brood of furries they co-parent, James and Alizee also welcomed a baby boy named Inigo in 2023. From red carpets to Wimbledon matches, Alizee is a steady plus-one to James at high-profile public events and has built a quiet country life with him away from the royal glare.

Gary Goldsmith

Don't we all have relatives we prefer giving a wide berth to? Apparently, so does the Princess of Wales. Gary Goldsmith, an uncle of Princess Catherine on her mother's side, is as notorious as they come and most recently found an immense platform to let his controversial side loose as a contestant on the reality show "Celebrity Big Brother." "I often read that people think I'm a bit of a bad boy," he said in a video for the 2024 season. It is not without reason that this reputation precedes Gary, whose checkered past contains allegations of domestic violence, privacy invasion, and drug dealing. 

Even before Catherine married into the royal family, Gary took the spotlight for divulging private details of her life with Prince William in a sting by the notorious tabloid News of the World (via the Daily Mail). The report also spoke of Gary's alleged soliciting of drugs and sex workers, noting he apparently caused a furor in the palace halls. He made headlines again in 2017 for drunkenly assaulting his wife in London. Per the BBC, he was fined upward of $6,000 and sentenced to a year of community order. 

Though the Middleton family has reportedly kept Gary at arm's length, it hasn't discouraged him from associating with the British royals. His March 2024 interview for The Times – which came in the wake of his niece's cancer diagnosis announcement – inspired wide outrage over his harsh criticisms of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Tallulah Goldsmith

Tallulah Goldsmith is a cousin of Princess Catherine through her father Gary Goldsmith. The royal relative is the only child from Gary's four marriages and he shares her with his ex-wife Luan Bettaney. Though she has ties to one of the world's most beloved princesses, Tallulah seems to enjoy reveling in the pleasures of regular youth way more than royal distinction. A graduate of Newcastle University, she has experience working in management consulting and is currently a Wellbeing Engagement Manager for the wellness app Hapstar, according to her professional profile. Her lively social media doesn't betray her connection with the British royals, giving followers glimpses of the friends, food, and travels in her life. 

Her upbringing was seemingly influenced by that of her cousin Catherine, whom Gary cited as a reference for his parenting approach. "I think the girls and James were beautifully brought up and I'm trying to emulate that with Tallulah," he told Hello! magazine in a 2013 interview. Though Gary's notorious social exploits reportedly put him in low favor among the Middletons and the royals, the Daily Mail noted that there was some attempt at reconciliation by way of Tallulah when Pippa Middleton was getting married. There was alleged talk of Gary's daughter serving as a bridesmaid at her older cousin's wedding in 2017. "Tallulah is thrilled at the prospect," a source told the publication. It seemed Tallulah didn't eventually make the final cut, though she was pictured attending the ceremony with her father. 

Lucy Middleton

Lucy Middleton is a cousin of Princess Catherine who first rose to prominence as a godparent of Prince Louis. Named by the royal house as one of six people the Prince and Princess of Wales chose for the role, she was present at the christening of the young prince at St James's Palace in 2018. It is understood that Catherine and Lucy are likely close, going by the significance that comes with the honorable job profile of being a royal godparent. As Joe Little of the Majesty magazine explained to Time, "It's a very prestigious position and a sign of true friendship and trust on the part of the royal parents." 

That said, Lucy — who is the daughter of Richard Middleton, an uncle of the princess on her father's side — barely has a reputation for basking in the glory of her popular cousin's fame. A graduate of the University of Bristol, she is part of the corporate world of commoners and was last known to be working as a publishing lawyer for Penguin Random House. Though she has so far remained detached from royal controversies, Lucy's professional endeavors have landed her in headlines on occasion. She was spotlighted in 2021 when her employer was caught in a row that saw historian Anna Pasternak accuse Penguin and its author Lara Prescott of plagiarizing her work, per Daily Mail. Lucy's role in the publication of Prince Harry's "Spare" was also scrutinized, given that Penguin backed the controversial memoir.