Kate & Pippa Middleton Were Dauntingly Perfect To Their Peers (And It's All Thanks To Carole)

While we imagine being the Princess of Wales is a pretty extraordinary experience, Kate Middleton has been living lavishly since before she married William, Prince of Wales. In fact, the Duchess and her sister Pippa Middleton garnered quite a lofty reputation while attending Marlborough College.

"There was always something slightly galling about having your child at school with the Middletons," a Marlborough mother told Tatler in 2013. "Every pristine item of clothing would have a beautifully sewn-in name tape, for instance. It was unthinkable that they would end up resorting to marker pen on labels like the rest of us. There were huge picnics at sports day, the smartest tennis rackets, that kind of thing. It made the rest of us all feel rather hopeless."

The poised and put-together appearance of the Middleton sisters, which allegedly intimidated their Marlborough peers and their mothers, is often attributed to their own mom, Carole Middleton. The London native has been characterized as a strategic, social-climbing mother-in-law who's always set her children's sights on higher living.

Carole helped her daughters climb the social ladder

Kate and Pippa Middleton might have been dauntingly perfect to their peers during boarding school, but it wasn't without their mother's effort. Carole Middleton came from a middle-class background, attending state schools while growing up in Southall. Her mother worked part-time in retail while her father was a painter and decorator. Meanwhile, Michael Middleton came from aristocratic roots and inherited wealth.

"Carole ... is acknowledged by all as the dynamo in the family," Tina Brown wrote in "The Palace Papers." "She married up, and was a hard worker ... Her origins are scrappy working-class, a family of strivers ... [Carole] inherited her drive from her socially ambitious mother, Dorothy 'Dot' Goldsmith." The royal mother-in-law also started her own business in the late '80s, a now-failed party supplies company called Party Pieces that flourished during Kate and Pippa's childhood.

Combined with her husband's family background, the Middleton matriarch worked hard to give her children the best opportunities in life, sending them to elite boarding schools and potentially playing matchmaker in their adult lives. In this way, Carole has been dubbed the British Kris Jenner, a title that accurately describes the guiding hand she played in Kate and Pippa's lives.

Kate wasn't always popular among her peers

Kate Middleton really came into her own during her boarding school days, with Carole Middleton's influence reportedly playing a significant role in her glow-up. However, the Duchess wasn't always popular among her peers, with Kate suffering from bullying in the years before she attended Marlborough College. In this way, she was quite shy when she initially transferred schools.

"When she arrived, she was very quiet. Coming into a big school like Marlborough was difficult, but she settled in quickly," Joan Gall, Kate's former house tutor, told the Daily Mail. Eventually, the future princess found her footing among her peers, joining the all-girls boarding house Elmhurst and excelling at sports like hockey and tennis. Meanwhile, Pippa Middleton, who attended Marlborough on scholarship, began her stint at the boarding school on a more positive note.

"Pippa was slightly tough and, back then, the one with the charisma," a peer of the Middleton sisters told the Daily Mail. "No one would ever think of bullying her." Pippa and Kate may have had the hard work of their mother to thank for their pristine and proper appearances, but they also did some glowing up of their own to garner their intimidating reputations.