Carole Middleton: a business woman in her sixties...
A great businesswoman in her sixties…..
She’s a serious businesswoman and her company, Party Pieces ‘Dispatch around 4,000 orders a week’. As a boss, she likes to be in the thick of it, ‘It’s better to be with everyone so you can see what’s going on’. And there’s a hint of The Devil Wears Prada angst when she sweeps in the office, ‘They say it’s a bit like a hurricane arriving when I come in.’
Discretion is everything
She’s learnt to be as discreet as possible and and values privacy now her family are famous, ‘Over the years; it’s proved wise not to say anything.’ Carole has actually previously turned down interview opportunities and only now, is speaking up because her business is now over 30 years old and she though she, 'Should celebrate a little.’
A brilliant work ethic
After initially leaving school at 16, Carole started working for Prudential, ‘It was one of those massive offices with rows and rows of desks.’ She soon left and asked her father if she could return to school to sit her A levels (which she did) with the hope of becoming a teacher, ‘But my parents couldn’t afford to put me through college, so I thought I’d see if I could get a bit of money together to fund myself’. She then got a job working for John Lewis, before getting a secretarial job and learning French so she could become ground staff at BA, ‘You had to be able to speak another language.’
All hands on deck
Kate and Pippa worked for the family business, Carole said, ‘They did a lot of modelling. Catherine was on the cover of one of the catalogues, blowing out candles. Later on, she did some styling and set up the First Birthday side of the business. Pippa did the blog. I still value their ideas and opinions.’
She enjoys shopping now and again, revealing that Peter Jones is her happy place, ‘The staff are lovely and they all know me,’ adding that the Burford Garden Company in the Cotswolds is also a favourite of hers and, as The Telegraph reports, ‘She loves Samantha Sung’s shirt dresses and Goat, but likes to shop in the sale.’
She’s a Christmas obsessive
According to The Telegraph, Carole has a ‘love of Christmas trees’ and ‘likes to have as many as possible in the house, including one in the grandchildren’s rooms’ which Carole adds ‘So they can decorate it themselves.’ She also admitted to loving a bash, ‘I do love a good party. I’m definitely a night owl and a real chatterbox.’
There’s no plans to slow down
Carole has no plans to retire soon, ‘I don’t see myself stopping [work]. If I did I’d have to have so many projects on. I’d have to redecorate the house. I’d love to travel, but then I’d miss the grandchildren... I’ve got a billion ideas I still want to do.’