Entertainment Celebrity How Carole Middleton became the world’s most glamorous grandmother
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How Carole Middleton became the world’s most glamorous grandmother

Carole Middleton, (left, with Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of Cornwall) at her daughter Kate's 2011 royal wedding. Photo: Getty
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In late December, Carole Middleton stalked along a beach on the upscale Caribbean island of St Barts, laughing with daughter Pippa Matthews and slipping into the sea in a black bikini top and black and white bottoms.

A couple of days later, the Middleton women were back on the beach, Carole reclining on a towel in $630 Bulgari sunglasses, blazing orange bikini and straw fedora as wine glasses were filled and drained.

Carole Middleton Pippa Middleton
Carole with daughter Pippa in St Barts on December 27. Photo: Instagram

Dubbed the second-most famous granny in the world – after the Queen, matriarch of her duchess daughter Kate Middleton’s royal in laws – Carole turns 65 on January 31 and has reinvented what grandmotherhood looks like.

She’s sailed and skiied with Kate and Prince William, always has unobtainable seats at Wimbledon, is driven around vast estates by the Queen herself and was on the best dressed list at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

Caroleinvented the signature Middleton modest elegance, which involves a way with understated gold jewellery, coat dresses and bouncy hair. And then there’s her work ethic and professional ambitions.

The former British Airways ground crew member still works full-time in the successful party-supplies business she started from home as a young mother of three in 1987.

Most days she drives herself in an untidy Range Rover from the $10.2 million home she shares with her husband of 39 years, Michael Middleton, 70, to their nearby warehouse. She even occasionally makes cameos in Instagram posts for Party Pieces.

Running a business is “really very simple”, Carole told The Telegraph in December 2018 in her only interview ever, which described her “teenage legs and halo of outdoorsy glamour”.

Said the grandmother of future King George: “You buy things and sell them for a profit.”

She doesn’t see herself stopping work anytime soon. “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.”

Kate Middleton Carole Middleton
Matchy matchy mother and daughter: Kate and Carole do rural in 2005. Photo: Getty

The daughter of a painter and decorator and homemaker, Carole is known as someone who can just as easily dispense breastfeeding tips and family dinner recipes as she can dance the night away at family weddings.

She and Michael hosted Pippa’s 2017 wedding reception at home, and the mother of the bride reportedly created a sensation by dancing with Prince Harry to her song request, Nelly’s Hot in Herre.

“I do love a good party,” Carole said. “I’m definitely a night owl and a real chatterbox. My children look at me sometimes … ”

As grandmother to Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, Prince Louis, 1, and Pippa’s son Arthur, 1, Granny Middleton is a dab hand at giving children kitchen shores and playing musical statues.

She thinks children should sit with adults at the table as soon as they can sit properly, that good manners must be drummed in early and routine is the key to a happy home.

But then there’s her fun side: on December 19, Carole posted a video of herself having a Star Wars-style lightsaber battle with a $2 inflatable weapon from her own range on her Party Pieces website.

As for her perfect grooming and killer bikini body, Carole took up a vegan diet in 2018 – she still loves a glass of red wine – and plays a mean singles game of tennis a couple of times a week and enjoys “bracing hikes”, according to the Daily Mail.

She “hates” clothes shopping (“I know what I want but I can’t find it”) and prefers staid UK department store Peter Jones to Harrods or Selfridges, where she doesn’t like the music.

For her most spotlit moment, Kate’s 2011 wedding to Prince William, Carole chose a Catherine Walker coat and matching dress that earned rave reviews.

“Like every mother, I wanted to look my best, make my children proud and enjoy the day. I honestly don’t think I was any more stressed than any other mother-of-the-bride,” she said.

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