By This Is Money Updated: With the 'big day' arriving, we look at the background of the Middleton family and the wealth that sent Kate and Pippa to Malborough College and set their elder daughter on course for a Royal Wedding.
Although called a 'commoner', Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding is hardly a case of Prince and the Pauper. That's based on the value of their online party gift business Party Pieces and the the new link to the Royal Family, especially given the lucrative new market it could now exploit: The business began when Carole was heavily pregnant with Kate in Unable to continue working as a British Airways air hostess, she started making up children's party bags which she sold to friends and neighbours.
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Carole, who spent the first years of her life in a council flat in Southall, North-West London, then formalised her hobby as a business in with husband Michael.
Party Pieces is a mail order business that aims to help parents create 'magical' parties for their children at home. It has been run from a call centre, with eight staff before the wedding announcement, out of a barn near Reading in Berkshire. Before the wedding was announced, the website - partypieces. That leapt toat the end of last year but fell back toin early The website appears to have done a brisk trade in corgi cake toppers, bunting, paper plates and plastic crockery for coronation-style celebrations and plastic hats emblazoned with Union Flags.
But the mail-order firm attracted criticism for launching Britannia scratch cards on British trivia. The cards, with crowns which can be scratched off to reveal the right answers, were withdrawn. It won't be the first major outlay for their elder daughter. There is no mortgage on the property, according to Land Registry records. Research by author Claudia Joseph for her biography Kate: Princess in Waiting, suggests that money has also trickled down from ancestors on at least one side of the family.
Former air stewardess Carole Middleton nee Goldsmithnow 55, was a builder's daughter and descended from a family of penniless Durham coal miners.
Although depleted somewhat on its way down the generations it is thought that at least some was left to help the modern Middletons fund their well-to-do lifestyle. The will also specified some money should be used to pay for descendants' education. The trusts still operate and are run by a firm of solicitors in Leeds. At the age of 29 the future Queen of England has rather a thin CV for a bright, A grade Marlborough educated pupil who earned a 2: Until recently she was working for the family firm after a brief post-graduate foray into the outside world working for retailer Jigsaw.
Money and career will no longer be a concern to Kate. As consort to Prince William she will surely be looked after in the manner she has been hoping to become accustomed to since she first met her Prince at St Andrew's. And should his father pre-decease him, his income will go stratospheric when the whole of that income is transferred to him.
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Currently, Prince Charles receives the annual net surplus of the Duchy of Cornwall he has no access to the capital and uses a large proportion of the income to meet the cost of his public and charitable work and a part of the income to pay for his private life and those of his wife, Camilla, and his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
If or when William becomes king, then his income will take on a new dimension. This system is due to be overhauled, although some claim it will leave the head of state better off [ Read the details ]. Make money dropshipping amazon more from our brilliant series on Celebrity Wealth.
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