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Carole Middleton Does Exclusive Interview With the Telegraph

Friday, November 30, 2018

Oh my goodness! My Carole Middletons fans, rejoice! The Duchess of Cambridge's mother has done her first interview (the royal engagement statement to the press excepted)! Cute details that popped out at me--Kate texted Carole during the shoot to wish her luck; in the early days of her business, Carole was inspired by JoJo Maman Bebé; and James lives at home when he isn't in London (a man after my own heart). 


You can tell me if I am being too sensitive, but there seemed to be a bit of an edge to this write-up. It didn't feel hostile, but it didn't feel entirely sympathetic, either.  It seemed to swing between positive and something a little hard to put my finger on--but with a bite. The author gives enough detail that you can get a good picture and make your own judgment.  It's lovely that Carole did this, obviously with the Palace's blessings. The Middletons deserve to be feted a bit more, in my opinion. I think this interview is further proof of the earlier point I made about Kate having been to hidden away and too played down, so this is quite refreshing. Just like it was lovely to see Doria Ragland with Meghan at her book launch, I'd love to see more of Carole and Mike. Carole is lovely and such an example of hard work and creativity and success. The Royal Family really scored when William fell in love with a Middleton. More of Carole and the Middletons, please! 

Read the full article here, complete with great pictures.   This is not a "Premium" article on the Telgraph, i.e. it should be free. All you need to do to read it is register, which is free. 

110 comments:

  1. Queen Carole! I 100% agree with you the article is shady. The stewardess jab, "a touch of Mrs. Bennett", Uncle Gary mention. I like Carole and I feel like she has gotten a bad rep all these years for no reason. Good for her for celebrating 30 years of a successful business.

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    1. Amen sista. The Mrs. Bennett ref was TOO MUCH! Brits are so classist...

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  2. I'm very surprised that Mrs Middleton gave an interview, as she and Mr Middleton always appeared to me to guard their privacy, but I was wrong. I have always admired her for starting her own business and for her apparently straightforward, balanced
    approach, which I think comes through in the interview.
    - Caroline

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  3. The author at one point uses a quote from Carole that, int he context, sort of sounds like shes essentially saying that she gets that working moms have needs but if she needs them at work more that takes precedent. But I had to imagine it was just bad writing (really, the article is very poorly written), because a statement like that would be pretty big tabloid fodder.

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    1. I agree. Very poorly written. The article, in my opinion, reads like it was written by a writer who didn't think to plan any questions to ask ahead of time.

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    2. Why? Why is that a bad statement?
      Do you think that it is unfair of Carole to expect her employees to be at work if they are getting paid to be there? Do you think a multimillion dollar business will run itself if it is staffed with employees who run to their families the minute going gets tough?
      I thought that he comment was entirely fair. It is hard to juggle work and family but when you make a commitment to a workplace you have to honor that - people are relying on you. So that means, often, you need to invest in creating a village of support so that in cases of last-minute family demands such as sick kids or school cancellations you have a number of people to draw on to come and pitch in with childcare so that you can honor your commitment to your place of work. That means making sure you either have family or a network of friends/nannies/an au pair/ friends who help you out when you need to. You invest in those relationships and help build a community and village of folks who look out for each other. That is how successful professional women juggle family and career these days.
      Nothing is free. Professional success and glory does not come free. It means finding very creative ways to be present for your work and fight for your position, while making sure your kids are thriving and have everything they need to become the best they can be.

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    3. Ahahahaha you must be American not European - nice capitalist response there.

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  4. I’m very surprised she did this at all, but I’m glad this was about her and her business and not some tell-all about Kate. Not that I think she would sell her daughter out that way. Was it flattering, no. But, from what I’ve heard about Carole over the years, she is a no-nonsense businessperson. I don’t think she cares to be painted as a saint.

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  5. I think Carole handled herself perfectly and the negative part of the piece was that the journalist could find no negative! Clearly Carole has not had her head turned by her granny to the future king role; for her it is business as usual, and family and grand children. She is grounded, and clearly has her priorities straight. It is easy to see how her influence has helped Kate tackle her own daunting role. I agree, Jane, that I could not warm up to the journalist, but would certainly love to call Carole my friend!

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  6. Ugh. Subscription only. :(

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    1. It should be free to register and read.

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    2. I read it without having to register, but when I clicked on the link a couple of hours later, the site wanted me to register, so obviously something had changed in the meantime. I didn't think much of the article. I thought it was a bit disjointed somehow. I thought it was interesting that there was no photo of Mr Middleton. I suspect he is a very private person and probably said "keep me out of it". I like the look on the dog's face in the photo where Mrs Middleton is sitting on the window seat. He looks as if he is guarding her :-)
      - Caroline

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    3. I had to register and when I went to read article it was a premium article. Have no idea what that means. I loved the article and did not feel it was shady at all. Kathy from NJ

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  7. I think Carole came across really well. I see what you mean about the slightly off attitude of the reporter, but I read that as the reporter’s not knowing what to do with her expectations v the reality of the woman before her. (Or maybe put out that she didn’t get any gossip to report). I got a very positive overall impression of Carole, but she seems like someone I would enjoy spending an afternoon with.

    —T

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  8. Hi Jane,
    I downloaded the pdf and then converted it to an html site so people don't have to register if they don't want to: https://www.pdf.investintech.com/preview-frames.php?id=WGMxUkVjRVMxVTZqTTBFZ25yOFhwbEY0SWZDNmlCbERtZE1xVGRSWkdlZGlEVXRwRFAvanFGYXRDbXBNQ3VMelpGaC8wbTNTcWl2RVRBVjlxT0pDRityT3QwRnUwcTJaVjZtSmJ3bDJrTDhFRkplUnRaUittUGgrQVhVU09pTUs=

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    1. Thank you Anonymous 5:58 p.m. I read the profile and think it is balanced. Journalists are not taking minutes nor are they doing public relations, (though sometimes I wonder). She knows that when she agrees to the interview. We get a very good behind-the-scenes glimpse of Carole. She comes across as a well-adjusted person who is very articulate and knowledgeable. The future king has a great granny! On the whole, I think it is a flattering portrait and Carole should be pleased. Grace

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  9. I admit I haven't read the article. Pretty sure I registered with the Telegraph awhile back & think I know my password. But I can't get in & keep getting a msg the site can't handle my request when I try to re-register. I do want to read the article (I sit on my sofa ALL the time so I want to know more about why that's so weird! I also think Carole is an interesting person.) But I do wonder if this interview is just another part of the current "PR wars." Since Carole has never done an interview like this before, it seems it must be connected to the current press stories. By that I mean Carole didn't do the article with the blessing of the palace but rather at its direction. In that way it seems a little heavy-handed. I also wonder if the "snarkiness" Jane noted is because the reporter feels like a "tool" rather than a reporter.

    I know that's a cynical view. Sorry!

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    1. I'm a bit doubtful about this idea since an interview had to be scheduled in advance. It's unlikely to be something she would have agreed to last minute. The Telegraph may have pushed to get it into print more quickly, but everything else would have needed much more time than a PR piece. Plus, she mentioned the children only in passing in terms of her life and Party Pieces; it was much more about her life experience, the decision to start the business (the idea was Michael's), and how she managed working plus being a mother. Carole seems very ambitious and hard working from an early age, and I think she would be a great person to hear at a small business conference. If there's any area that Kate would like to add on to her plate, she might want small businesses as her parents are good examples of entrepreneurship.

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    2. Maybe. I'm not at all convinced it would take so much time to pull this together IF Carole was willing & there was a royal push.

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    3. @ Anonymous: I was thinking the same thing. I would love to hear her speak at SMEs conferences or maybe on some kind of entrepreneur/business focused show. She comes across as very intelligent, knowledgeable and driven but I guess the royal connection makes that difficult as we'd get all kinds of snarky Daily Fail articles talk about how dare Kate Middleton's mother dares peddle (or some equally derogatory term) business advice.

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    4. Lizzie- use this link to see the pdf
      https://www.pdf.investintech.com/preview-frames.php?id=WGMxUkVjRVMxVTZqTTBFZ25yOFhwbEY0SWZDNmlCbERtZE1xVGRSWkdlZGlEVXRwRFAvanFGYXRDbXBNQ3VMelpGaC8wbTNTcWl2RVRBVjlxT0pDRityT3QwRnUwcTJaVjZtSmJ3bDJrTDhFRkplUnRaUittUGgrQVhVU09pTUs=

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  10. I am sensing the Cambridge’s will be spending Christmas with the Middleton’s this year. I think it’s a great idea because that way the kids can bond with their new cousin, and then bond with their first royal cousin next Christmas.

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    1. I thought much the same, initially, Anon. Nov. 30, at 6:54 PM. Now, I find myself wondering if William and Harry will follow the pattern set by Peter and Zara; that is, take turns spending Xmas at Sandringham, with the Queen.


      JC

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  11. I enjoyed the interview. Nothing groundbreaking but it was nice to get to hear directly from her for once. I think she is a great role model. She's managed to build a successful business and to be a great wife and mother too. I feel like she'd be a great fun to hang out with too! I laughed at her comment about the sofa because that is exactly what I think when I see those types of pictures too!

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    1. Just re-read my comment and not sure why I used the word "too" so much. LOL!

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    2. Me too I would love to hang out with her to get tips on how to be successful in life.

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  12. The tone of this article is very similar to the tone of articles I've read on Uncle Gary in the Daily Mail when HE offers to give them interviews to improve his image. You see the same tone on interviews given by Meghan's dad.

    What I think happened here is that Carole is the one who asked for this interview. I'll let you decide for yourselves what her objective was. The journalist basically treated her the same way they've treated Uncle Gary and Meghan's dad. I don't know why Carole decided to trust this particular journalist. I would've thought her to be far too smart to make such a mistake. It is my opinion though that this is the start of a PR war. Just wait and see...
    Fabie

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    1. Yes I definitely think she asked them for an interview on her 30 year business milestone. Good on her.
      Theresa

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    2. Anon 4:00 I could not agree more. I believe she practically says that it was for the 30th anniversary of PP and she thought they should celebrate. Absolutely Carole! Sustaining a successful business for 30 years is quite the feat. I also agree she was careful about what she said in an effort to keep the article about PP and her. I think this is why you have this reporter and not a well known RR. Not the best business piece I have ever read but it gets the job done. I personally didnt catch any edge, attitude or shade. Just an article about a successful business woman. Then again I wasnt looking that deep. ~K

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  13. I had to laugh about the “boardroom” comment at Party Pieces’ “HQ”. Ummm.... Yeah...

    I follow PP on Twitter and they have posted many pictures of their HQ, inside and out.

    I am American and have been around a lot of businesses, corporate, small, and every size in between. PP is in the countryside in several converted barns. It looks like a lovely, warm place to work. But calling it the boardroom and the HQ struck me as the wrong wording. While technically correct, as in your kitchen table could be your boardroom and headquarters, the description seemed like the writer was trying to infer something that isn’t.

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    1. Party Pieces sells $6 million in retail a year with 30 employees and almost no overhead. Laugh all you want..

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    2. I don't know that information of that sort can be verified for a privately-held company Anon 12:02. I also don't know that the number of employees can be independently verified although that's what was reported in the article about Carole. But even if the information is true, that 6 mil is a gross sales amount, not profit. And those 30 employees have to be paid as well even if many are part-time employees.

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  14. Woot woot GO CAROLE! I absolutely love this woman. Definitely picked up on the snarky tone of the columnist. I love the free press, but this interviewer can go suck an egg. Why is she so peeved that Carole is discreet and concerned about how the interview will reflect on public opinion of her (and Kate)? I'm all about the details that Carole offered us about her business, her life as a working mom, and her likes and dislikes.

    Also--she is STUNNING and it's remarkable how much of a resemblance I see between her and Kate in the formal portraits! I always figured that Kate took after her dad, but these gorgeous images prove otherwise. Is that Lupo or Ella in the bottom right? Let the speculation begin. ;)

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  15. What Carole has accomplished is impressive. She is determined and has a strong work ethic. This is interesting, since none of her children seem to share her drive and determination. Carole was never a stay at home mom and, even now, is still very involved in her business. For me, it was a very interesting contrast between her working life and that of her kids.

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    1. Yes, I thought the very same thing at first! But at the same time it seems like Mike has always been the supportive spouse and in this day and age can’t a daughter prefer to follow her father’s style?

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    2. I think her son does, but while I like Kate, I agree with you about the girls.

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    3. Didn’t think the tone of the article was bad. I thought Carole’s concerns were so sweet. She seems very different than Pippa. Pippa comes across as trying too hard (remember her describing her best breakfast as being in the French Alps for a charity interview to feed hungry kids, 😯).

      I really like the Middletons.

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    4. Usually when mommy and daddy are millionaires the kids think they don’t have to work as hard because their parents have money. Not everybody though obviously, but I usually notice that kids from Lower middle class to poor usually work the hardest because they know they can’t just get money for free. The Middleton’s company Party pieces, is a million dollar company so I am pretty sure trust funds are set up for thier children and the grandchildren are set because thier fathers are extremely rich. The main drive that people have to work is money, the Middleton’s started off with not that much money so they had an drive to work hard and set up a business. Again, not everybody, I know people with rich parents who work hard with their own job and I know kids of poor parents who make their parents even more poor.

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    5. Anon 8:18, I know, that comment about breakfast in the French Alps was tasteless. Pippa is old enough to know what to speak where. Telling hungry disadvantaged children that your favorite breakfast is an expensive French Alps one and then suggesting avocado which poor folks deem expensive seems very insincere. If she really cared she would have done more research. She should learn sincerity from her mother and sister.

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    6. I think there is some label for second generation kids from money. The first generation works hard to get all that money...the second generation reaps the rewards with little to no effort, and they don’t know that hard work equals that success.

      However, it’s so hard to judge this family without knowing more. Mike & Carole put a huge emphasis on education. They gave their kids life experience (gap years, travel). Otherwise I don’t think we know much more to claim they were “spoiled”.

      Kate’s situation was unique as she started dating William in university. I think it, in some weird way, made it more difficult for Pippa and James to find their niche. James has been very entrepreneurial like his parents, but his businesses have failed - I feel for the guy.

      ~ A

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    7. A- I agree that they put a huge emphasis on education, but none of their kids have had a career. We’ve heard that Kate studied Art History at St. Andrews, but I don’t recall hearing what Pippa studied. And James didn’t graduate. I do feel for him with his failed businesses, but think finishing his education may have helped and he was quite lucky to have wealthy investors that were willing to put money into his businesses, even though he never really had experience in business.

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    8. Anon, 9:54. Kate started dating William in college, so just like any other young woman she probably thought about marrying her serious boyfriend soon. She knew that if she married William she would become a princess so she probably found it unnecessary to establish a career. The fact that Kate didn’t establish a career because she was waiting for William is one think I do not admire about her.

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    9. As far as i understood, Carole was stay at home mom in Jordan, when her children were the same age as Kate's are now, they got back when Carole was pregnant with her third and last baby, and then she started the company to pay the bills, but it was part time and always arround the childrens schedulles, so for children she was stay at home mom (Carole staytes that in interview) till they were old enough to stay at school till 6 pm and only then the buisness became full time and Mike joined in. Even then she was back home before the children. So for me it looks like Kate does exactly what her mother did.
      Main Carole's motivation was money - not relevant for Kate nor Pippa nor James.
      It amazes me every time how different people look at the same picture and see absolutely different things depending on their believes and prejudices.

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    10. I adore Kate,I think she is so beautiful and I love the way she dresses,she almost seems like she was born for this role but she is not somebody I would want my daughter to look up too.I get the impression from Kate and Pippa that they really had no intentions of setting up careers and were content with their parents money.That being said Carole is so beautiful and it is not hard to see where Kate got her looks from.

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    11. I’m going to step in and offer a defence for Pippa. Kate was the oldest and started dating William at a young age which put pressure and media attention on the entire family. Remember when Pippa and James had party photos hit Facebook and they were promptly removed once the media caught on? I’m not making excuses for them, but think how that would shape Pippa and James adult lives knowing not only are they somewhat famous via Kate dating a prince, but they have to be ultra guarded with their privacy and who they trust. I think we can hold them accountable, but that we also simplify it a bit too much.

      Back to my Pippa semi-defence. I honestly don’t know what she was doing pre-Cambridge engagement. Once the royal wedding took place, she was still editing the PP blog - safe work when it’s for your parents. She also got a book deal that wasn’t a good seller, basically a flop - sure she was riding off the post wedding high, but her family is in the events business so it also made sense. She then got work writing some columns. She had an attempt at being a pseudo reporter for an American network. As some have commented here Pippa’s style doesn’t come across...as relatable and natural (my words to describe it)...and therefore she hasn’t really taken off with success. I think she’s tried, and if her book had sold better and the network picked her up as a reporter etc etc I think we would have seen her work more. I think, like James, she has tried to create a career somewhat independent from their parents,without much success.

      I personally think we saw Pippa take up so many extreme sport challenges for charity, because it was her attempt to keep herself busy and accomplish something. Because of her parent’s money she could do this, but she did choose to channel her time and energy into something positive.

      ~ A

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    12. I’ve said this before and I’m still baffled - why is no Middleton kid being groomed for taking over Party Pieces? Kate is obviously not. I asked this question before Pippa started dating James, her now husband. James, the some, has had failed businesses.

      Carole seems like she is still very energentic, and her and Mike are technically still young.

      I’m just confused as to why they’re not grooming James so they can work less in years to come and show him how a successful business is run. Unless James is refusing?

      ~ A

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    13. I will never understand how people get so judgemental about people who have money, like the Middletons, even people who have worked hard for it. I just think they're lucky and then I go back to working on my own business and life. I would say her kids are doing just fine.

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    14. I would like to say that someone’s value isn’t directly tied to their career in my mind. For many of us, a career is a way to make money and support a family. I don’t think Kate is “less-than” because she doesn’t have a career. The money issue is solved for her so she can do other things like raise a small family (like Carole did) and focus on charity work. A career isn’t the only “good choice” in life.

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    15. A, James is still pretty young & Pippa has a few other things taking center stage in her life at the moment so I don’t agree that neither of them will take over PP one day. Having their children try different things and fail at a few of them is part of the long-term plan for some families who fully intend to pass the family business to the next generation.

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    16. Whenever discussions come up about Kate’s career or work ethic (or the careers of any of the Middleton children) I wonder to what extent commenters atttitudes are shapes by the prevailing American norms for what a “proper” career looks like. I think this is particularly true when she is compared to Meghan where Meghan is seen as the “modern” one with a strong work ethic. American culture puts an enormous pressure on women to spend their time, find their self worth, and earn their money in only certain ways or risk being judged as lazy or not serious - it’s one way of doing things but it’s not the only way & I am increasing doubtful that it should be the gold standard.

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    17. I don’t think anybody is bashing Kate and Pippa for not wanting career. It’s just society judges people, and not wanting a career because your mommy and daddy are rich is not a quality that most people admire. All those pictures of Kate and Pippa partying all the time after university in my opinion is not role model worthy. But , Kate dedication to her family and being a good mom is.

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    18. 9:24 I agree with you. I was puzzled by the emphasis on work ethic, and just lately discovered it didn't mean having ethics at work but working hard. I still do not think working hard for money is a good value, for me it is neutral. A necessity, of course but people working hard for money only can end up being monsters. There are a lot of examples out there. I also agree a person is not only a career. At the end of the day it is more important to make people happy around you than to make money. You may need money to do that but the means should never become the goal.
      I feel preachy, sorry!

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    19. Anon 9:24, I think there is a different attitude in Britain than the US when it comes to money and wealth. I think it has to do with British class system. America has no class system and there is the attitude here that If you work hard you to can became rich and you are no better than anybody else. I think in Britain people tend to stick with their social class and if a commoner works hard and Becomes rich they still can’t become an aristocrat without marrying one.

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    20. I see what you mean Anon 9:24. But I am not sure the majority of comments come from a comparison to American Meghan as there were plenty of comments years before Meghan was on the royal scene. Perhaps it's not true, but it has been reported even the Queen asked about girlfriend Kate "but what does she do?" It's true that in America there tends to be an emphasis on educated single young women making use of their education as well as an expectation young people will develop a independence from their parents. Those things are usually necessary in non-wealthy families but seem to typically be expected even in wealthy families. Young women who don't have to work for money often are still encouraged to volunteer for charity work and/or philanthropic endeavors.

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    21. Anon 9:16, while I don’t disagree with you both Mike & Carole are in their 60s. While they still have energy and will probably work for years to come, for many that’s an age where you start to plan for retirement. Basically, I wonder if we’ll ever see a Middleton child (minus Kate) take over the management of PP :-)

      ~ A

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    22. @ ~ A - I'm not baffled. If none of the kids end up interested in the family business it can always be sold. That can be the easiest way, go out while you're still at the top and reap all the financial rewards at once. Kind of like buying a lottery ticket and choosing the lump sum.

      In fact, that's something that popped into my mind about this article - raising the profile of the company is always good to do when you're thinking about an exit strategy.

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    23. @helen- I feel like you are missing the point of having good work ethics. It's not a matter of working hard for money- having good work ethics means that you give 110% at whatever job you're working at. When I was a waitress I gave it 110% even though it wasn't going to be my career. Work ethics is working hard and giving it your all. It's not a matter of working hard for money. I've always had a strong work ethic thanks to my mother and it wasn't about getting as much money as I can. So I think you are confusing what is work ethics and those who only care about money. I also feel it is a very Millennial attitude because they mostly don't have work ethics. A lot are lazy. I am a millennial and my bosses have always been impressed since a lot of my generation don't care about working hard but rather have an entitled attitude. They just want to be given stuff instead of actually having to work for it.
      -CK

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    24. Shannon, interesting point that perhaps the interviews are a form of marketing for PP...I wasn't thinking that at all! :-)
      ~ A

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    25. Anon 3:35 what you are saying is that you do do well what you have to do and that implies working hard. Being an hard worker is a good thing only if you know why you do it. And there a lot of people who work hard for money only and are considered as having a good work ethic. For some of those, IMO the world would be a better place if they had been lazy.
      If giving time, effort,and giving it all is the definition of work ethic, Kate has is in spades. She is giving it 100% to be a good mother and a real support for her husband.

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  16. I love Carole and the photos of her were beautiful. Other than that this was a horrible article. I don't think we heard from Carole at all. Instead we heard the reporters not all that favorable interpretation of what Carole said with a few awkwardly placed quotes that were not in context or in their entirety. I don't know why she did this interview but I'll bet it's a long, long time before we see another one.

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    1. I agree Robin. She’s a classy woman with a full life, and she doesn’t need this crap.

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  17. I’m so glad Carole did this interview. I’ve always wanted to learn more about her. She is the engine of the Middleton family, I’ve always suspected.
    From the things I’ve read about her and the children here and there it sounds like she’s extremely dedicated to her family and worked hard to make sure the children do well. Mike and Carole raised them well and maintain their privacy. If I ever became famous, the whole world would know all the details of my life because my family would spill all the beans. Honestly it’s quite shocking for me how they’ve managed to maintain the family’s privacy, mind blown.

    I feel like in the interview she tried to seem like she’s not that interested in clothes and fashion, but I think she is very interested in her appearance and, from what it seems like, the appearance of her children, as in they were and are well groomed and dressed pretty conservatively. Pippa and Kate definitely take after their mother. I remember seeing Kate’s photos from college years and beyond and thinking I don’t know any young adult who dressed that conservative. Of course I’m not from UK either, but most girls that age want to look more “modern” so to say, whatever that means to them. But I do really like their style (minus the a few outfits.) Now I want to know how to get your child to dress conservatively as they get older :)
    I really admire Carole for what she’s achieved and in a sense can relate to her desire for more. It’s nice to learn a bit more about her as a person and the story behind her business project.
    I do have to agree with the strange edgy writeup of the interview. At times wasn’t sure where the author was going at some points.
    Regardless, thanks for sharing!

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  18. Bravo, Carole! She has always impressed me- as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. You’re right that this article unnecessarily has a clip to it, but even so I’m glad she got the exposure as overall I think the article captured so much of her work ethic, warmth, family values, graciousness, and practical sensibility. No wonder her girls look up to her so much! Although (and here I open myself to potential attacks), I dare say she’s the most impressive of all 3 Middleton women!

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    1. I won’t attack you! I think we can credit many of the good qualities to Carole - even just seeing her hands on with George when he was a toddler, it shows where Kate gets that desire for hands-on quality time. I also think Michael has been the calm steady supportive force, which I think also comes through the two girls :-)
      ~ A

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  19. Yes Carole is my favorite too, starting a buisines from scratch and turning it into a million pound company is amazing.

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  20. I think Carole is wonderful and fabulous.

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  21. I totally agree with you...Catherine was always impeccably dressed as a teen, and I adore Carole’s style, so not sure where the interviewer got the angle that Carole isn’t interested in fashion, the woman looks amazing while shopping or playing in the park with her grandkids. It was lovely to see her photos but didn’t really enjoy the article, not well written at all.

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  22. I think you are absolutely correct about HRH having been "hidden away" by the press, but I think if the Palace was to err on the side of over or under exposure, the latter was indeed the right choice. Correcting or curbing over-exposure in later years is very difficult (impossible, really) and the Palace was not willing to make ANY mistakes given the Diana years history (plus, the sunbathing episode w HRH I'm sure further triggered the paranoia). I think it was probably the Duchess's preference as well. That said, now that she is super settled, and so is the world with the ins and outs of social media, the Palace is ready to make changes....Sylvia

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  23. Carole looks wonderful in those pictures. They are a handsome family, and she is solid as a rock. A very inspirational mother and businesswoman.

    I felt the same strange vibe as Jane when I read this, but I imagine Carole would be difficult to interview. She has to be so guarded in what she says publicly, given Catherine's position. The interviewer should have known--and accepted that fact. It was supposed to be a celebration of Carole's 30+ years of success, which is well deserved, but that focus was sketchy throughout the article. Her constant comments on "Carole's nervousness" was unnecessary and unkind. Maybe the interviewer should have done more to put her at ease?

    Belle

    Belle

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  24. I didn’t really enjoy the interview. Maybe it is because I am used to other style of interviews where the person is actually asked something and then answers. Here I just see the writer’s comments and a couple of quotes of something Carole said. The photos are really good, though.

    I agree she seems an interesting woman and would like to hear her talking more about her business and how she/they made it grow so much. Wonder why they have always been portrayed as social climbers if they have a profitable business of their own...

    BM

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    1. A lot of people think that because there were reports that she wanted her daughters to marry rich men. But I don’t think that’s social climbing because at the end of the day what mother doesn’t want her daughters to marry men who can ensure financial stability for her daughter and grandchildren.

      Delete
    2. In the first meaning of the word, Carole is a social climber. She started at what is called low middle class, married middle class, make her fortune and invested it so her children could have an upper class education and friends. She now belongs to the upper class and her daughter is on top of the ladder. She climbed all the steps of the British class system. I rather admire her for that. IMO, making money is one thing, spending it another. She could have gone the way her brother did, parties and Ibiza, or the Beckham, jet set celebrities. Instead, she showed an appreciation of education, manners, social skills, tradition, country life. And she proved it is not what you are born but how you live your life that is important.

      Delete
    3. I agree with you Helen. I personally find the Middletons to be a modern day Boleyn, but in terms of personal qualities, Carole is to me the best role model I have ever seen. She is indeed a very impressive women. However, the scheming factor of the family will either make them or break them. So far, it has "made" them. But if they feel their power is being threatened, they are likely to resort to the same scheming tactics to regain control. And that may potentially become their downfall because they are no longer operating in the shadows. The winning tactics and strategies that worked for them in the past are no longer going to be effective. People know their MO, know their PR signature and know to not underestimate them. If they insist on using those same tactics in the glaring eyes of the public, it will potentially ruin the image they've worked so hard to cultivate and protect. To me, this interview was Carole's first PR mistake. Will see if her/their next move is any better.

      Delete
    4. Unknown, I don't think the Middleton are scheming and cunning. They are very straightforward, that's why they were socially successful. They do not pretend and if they are snobs don't show it ( I don't think they are snobs, at least it seems clear to me that Kate is not)
      IMO, they didn't use any tactics, they just went for it. They have nothing to hide.
      I agree that the interview was not a good idea,but someone suggested it was a means to bring her company in the public's mind. They have to think about that too. I don't think it had anything to do with any personal interest, or related to Kate, but it may backfire all the same.

      Delete
    5. Wow. Social climber?!? Really?!? Carole seems the complete opposite to me.

      Glad I’m American. Glad I picked a man who is educated, hard working, and wonderful. Glad my father, with his 2 year degree, built a company that he sold for more money than he could imagine. Glad my mother always helped people and instilled this value in her children. Am I a “social climber”?

      You aren’t born to stay in your “class”, but to be whoever you want to be.

      Delete
    6. I didn’t really understand the interview. It is like a lot of mixed things put together, some comments of the writer on some very different aspects and some random words of Carole quoted. I would have liked to hear with her own words how she/they set up the company, how they made it grow, how easy/difficult they found to have a family company...

      It may be because English is not my first language but I understand social climber as someone who benefits from someone who is ‘higher’ in the social scale, not as someone who runs his/her own successful company.

      I don’t think the interview benefits nor damages her, but I find it somehow senseless.

      BM

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    7. Unknown, why do you think the Middletons are scheming and cunning?

      Delete
    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  25. I suspect that the reporter's brief was to try to get Mrs. Middleton to be indiscreet--but Mrs. Middleton is not indiscreet and kept the interview purely to he business.
    Catherine tried to have a career, but working in London became impossible due to hassling from the media; every bit as bad as Diana had.
    I do hope William and Catherine spend Christmas with the Middleton's, mainly because they take the children to Church with them, which is lovely to see.

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    1. Jean, just to clarify, it seems Catherine tried to have a part-time job/career. The owner of Jigsaw recently said in an interview that when they hired Catherine she was looking for a part-time job with flexibility so she could work around William’s schedule.

      While I absolutely believe Kate did want to work, from early on in their relationship she kept her commitments scaled back to work around him. I think that has continued as the supportive spouse to William. Although William is now giving her the mostly stay at home mum role she wants. I don’t mean any of this in a bad way, I just don’t believe, once she was dating William, that Catherine wanted to be a full time career womanand couldn’t because of paparazzi and media interest.

      ~ A

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    2. Agreed, Middleton Christmas’ are more family friendly and down to earth. Doesn’t get much better than toddlers sucking on candy canes while exiting church :-)

      ~ A

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  26. Hi Jane, I'm going to respectfully disagree with the idea that this interview was snarky. I am a former daily newspaper reporter and, to me, the tone of this interview was fair. I think the writer wanted a story that was not a fawning, sycophantic piece, and she achieved that. The reader really does feel the line that Carole has to constantly walk as the woman from a modest background who is also the mother of the future Queen of England. It is understandable that she would want to be seen as someone who has not changed much-- and in many ways, she probably hasn't. She has worked hard and knows the value of the pound. The Uncle Gary and Mrs. Bennet references from the writer just acknowledge the things that have been thrown at Carole for decades. Again, a journalist would feel almost guilty to just ignore these things in a legitimate piece. What also come across are Carole's energy, intelligence and determination-- not necessarily to place a child on the throne, but to do challenging things herself, to put her children on the right path, and to never be bored. It appears that at every stage of her life, she knew the next step she wanted to take and she put in the work to make sure she had the qualifications. She also did a great job making the one decision that determines most of our happiness-- she married a good man.

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    1. I completely agree with you. The article is very professionally written. I follow Victoria Armstrong for a while. Her role is as Lifestyle director, something to also keep in mind.

      Lots of respect for Carole and Michael. Hard working and discreet people. Children didn’t quite show (yet) that they would have inherited that hard working trait.

      Lily

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  27. I'm amazed by Carole Middleton's success.
    The whole family has no show-off side, and there is surely more to see of them that we can see from the outside.

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  28. Carole seems lovely. I feel like her and Mike look like they spend a lot of time apart and I honestly wondered if they were one of those couples that largely has separate lives (work aside). With how often she seemed to naturally integrate Mike into the conversation I feel more confident their marriage is still warm and loving and partners in life.

    What she accomplished, and Mike has supported her in, is impressive. I think their business and how they’ve raised their family is amazing. James is the closest thing to the Middleton black sheep, IMO, and even he is loyal, discreet, close to his family, etc. Like many have said, I’d love to spend a meal or an afternoon with Carole to get more of a peek into how they accomplished everything!

    ~ A

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  29. My random thoughts:

    I loved reading about Carole. Thank you for this post Jane.

    Carole comes across like someone I would like to be my next door neighbor. Have her and Mike over for dinner now and then, brief chats as we run into each other, just be friends. I'll bet she's a great friend.

    I think she's extremely stylish. She always looks great.

    Being American, I didn't get the references to the British stores. I have heard of them, but I don't really know what's upscale, what's middle of the road, what's discount.

    Carole is a smart, focused woman. She's admirable in many ways. She created a wonderful family and the level headedness of all of them shows her influence. The extraordinary scrutiny the Middleton family has faced, and the pretty much unflappable way they face it,speaks to Carole and Mike's standard setting for behavior.

    What a great read.

    Have a terrific day everyone!

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  30. The tone of the article was definitely suspicious. It feels to me like the reporter came to the interview believing that Carole Middleton is the climber that the tabloids say she is and then spent the whole time trying to test that theory. As an American, I was totally uncomfortable with the article. Why do the British hate the self-made so much? Why can't successful entrepreneurs just be "self-made" instead of "arrivistes"? Why is it so weird that a woman who once lived in a council flat is the grandmother of the future king? Clearly, the royal family are okay with it -- they seem incredibly accommodating and even welcoming of the Middletons. So I don't understand the suspicion on the part of this journalist -- is Carole Middleton who she appears to be, or is she just pretending to be like a normal Englishwoman for some evil purpose?

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    1. People cannot get over the fact that she is dared to remove herself from her 'original' background.

      Delete
  31. I think Carole is an admirable woman - I have a great deal of respect for what she has achieved. I am very glad that she spoke out and is unapologetic about her ambition, her drive and her thirst for doing new and interesting things.
    Lastly I have to echo what a poster above said - all of this is only possible when you marry the right person. Don't marry an idiot or an asshat. That is a necessary condition in life.

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  32. So disappointed, I can not open the article, it states premium articles are not displayed....can only be seen if one registeres!

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  33. A lot of things have to go right for a small business to succeed, and Carole was very lucky, or brilliant, to launch her venture at a time in history when for the first time, many women had their own money to spend.

    I grew up on a ranch so my parents cooperated on everything, but I've had friends who have told of tight-fisted fathers who had total control of the family budget. One of my friends had a mom who shopped the sales at the supermarket and tried to stash away the savings every week so she could occasionally splurge on something cute for her two daughters.

    I'm basically Carole's age, and there were so many hurdles in the workforce in the 1970s and '80s. But the bottom line was that earning one's own money was liberating. A woman could choose to give her little girl a princess-themed birthday party, and didn't have to get a man's permission because she had her own income. Enter Carole...

    I will say that being successful is more stressful than failure because people demand consistency or they will turn on a dime. So hooray for both Carole and Kate for setting a high standard in everything they do and then delivering for their respective audiences. Grace

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  34. I honestly would have loved more photos and a more celebratory approach on the subject of the anniversary of a successful business venture. Carole Middleton is a beautiful and successful woman on all the levels that matter..She raised lovely children and managed under the most intrusive of circumstances to maintain a high level of privacy but at the same time project a beautiful and respectful family image. I would bet that Carole is single-handedly responsible for the majority of that wonderful image.
    I have a great deal of sympathy for James, Kate's brother. Everything he does is under a microscope and, being a man, it's not as easy to "marry" into identity and wealth....men are still expected to "make it on their own" if they are not born with it.
    Just a thought so, please, don't take the comment as a gauntlet being thrown down!

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    1. Anglophile in OhioDecember 2, 2018 at 7:34 AM

      I think Carole is a wonderful family matriarch and businesswoman, but I don’t think “single-handlely responsible” is accurate or fair. I think you are dismissing Michael Middleton.

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  35. I think we’re confusing two different things here. A career is one thing, work ethic is another. Totally different. Arguably, at least Kate has a ‘career’. She is supposed to be a full time working royal. The issue has always been around work ethic, rather than career. Same can be said about Pippa. It’s not that they haven’t pursued a specific professional avenue, but rather how much effort they put in on a daily basis. Certainly when compared to their own parents, the children fall quite short. This Telegraph article clearly shows that Carole, at 63, is working very hard, without skipping a bit, full steam ahead. And she has done it for decades, all whilst raising three children. That is where her children fall short. Regardless of how wealthy their parents are. It doesn’t need to be strictly focused on a professional career, but it requires a different level of effort. And it can only come from the inside. None of their children has demonstrated that so far.

    L

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    1. I agree. But, raising kids can be a full time job. Carole’s kids, as she states in the article, were at school until 6 pm. Also, at some point, they went to boarding school. And once her husband worked at Party Pieces too, they could schedule their time how they wanted to a degree. Their lifestyle was very different than most two parent working families.

      Being a SAHM is valuable and is a lot of hard work, not menyioning the invaluable benefits for the children.

      That being said, Pippa and Kate were supported all their adult life by their parents until marriage. They could not have afforded the lifestyle they had without them. Period. Let’s acknowledge that. I think it’s
      disingenuous to discuss their “careers” without acknowledging this. Although this is common in wealthier families, it explains their lifestyles. Their earnings were only pocket change to them and really for show.

      Carole wanted more in life and she sacrificed to achieve it. Her adult children reaped the benefits and are very different people than Carole. More power to Carole.

      Delete
    2. First of all, the value that is put on "work ethic" is imens (i agree, with everyone who said it's very American value), but why? Getting to the goal is more important than working hard to get there, in my opinion.
      Second, we don't know how much effort it takes for Kate to do what she does (and we don't even know what exactly she does). She always was a good student and with her mother as her role model i don't think she's sitting on sofa much either.
      Third, Carole was stay at home mom when her children were small and worked only part time - even if she met her goal - not to build empire (that was a by product)- to pay the bills.
      Finaly, at 63 maybe Kate will be also "working very hard, without skipping a bit, full steam ahead" she will be acctually required to be that way by her position by then.
      As far as i understand, Carole never wanted her children to work hard, she wanted them to have a good life, don't we all?

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    3. After reading the article I wonder if the Middleton children might actually be more involved in the family business than is generally known or acknowledged. After all we make sweeping stat,nets about what Pippa and Kate do on a daily basis but we don’t actually know.

      Delete
    4. I disagree Beata, good work ethic means putting effort in what ever work you do. Also, to me working hard to achieve a goal is honorable, getting to our goal is great but the way you achieve it is the key. Getting to your goal with cheating and bribery is not honorable, but working hard to achieve your goal the right way is honorable.

      Delete
    5. Anglophile in OhioDecember 2, 2018 at 7:38 AM

      Anonymous 8:03–What are you implying about cheating and bribery? Who cheated or bribed their way to success in the Middleton family? That’s a pretty strong accusation.

      Delete
    6. I didn't mean for a second that bribery or cheating is acceptable in any way. I interpreted "working hard" as "working a lot" as oposed to "working efficiently". Sometimes, and i saw it happen multiple times, someone performs task for weeks working hard, many hours, but there is better solution, you make a process efficient and it takes minutes instead of days. I ment that as achieving goal. And improving a process takes some time and it looks that you just sit there, but you think. It looks like doing nothing - for days...
      So for Kate maybe number of cut ribbons doesn't show the impact of her activity. Many engagements doesn't mean - a lot done. Maybe one really important cause is more than hundred little activities that look good in photos.

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    7. Anglophile in Ohio,
      Did you read my comment? I didn’t imply or mention the Middleton’s at all in my comment. It was just responding to Beata’s comment about working hard is not as Important as achieving ones goal. And I mentioned I disagree because getting ones goal using cheating methods instead of hard work is not honorable. Both of our comments about working hard and goals were just general comments, we did not mention the Middleton’s or anybody in specific.

      Delete
    8. I agree also. But it is not correct to generalise but having put children into private schools and only to find that they have come out expecting entitlement to land on their laps, I feel is the problem. We are also hardworking parents but it is disappointing to see that your children are not ambitious. In our own case, we are not pushing or expecting our kids to get married to blue bloods but want them to realise that they have to be self-sufficient as we are not going to around forever.

      Delete
    9. I agree anon 7:21, it seems like Kate and Pippa were very entitled in their 20’s. I mean going to nightclubs and wearing expensive clothing bought mainly by their parents money when they were old enough and educated enough to afford themselves seems very entitled to me. I don’t think Kate feels entitled anymore but I think Pippa still does. I love following Kate and Pippa’s Fashion but in my opinion that aren’t great role models for woman in the their 20s

      Delete
  36. An admirable woman; I have nothing but praise for Carole Middleton. Re the photo - cover up the mouth and she is the spitting image of the Duchess of Cambridge! Or rather vice versa, especially now she has grown out her fringe.

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  37. Here's another article about Mrs Middleton by the same writer. Talk about milking it for all it's worth! (The writer, I mean). I do like Mrs Middleton's dress. She really suits red. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/exclusive-carole-middleton-biggest-fear-lose-family-stayed-close/

    - Caroline

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  38. Hi Jane,
    I am in agreement with you, there is something odd about how the writer portrayed Carole Middleton. I do not like how the author does not finish Mrs. Middleton's sentences; they just seem to drop off. For instance, Mrs. Middleton is talking about being a working mom and having working moms in her office, but if she needs them to be at work... What was the rest of the sentence?
    I am really not crazy about the approach the author took to this piece of work. I think it could have been done much better.

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  39. I have always thought CM was an interesting individual. The fact that she was/is ambitious and hardworking seemed like dirty qualities to have especially if you're from a working class background. I think it makes her even more fascinating because she had the audacity to move from her background and not be bothered about what people think. I say good luck to her and look forward to when a book will be written on her.

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