Carole Middleton’s ‘terrible’ festive season is all too relatable

Carole Middleton's business, Party Pieces, reportedly had a 'terrible' Christmas period amid a challenging time for everyone

Carole Middleton's terrible festive season explained. Seen here she's attending Day Three of Wimbledon
(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

Carole Middleton’s “terrible” festive season is all too relatable as it’s claimed that her Party Pieces business has been facing a challenging few months.  

As the mother of the future Queen Consort, businesswoman Carole Middleton was also thrust into the royal spotlight since Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding back in 2011. The proud mom-of-three is known for her elegant and fun party supplies business, Party Pieces, and has previously taken to their social media accounts herself to share sweet insights and tips. Though it’s now been suggested that things haven’t been easy business-wise and the reports of Carole Middleton’s “terrible” festive season are all too relatable. 

According to the Daily Mail, an unnamed source has opened up to the publication, claiming that Party Pieces has been facing a challenging time. They specifically name-dropped Christmas - a time where parties and decorations are widespread - as being a “terrible” time for Party Pieces

Carole and Michael Middleton attend the 'Together at Christmas' Carol Service

(Image credit: Photo by Kirsty O'Connor - Pool/Getty Images)

“Carole’s been explaining that it’s been a terrible Christmas — made worse by the postal strikes,” they alleged, before going on to suggest that the businesswoman has been trying to negotiate slightly different terms with suppliers. 

They continued, “She’s emphasised that she’d like to continue doing business with them [the suppliers] but would like terms allowing Party Pieces 90 days [in which to pay for goods] rather than the usual 30 days.” 

However, the source claimed that this hasn’t been as successful as Carole might’ve hoped and that currently, “They’re saying, “No” to 90 days’ credit”. The Daily Mail added that in October 2022 it was revealed that Party Pieces allegedly suffered a loss of £285,506 in 2021. This was supposedly due to “continued investment” in Party Pieces’ “growth plans”.

Carole Middleton attends day 11 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

The postal strikes and cost of living crisis with rising costs on everything from groceries to energy prices has been felt deeply by millions for many months now. It’s been difficult for everyone, with huge numbers of businesses feeling the impact. Whilst the reports of Carole Middleton’s “terrible” festive season haven’t been addressed officially by the businesswoman, the current financial climate is an understandable challenge.

The Princess of Wales’ mother first started Party Pieces back in 1987 and has previously cited her family as an inspiration behind her business. It seems that Kate Middleton’s birthday changed everything for Carole, who previously explained to the Daily Mail how she’d spotted a gap in the market when looking for plates for Kate’s 5th birthday party. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and her mother Carole Middleton attend day 1 of Royal Ascot

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

“All I could find were basic clown plates,” she said. “I realised there was a gap in the market for party ware that wasn't too expensive and which looked good, so decided to design my own. I took some prototypes to various High Street retailers and was turned away.” 

Perseverance led her to continue to spread the word about her business and start it from her kitchen table. Since then she’s achieved huge success with Party Pieces and Carole Middleton’s touching Valentine’s Day tribute recently showcased her close bond with her family. The businesswoman recently celebrated her 68th birthday on January 31st, just a few weeks after Kate Middleton’s own special day. 

Woman& has reached out to Party Pieces for comment. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!