James Middleton discusses the public pressure his sister Kate's fame put on him: 'I was being judged'

The Duchess of Cambridge's brother James Middleton has spoken out about the pressure his sister's fame put on his life.

James Middleton, 32, is Pippa and Catherine's younger brother, and was just 24 when she married Prince William in 2011.

The youngest of the Middleton clan also spoke at his sister and William's historic wedding at Westminster Abbey, sending him and the rest of the family into the highest stratospheres of fame.

MORE:James Middleton opens up about the ‘angst of loneliness’ in emotional social media post

But while it looked like the family's life was all glamour, James admitted that the public scrutiny was hard on him.

In this month's issue of Tatler, he confessed, "Suddenly, and very publicly, I was being judged about whether I was a success or a failure,"

James Middleton

But he also explained that while they are a close family, he leads a 'separate' life to his royal family members. James said, "I lead a separate life to them. If there's interest in me, great. If there's interest in me because of them, that's different,"

A few years after the royal wedding, James launched his own business, Boomf, a personalised marshmallow greeting card company. The business was met with some criticism at the time.

"That does put pressure on you," James confessed. "Because in my mind I’m doing this irrespective of my family and events that have happened."

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James, who is currently dating financial expert Alizee Thevenet, continued, sharing that the pressure contributed to his depression, which he has previously described in a piece written for the Mail as 'crippling'.

But with a privileged upbringing, James admitted that he often questioned what he had to be depressed about. He explained, “I thought ‘What do I have to be depressed about?’ I’ve been so lucky with my upbringing, I had all the things I wanted.

James Middleton

“It’s not that I wanted more, but there was something that wasn’t always there... And the more I ignored it, the more it was taking over.”

Catherine's brother also shared that his way of dealing with his illness was to cut off contact with his family, saying, "I shut myself off, I didn’t communicate with my family at all.

"But there’s only so long you can hold your breath."

Since that time, James revealed that he's taken a moment to reconnect with himself, working as a tour guide at the Glen Affric estate in Scotland, which belongs to his brother-in-law's family, James Matthews - his sister Pippa's husband.

And it seems it's done him the world of good, explaining, "I am happy—I feel like James Middleton again. I feel like I was when I was 13, excited about life. I feel like myself again and I couldn’t ask for more."

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.