How Carole Middleton’s eye for ‘perfection’ prepared Kate Middleton for her royal role

Carole Middleton is said to have encouraged the Duchess of Cambridge to learn a huge range of skills early on in life.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and her mother Carole Middleton attend day 1 of Royal Ascot
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images))

Carole Middleton reportedly brought her daughter Kate Middleton up to “do everything to perfection” which likely helped prepare her for her future royal role.


Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge consistently delights fans with her gentle warmth and accomplished approach to royal life. Ever since she officially joined the Royal Family in 2011 upon her marriage to the Queen’s grandchild, Prince William, Kate has showcased her ability to turn her hand to anything. Just last month, she hosted the Together at Christmas carol concert and Kate Middleton’s piano performance was a hit with excited viewers. 

Whilst her talents on the piano might not have previously been known to fans, this isn’t the first time the Duchess has showcased an impressive skill. Over the summer of 2021 during their family vacation, it’s said Kate taught Prince George and Princess Charlotte to sail. 

Now royal expert Ingrid Seward has suggested that Kate Middleton’s extensive skill set could be traced back to her mother Carole Middleton’s parenting approach. 

Catherine Middleton is seen arriving with her mother Carole Middleton at the Goring Hotel

(Image credit: George Pimentel via Getty)

Opening up to The Mirror, Ingrid claimed that the now-Duchess of Cambridge was raised to do everything “to perfection”—something that has likely proved useful throughout her time in the royal spotlight. 

“Kate is a product of her mother, she was brought up to do everything to perfection,” the expert alleged, before going on to reveal just how many activities the Duchess has become accomplished at as a result of Carole’s “encouragement”. 

Ingrid continued, “She learnt to sail as a young girl and rock climb and ski. She loved cooking, dressing up and making clothes. She learnt the piano, her father taught her to play tennis to a high standard. All these skills came because her ambitious mother encouraged her to learn them. There’s nothing she can’t turn her hand to.”

Kate Middleton’s childhood upbringing learning so many useful and adventurous activities has certainly stood her in good stead for her current role as a senior royal. Both alongside Prince William and independently, the Duchess is regularly glimpsed at important occasions and engagements, many of which have seen her draw on these. 

Last year fans were left amazed after Kate took to the court with US Open winner Emma Raducanu for a game of tennis. And though she may not make her special outfits herself, Kate Middleton’s dresses consistently wow fans, following on from her dressing-up days.

Kate Middleton playing tennis with Emma Raducanu

(Image credit: Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for LTA)

Carole Middleton’s reported encouragement of her daughter to become so accomplished has proved very useful, though Ingrid also expressed her belief that Kate’s own warmth with people has also helped shape her approach. 

"She is patient, and has the ability to listen,” she said. “And she has discovered she has this ability with people, she is very good with the very young and the very old.” 

As Kate Middleton prepares to celebrate her milestone 40th birthday on January 9, Carole will no doubt be incredibly proud as she reflects on all her daughter has achieved. 

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!