How Kate Middleton’s birthday changed everything for mom Carole Middleton

Kate Middleton's birthday inspired one of Carole Middleton's biggest decisions...

Carole Middleton attends day 11 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships
(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

Carole Middleton has revealed how Kate Middleton’s birthday inspired her to make one of the biggest changes of her life as the Duchess prepares to turn 40.


After reportedly spending time with Kate Middleton and Prince William during their stay at Anmer Hall over Christmas, Carole Middleton will likely be excitedly looking forward to her eldest child’s upcoming big birthday. The Duchess of Cambridge will turn 40 on January 9 and whilst it’s thought that she'll have a "low key 40th birthday celebration given the prevalence of the Omicron variant, the Cambridges will likely find some quiet way to mark the occasion. 

Whilst her 40th is perhaps one of her most significant birthdays yet, there was another of Kate Middleton's birthday celebrations which is no doubt incredibly memorable for her mother Carole. The successful businesswoman and mother-of-three owns her own company, Party Pieces, which provides all exquisite party supplies you could ever dream of. 

But if it wasn’t for a struggle surrounding Kate's 5th birthday, it seems that this creative business might never have become a reality. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) and her mother Carole Middleton attend day 1 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse

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

Opening up to the Daily Mail last year, Carole explained how it was a huge struggle to find the right type of supplies for Kate’s party back then.

“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.” 

Regardless of this set back, Carole persevered and started Party Pieces from her own kitchen table at home in Berkshire. The committed businesswoman even leafleted fellow parents at her daughters’ nursery school, hoping to spread the word about her new venture. 

Carole Middleton seen at Day 11 of Wimbledon 2017

(Image credit: Photo by HGL/GC Images via Getty)

Now decades later Party Pieces has gone from strength to strength since that first spark of an idea around Kate’s birthday. Whilst Carole has also disclosed just how much all of her children, including the Duchess, continue to inspire her and her company today.

“My children inspired my business and have been involved from the start, and the success that we've had has helped us build the life we have currently. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found the professional fulfilment I always wanted,” she shared.

Reflecting on how things might change going forwards, Carole stated that she’s not looking to slow down anytime soon as she explained, “I'm going to continue to live life to the fullest: spending quality time with my children and grandchildren, and growing my business to help me turn my ideas into realities.”

Carole Middleton, Princess Charlotte and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the presentation following the King's Cup Regatta

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

With Kate now turning 40 in just a matter of days, it’s wonderful to think that she and her brother and sister, James and Pippa, have consistently inspired their mother after that iconic birthday all those years ago. And after all the beautiful Christmas party items brought out by Party Pieces for the festive season in 2021, many people will likely be excited to see what Carole’s company brings out next!

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!