James Middleton reveals the 'most fantastic birthday gift imaginable' he received from sister Catherine

james middleton reveals thoughtful gift sister kate middleton
(Image credit: Getty)

James Middleton has revealed the ‘fantastic’ birthday gift he received from sister Duchess Catherine.

James Middleton has revealed a ‘fantastic’ and thoughtful gift that he received from his older sister Duchess Catherine.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother took to his Instagram page with a fascinating video of him practising beekeeping, revealing that he had written about his love for the hobby in the Daily Mail.

I’ve written a little love letter to the amazing little honey bee ❤️🍯 🐝 which is featured in today’s @dailymail,’ he wrote alongside the video.

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I’ve been a passionate advocate of these ingenious, industrious little creatures since I became a beekeeper myself nearly a decade ago, having fallen for them as a child,’ he opened up, revealing that he now has ‘almost half a million bees in eight hives in a meadow’ at the Middleton’s family home, Bucklebury Manor in Berkshire.

I’ve whiled away many happy hours with them during lockdown,’ he revealed, adding, ‘I’m in awe of these incredible insects. They perform a little waggle dance, an insect version of sat-nav, to signal to each other where the best flowers are.’

Opening up in the Daily Mail letter, James revealed that he received a ‘fantastic’ beekeeping gift from his older sisters Pippa and Duchess Catherine, as well as the trio’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton.

And it was all inspired by one of James’ childhood fascinations.

While I’ve been intrigued by the natural world for as long as I can remember — as a child I used to have an ant colony and worm farms — I suppose my fascination with bees dates back to reading about Winnie-The-Pooh and his honey jar,’ wrote James.

I’d always harboured a longing to keep bees, but it wasn’t until I turned 24 in 2011 that the wish became reality.

MORE: Airbnb is launching a new service providing ethical animal experiences for tourists - including fun beekeeping experience

Opening up about the gift he received from his family, James continued, ‘Then, my family —mum, dad and my sisters Catherine and Pippa — clubbed together to buy what for me was the most fantastic birthday gift imaginable’.

‘A delivery van arrived with a large buzzing box with the cautionary label: 'Live Bees.' Inside was the nucleus — the start — of my colony: 1,000 Buckfast bees,’ he explained, exclaiming, ‘I was delighted!’

What a lovely and thoughtful gift from the Middletons!

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

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When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

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