Kate Middleton's Family: From Humble Beginnings to Self-Made Wealth


The family of princess-to-be Kate Middleton started out with modest beginnings but a business that her mother started about the time Kate was born has made the family worth millions.

The family business -- called Party Pieces -- was launched in 1981 by Carole Middleton, who began making up party bags for children from her home in rural Berkshire, England, the Daily Mail reports. That business gradually grew over the years, eventually went online and is now a successful enterprise that reportedly employs about 30 people working out of two large converted farmhouses.

The business recently got a huge boost as the royal romance blossomed and the engagement and wedding plans were announced, according to the Daily Mail, which reports that the overall wealth of the Middletons could now be as high as $18 million. 

Despite the family's successful business and estimated riches, the newspaper also uncovered some of Kate's more humble relatives.  

These include fitness instructor Paul Harrison, 53, a second cousin of Kate's mother Carole; postman Lewis Remington, 23, Kate's third cousin; catalog salesman Eric Darling, 65, whose mother Jenny is the sister of Kate's great grandfather; hairdresser Anna Partington, 21, who says: "Kate's hair is nice, but she needs to do something with  it before the wedding."

Keep checking ETonline for our comprehensive Royal Wedding coverage, and take a look at this collection of photos from Prince Charles and Diana's wedding.