We know you’ve never heard of this book—it has gotten basically no press attention after all (high-key sarcasm)—but in Omid Scobie’s Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival (out yesterday), among a bazillion other royal revelations is that Carole Middleton (allegedly) actively “planned for Princess Kate to rise to the top and win [Prince] William.”
(You knew this, but) Carole is the mother of the former Kate Middleton, the eldest child of the three Middleton siblings. (Pippa is two years younger than Kate, and James is five years Kate’s junior.) According to the book, Carole knew that Kate was capable of rising to the top of Britain’s social ladder, all the way to the highest echelon, Scobie claims. (Well, if nothing else—she was right.) All Carole had to do was make sure Kate was in the right place at the right time and that, when that happened, she knew how to carry herself properly, and the rest would work itself out.
William and Kate met as first-year students at the University of St. Andrews in 2001, “but their relationship was not down to mere chance,” The Daily Express reports. “Kate had been prepped and positioned to maximize her chances of wooing the future King.”
The Middletons were upper middle class; certainly wealthy, as Carole’s business, Party Pieces, had proven lucrative. But they were not amongst aristocracy, and “As two caring parents who worked hard, made their mint, and climbed the social ladder (no small feat in a country still obsessed with class), the Middletons—mostly Carole—saw that the pretty and grounded Kate was ready to carry the family name further to the top,” Scobie writes in Endgame. “So they began orchestrating her life, ensuring she was at the right places at the right time and spoke the right way. Kensington Palace has never denied that Kate had several rounds of elocution lessons as she became more serious with William…The Middleton strategy involved more than just aristocratic affectation—Carole calculatingly placed Kate right at the center of young Prince William’s world.”
Apparently, Kate originally had her heart set on attending the University of Edinburgh, but it was Carole who pushed Kate to change course: “When Carole learned that Prince William was slated to attend the University of St. Andrews, she encouraged her daughter to turn down a spot at her dream school, the University of Edinburgh, take a gap year to study abroad in Florence, and enroll at St. Andrews the following year,” Scobie writes, presenting the situation as expertly choreographed. “Carole set things up, and Kate took it the rest of the way.”
That said, despite the “quasi-contrived nature” of William and Kate’s initial meeting, Scobie admits that the Prince and Princess of Wales’ affection for each other was and is genuine. He also made mention of the fact that, as they were falling in love, William didn’t just fall for Kate—he fell for the entire Middleton family of five and their pace of life in rural Berkshire.
“William took to the cozy Middleton enclave in a village where time seemed to stand still,” Scobie writes. “The echoing bells of the sixteenth-century parish, the clink of glasses and last call at the traditional Bladebone Inn, and the low lights and trailing chimney smoke from thatched-roof houses all proved irresistible for a young man used to gated entries, long corridors, and private secretaries. He also fell for the Middleton family. Although less frequent these days, William has always looked forward to Sunday roasts at their house and helping load the dishwasher at the end of it. They live in comfort, but it’s down-to-earth, snug, and congenial compared to the decorous, hushed rooms at the cavernous royal residences he grew up in. The wellies-by-the-back-door and home cooked meals of it was an environment that both he and Kate have continually tried to re-create for their own children.”
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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