Kate Middleton's Brother James Opened Up About How His Dogs Helped Him Recover From Depression

Sadly, his dog Ella recently passed away.

Alizee Thevenet and James Middleton attend the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston at St George's Chapel on May 18, 2019 in Windsor, England.
(Image credit: Getty/Pool/Max Mumby)

Princess Kate's brother James Middleton has been very open about his mental health over the years, and he continues to share his experience to this day in order to help others like him.

In a new interview with OK!, the entrepreneur revealed just how much his dogs helped him while he was struggling with depression.

"How I see them [dogs] is that they were what anyone suffering from mental health needs," Middleton explaind.

"I think first and foremost professional help and to speak to people is the first port of call, but the roles that my dogs played was fundamental in my recovery and my rehabilitation."

He went on, "My dog Ella [who passed away earlier this year] was my reason to get up in the morning, my reason to get dressed and go outside and go for a walk—even if it was pouring with rain.

"You go outside for 10 or 15 minutes, get that fresh air and you suddenly forget for 15 minutes what was traumatizing you. That respite from the thing that was banging away in my mind and causing me to not function properly was unintentionally helped by Ella and the rest of my dogs."

Middleton and his wife Alizee Thevenet have a whole bunch of dogs these days, but he never forgets Ella, carrying a little badge with her portrait on it around. He recently shared a photo of this badge on Instagram with the caption, "Ella still comes with me everywhere I go…even to the coronation"

Middleton also explained that his dogs have helped him to share his experience of mental health struggles publicly.

"It’s still challenging to talk about it but they gave me the confidence to be able to talk about it," he said.

"And this was where my pivot in life was because I recognized how much my dogs have given me, and I'm just trying to give them an ounce back.

"Unfortunately they are with us for such a short amount of time so I think it's only an ounce that we can give back of how much they've actually given us."

Middleton's older sister, the Princess of Wales, shares her brother's mission of destigmatizing mental health, as well as his love for dogs—since the Wales family currently have a lovely black cocker spaniel named Orla.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.