Happy Birthday to Carole Middleton, who was born on January 31, 1955, and is now 56.
I can reveal that the mother of the world’s most famous bride has been celebrating her anniversary on holiday in Mustique with her family, a break she no doubt desperately needed.
It is probably the last chance she will have to enjoy some quiet, me-time before that big event on April 29.
It is often forgotten that Kate’s mum has had an unfair share of snide and bitchy comments since her daughter fell in love with a Prince.
There were the unkind ‘Doors to manual’ sneers, referring to her former career as an air stewardess, as if jetting around the globe was not an acceptable way of earning a living.
Then came the completely unfounded claims that Carole used terms like ‘toilet’, not lavatory, and said ‘Pleased to meet you’ on meeting the Queen at Sandhurst instead of the upper class ‘How do you do?’
Carole still hasn’t met the Queen so you can dump that newspaper report in the rubbish bin where it belongs.
For a few years it seemed certain, unnamed people were determined to prove that Carole, who had a few miners on her family tree way back, was a very common commoner, and therefore, her daughter was not good enough for Prince William. Some people, and I count myself one of them, think it’s fantastic news that the House of Windsor will get a sorely-needed injection of new, commoner blood when Kate marries into that family.
Wasn’t Sophie Rees-Jones a commoner? Isn’t she blissfully happy with her husband Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex?
Prince William is amazingly grounded and normal considering his background, so naturally he was attracted to a girl who will keep him in touch with reality, as his mother always tried to do, making him queue for the rides at Disney World and drop in at McDonalds for a burger.
The marriage of Kate and William is one more blow demolishing the rigid class system which has bedevilled Britain for centuries. So their wedding – Prince meets and marries businessman’s daughter – is a much greater fairytale than that of Diana and Charles – Prince weds aristocrat’s daughter next door.
On the other side of the Atlantic self-made millionaires like the Middletons are applauded not ridiculed.
The strangest aspect of the tough time a gang of snobs gave the Middletons is the Queen is the least snobby person I have ever met. She likes salt of the earth people from very ordinary backgrounds. Over the years I have noticed that she particulary loves working with Cockneys or Scots and Australians (she has had a large number from Down Under on her staff), the kind of people who don’t sound affected or pretend to be posh.
Let’s not forget that it was Carole Middleton who started a little business making goodie bags for children’s parties at her Berkshire home and it mushroomed into a very successful online company.
Didn’t Laura Ashley start out the same way, making tea towels and aprons on her kitchen table ?
Of course, the slit-eyed comments stopped once Carole’s elder daughter had an engagement ring on her finger.
So, who’s laughing now? When Carole walks into the Abbey on April 29 there will be a number of wealthy and well-connected mothers pea-green with envy.
But it’s Carole’s grandchild who will one day become the sovereign of the last major monarchy on earth.