Carole Middleton is passing her love of gardening onto her grandchildren, and believes it’s important for children to grow up ‘appreciating nature’ and ‘get a bit muddy’.
The Duchess of Cambridge‘s mother, 66, who lives in Berkshire with husband Michael, told how Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, three, enjoy potting plants and picking her homegrown vegetables.
Speaking to Saga magazine for its May edition, businesswoman Carole said she makes sure she lays out ‘activity stations’ for each child to keep them engaged.
‘If I’m doing planting with my grandchildren I like to have it all laid out at ‘activity stations’ with their own little trowel and pot so they can get started immediately,’ she told the publication.
Carole Middleton is passing her love of gardening onto her grandchildren, and believes it’s important for children to grow up ‘appreciating nature’ and ‘get a bit muddy (pictured with Michael in 2019 at Wimbledon)
‘It’s no good calling children over to an activity, only for you then to have to fuss about looking for the right equipment and clearing a space. They’ll soon lose interest and slope off.’
She added: ‘It’s important for children to grow up appreciating nature and part of that is allowing them to get a bit muddy.’
The grandmother-of-five told how she loves growing her own vegetables and became more dedicated to her patch during lockdown.
‘Growing potatoes is a simple one to start with, and digging for spuds is fun at any age,’ she explained.
‘We also grow carrots, beetroot and onions and there’s no better way to encourage healthy eating than to allow your grandchildren to see how food is grown and let them pick their own.’
The Duchess of Cambridge’s mother, 66, who lives in Berkshire with husband Michael, told how Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, three, pictured with their parents Kate and Prince William, enjoy potting plants and picking her homegrown vegetables
Carole – also grandmother to Pippa Middleton’s two children Arthur Matthews, two, and baby Grace – previously revealed she is ‘very hands on’ with her children’s little ones.
Royal commentators Jennie Bond and Tom Quinn have claimed in the past that it will be Carole and Michael who will have a bigger influence on George, Charlotte and Louis than the Royal Family.
In Channel 5’s When the Middletons Met the Monarchy, which aired on Saturday, Quinn said: ‘I suspect everyone thinks that in terms of the children, the royal family will inevitable have the most influence, but that is entirely wrong.
‘It will be the Middletons that have the influence, because the royal family is too formal, it’s too stuck in its ways.’
Bond added: ‘I suppose there is a little tension at times between who gets to see the grandkids the most.
Carole – also grandmother to Pippa Middleton’s two children Arthur Matthews, two, and baby Grace – previously revealed she is ‘very hands on’ with her children’s little ones (pictured: the Cambridges at Anmer Hall)
‘Kate will always turn to Carole for help, advice guidance, and just get together and romping around with the kids – possibly before she would get together with Camilla and Charles.’
Richard Kay also expressed how important Carole and Michael are to William, claiming that he’s always made clear that Kate’s parents will be part of their lives.
‘Prince William has said, “Look I am not always going to be available for the royal family, I have another family and that is Mike and Carole Middleton and that is very important to me and Kate and my children”.’
Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl agreed, adding: ‘William made it clear the Middleton’s couldn’t be cast aside.’
Royal commentator Ashley Pearson also spoke to the programme, revealing the Cambridge children will have a ‘modified’ royal childhood, more similar to Kate’s upper-middle class upbringing in the quiet village of Bucklebury in West Berkshire.
Michael and Carole Middleton met while working for British Airways as an aircraft dispatcher and air hostess, marrying in Buckinghamshire in 1980. Pictured, Carole, Michael, James and Pippa Middleton
Michael and Carole Middleton met while working for British Airways as an aircraft dispatcher and air hostess, marrying in Buckinghamshire in 1980.
While Michael, 71, was born into well-off family, Carole grew up in a council house in Southall, west London.
The pair founded hugely successful business Party Pieces in 1987 from their garden shed.
They moved into their home in Berkshire in 1993, where they raised their three children Kate, Pippa, 37 and James, 33.
Due to their thriving business were able to send Pippa and Kate to the prestigious Marlborough College.
Speaking of the couple, family friend John Hayley said: ‘They can get on with anybody. They’re so natural, so relaxed, very family orientated. They were liked by everybody’.
Carole turned 66 in February, and joked that it was ‘down to husband Michael’ to make her birthday special amid the Covid-19 crisis.
She said while it ‘may not be how we imagined celebrating, a little effort can still lift the spirits and bring some joy’.
Carole shared the insight on Instagram with followers of her celebration company Party Pieces, penning: ‘If, like me, your birthday falls during the cold, dark days of winter, your loved ones can still make the day full of surprises.’