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Carole Middleton's low-key 'bonfire' wedding following 'Bridget Jones' date with Michael

The Princess of Wales' mother shares very rare comments about her 1980 wedding

Michael Middleton in a suit and Carole Middleton in a white jacket and cream hat
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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Carole Middleton, 68, and her husband Micheal, 74, have become one of the most well-known couples following their daughter Princess Kate's royal wedding in 2011, but they chose a much more low-key affair for their own big day back on 21 June 1980 in Buckinghamshire.

While they have kept their relationship largely private, Carole let slip a few key details about their nuptials, and it sounds remarkably low-key. During a discussion about her former family business Party Pieces – which went into administration in 2023, 12 years after the Princess of Wales stopped working there – the mother-of-three revealed she enjoyed a simple "bonfire" and comfort food when she married Michael.

Carole and Michael Middleton at Kate's Christmas concert© Getty
Princess Kate's parents, Carole and Michael, have released very few details about their relationship

"I found the venue, organised the wedding breakfast, the bonfire and chilli con carne in the evening," she said in an interview with The Telegraph.

They have released no photos, but we now know that Carole wore a beautiful boho bridal gown which she lent to her daughter-in-law Alizee Thevenet for her French wedding with James in September 2021. Tying in with Carole's casual theme, the floor-length white dress featured a Bardot neckline and embroidered ruffle detailing. Alizee later told HELLO! she "fell in love" with Carole's dress after trying it on, adding: "It fitted me perfectly."

Michael Middleton in a suit with Carole Middleton in a white dress and sunglasses© Getty
The couple got married in 1980, with celebrations including a bonfire and chilli con carne

Carole was working as a flight attendant for British Airways when she met flight dispatcher Michael, whom she later described as "shy." She revealed their early relationship wasn't necessarily smooth sailing, admitting she suffered a Bridget Jones moment when she tried to impress Michael with her cooking.

Speaking of the first time she prepared dinner for her now-husband, she told The Telegraph: "I was trying to impress him with a mushroom risotto and it looked like grey porridge; it was very Bridget Jones." The iconic rom-com movie sees actress Renee Zellweger's character turn her leek soup blue thanks to coloured string, so we'd say a grey risotto isn't nearly as embarrassing!

carole middleton family© Getty Images
The family's business Party Pieces went into administration in 2023

The couple are parents to three children: Catherine, who was born in 1982, followed by Pippa in 1983 and their youngest child and only son, James, in 1987.

Knowing their mum's impressive organisational skills, Kate and Pippa both turned to their mother for help with their own weddings. "We talked about music… everything. I was involved lots with both Pip’s and Catherine’s weddings," said Carole, referring to Kate's wedding with Prince William in April 2011 and Pippa's nuptials with James Matthews in May 2017.

Carole Middleton in a blue coat dress and her husband Michael in a suit at the royal wedding© CARL DE SOUZA
Carole revealed her daughter turned to her for advice ahead of the royal wedding

Her children have gone on to have families of their own, making Carole and Michael grandparents to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Grace, Rose and Inigo. Despite her and her relatives being in the spotlight, Carole insisted her life is "really normal" and they all value hard work – something she hopes will be passed on to her grandkids.

WATCH: Everything you need to know about Carole Middleton

"I have tried hard to be a listening grandmother and mother-in-law," she told Good Housekeeping. "That is why we are all still close, because our relationships have evolved as my children have had children. I've learned to be a wise grandmother, I hope. I know how hard it was for me bringing up my own children, that you invest a lot in them, and don't really want a know-it-all granny out there."

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