Like other members of the royal family, the Duchess of Cambridge enjoys a very privileged lifestyle. She calls Kensington Palace her home, she can afford to go on luxurious holidays, and she has a wardrobe and jewellery collection that is the envy of many around the world. But before Kate married Prince William and became a Duchess, the much-loved royal already had her own impressive fortune. Find out how Kate made her millions below…
What was Kate Middleton's net worth before she married?
Time has estimated that Kate's net worth stood at around £5.3million before she joined the royal family. This mainly stemmed from her parents Carole and Michael Middleton's party planning business, Party Pieces, which is said to be worth around £30million. Writing on the official website, Carole has previously revealed how the company came about. She and Michael both worked for British Airways and lived abroad in Jordan, but decided to return to the UK for the children's education. "As a mother of three young children I founded Party Pieces hoping to inspire other mothers to create magical parties at home and to make party organising a little easier," Carole wrote.
Prince William and Kate's sweetest quotes:
When the company celebrated its 30th birthday in 2017, Carole also revealed: "We decided it was time to return [to the UK] for Catherine's schooling. There was very little partyware available on the high street, and finding the simplest of things was a real challenge. I produced a flyer which I circulated in playgroups and very soon I was using our garden shed as a packing room and office."
Both Kate and her younger sister Pippa have worked for the family business. While Pippa edited the blog part-time, Kate was in charge of photography as well as editing catalogues. She quit her job at Party Pieces a few months before her royal wedding in 2011, in order to oversee all the intricate details of the April 29 ceremony. She was at the helm when it came to organising the wedding and preparing for her royal role, with a friend telling HELLO! at the time: "It is a steep learning curve and at the same time she is learning a lot about the royal family and what the future holds."
Kate, pictured with sister Pippa, worked for Jigsaw and her parents' company Party Pieces
Kate Middleton's previous jobs
Before working for her parents' company, Kate was an accessories buyer for Jigsaw. She landed the job in 2006 after being taken on by tycoon John Robinson and his wife Belle, owners of Jigsaw. The businessman is a close friend of Prince Charles and Prince William and Kate had previously holidayed at the Robinsons' Mustique home. Speaking to the Evening Standard in 2008, Belle defended Kate after reports claimed she got the job through nepotism. She explained that she didn't know Kate that well, and that Kate and William had given a small donation to the local hospital in Mustique after staying in the Robinsons' home, as they weren't allowed to pay to rent it.
"As a thank-you to us, Kate supported a couple of Jigsaw events we did," Belle said. "Then she rang me up one day and said: 'Could I come and talk to you about work?' She genuinely wanted a job but she needed an element of flexibility to continue the relationship with a very high-profile man and a life that she can't dictate."
The pair worked out a job so that Kate could work three days a week. Belle recalled: "I have to say I was so impressed by her. There were days when there were TV crews at the end of the drive. We'd say: 'Listen, do you want to go out the back way?' And she'd say: 'To be honest, they're going to hound us until they've got the picture. So why don't I just go, get the picture done, and then they'll leave us alone.' I thought she was very mature for a 26 year old, and I think she's been quite good at neither courting the press nor sticking two fingers in the air at them. I don't think I would have been so polite."
After quitting her job at Jigsaw in 2008, Kate went to work for her parents' company. Her friend tod HELLO!: "She is annoyed at the headlines saying she doesn't work. She is actually working full-time, is on the payroll and plans to continue doing the job."
Carole Middleton set up the company in 1987
Kate Middleton's privileged upbringing
In contrast to her own upbringing, Kate's mother Carole had a more humble childhood, growing up on a council estate in London. Her father Ronald Goldsmith worked as a builder in the city's Southall district. It's clear the Middletons wanted to give Kate, Pippa and James the best childhood possible. Thanks to their multi-million-pound business, they were able to send their children to some of the best schools in the UK.
Kate was educated at St Andrew's School in Berkshire, after which she studied at Downe House for a brief stint before moving to Marlborough College, which costs up to £36,000 per year. Kate then gained a place at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where she met Prince William. When she moved to London, she lived in her parents' £1.4million flat in the affluent area of Chelsea.
Growing up, holidays in Mustique and skiing trips were – and still are – a regular occurrence for Kate and her family. The Duchess is often joined by her parents and siblings at prestigious events such as Ascot and Wimbledon, and are also guests at parties and receptions hosted by the Queen.
Prince William and Kate live in Kensington Palace
What is Kate Middleton's net worth now?
Unsurprisingly, Kate's fortune increased after she joined the royal family. While her net worth pales in comparison to Prince William's £30million, the Duchess still has around £7.6million to her name, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She doesn't have many expenses either. Prince Charles' estate, The Duchy of Cornwall, covers William and Kate's staff, travel and wardrobe expenses, just as they do with Prince Harry and Meghan.
As a royal, Kate is not allowed to have another job but she instead focuses her time and effort on a number of charities and patronages. As a full-time senior royal, she is expected to go on state visits and tours to other countries; her travel expenses are sometimes covered by the host countries.
The Duchess is based at Kensington Palace, which boasts 20 rooms including five reception rooms and three-bedroom suites complete with dressing rooms and bathrooms. Modern fittings around the house include underfloor heating, encrypted WIFI, a TV projector and a panic room. As for Kate and William's country home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk, this was given as a wedding gift from the Queen.
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