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Carole and Michael Middleton face further heartache over family business - report

Party Pieces fell into administration in 2023

Carole and Michael Middleton at Wimbledon 2021
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
5 April 2024
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The Princess of Wales's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, are reportedly facing fresh heartache following the collapse of their party supplier business. 

Kate's mother Carole set up Party Pieces from home in 1987 and the internet company became a huge success. 

But in June 2023, the business fell into administration with over £2.6 million of debt. Restructuring firm Interpath Advisory were appointed as administrators, but according to the The Times, it has been unable to collect the total fees due for the project after incurring costs of more than £260,000.

The newspaper reports that Party Pieces' assets were "insufficient to cover the advisers' time costs of £268,928" and that Interpath's team were unable to recoup the total fees for the work by its restructuring professionals, who have "charged an average hourly rate of £566". The City-based firm has received fees of £51,437, but in a report says it "does not to intend to draw our fees in full".  

Interpath Advisory declined to comment when approached by HELLO!

Party Pieces saw its revenues shrink to £3.2 million last year from £4.5 million in 2021, and slid to a £900,000 net loss before tax as a result.

The company was sold to entrepreneur James Sinclair in a pre-pack administration deal for £180,000 according to The Times, leaving Interpath Advisory with limited funds to meet obligations to creditors. 

Carole, Michael James and Philippa Middleton depart the Goring Hotel in London© Getty
Carole's three children have all helped out at the business over the years

Carole, 69, set up the business when her children, Kate, Pippa and James, were small, revealing in a 2021 interview that she had a lightbulb moment after struggling to find decent party supplies for her daughter Kate's fifth birthday.

Speaking to The Daily Mail at the time, the Middleton matriarch said: "All I could find were basic clown plates," she said. "I realised there was a gap in the market for party ware that wasn't too expensive and which looked good, so decided to design my own. I took some prototypes to various High Street retailers and was turned away."

Carole and Michael Middleton at Kate's Christmas concert© Getty
Carole and Michael at Kate's Christmas concert last December

Before marrying into the royal family, Kate helped out at her parents' business. 

Carole previously told Sheer Luxe: "Party Pieces has literally grown alongside my family, and I'm very proud of that. Pippa wrote our 'Party Times' blog, James did the cakes when he first left school and Catherine developed our first birthday and baby category."

LISTEN: Inside King Charles' private lunch with Princess Kate


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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