Business News

Kate Middleton’s parents retire from business after Party Pieces collapse

The parents of Princess Kate, Carole and Michael Middleton, have decided to retire from their business ventures after their party supplies company Party Pieces went into administration owing millions of pounds. The couple had planned to launch a new company called First Birthdays, but scrapped the idea to protect their daughter’s royal reputation.

Party Pieces sold for £180,000

Party Pieces, which was founded by the Middletons in 1987, was a successful online retailer of children’s party supplies, decorations, and costumes. The company had a turnover of £4.5 million in 2021, but suffered a huge loss of £900,000 in 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. The company also took out a government-backed loan of £220,000 from NatWest, which the taxpayer will have to cover 80% of in case of default.

The company entered an insolvency process in May 2023 and was sold to entrepreneur James Sinclair for £180,000, according to a report by The Times. Sinclair is the founder and chief executive of Partyman, a group of leisure businesses that includes indoor play centres, farm parks, and laser tag arenas. He said he was “delighted” to acquire Party Pieces and hoped to “revive and grow” the brand.

Kate Middleton’s parents retire from business after Party Pieces collapse

First Birthdays scrapped to protect Kate’s reputation

The Middletons had registered another company called First Birthdays with Companies House in 2006, but never launched it. The company was intended to be a spin-off of Party Pieces, focusing on products and services for babies’ first birthday parties. The couple had changed the address of the company from Party Pieces Childs Court Farm to The Manor Bucklebury in Reading, where they live in a £4.7 million mansion, in August 2023.

However, a source told The Express that the couple had scrapped their plans to launch First Birthdays to protect their daughter Kate’s reputation as a future queen. The source said that the collapse of Party Pieces had caused a “minor dent” in the Windsor name, as it owed money to many creditors, and that the palace would not want a repeat of that. The source added that the Middletons had decided to keep a low profile and focus on their family instead.

The Middletons’ business woes

The Middletons are not the only ones in their family who have faced business troubles. Kate’s brother James has also had several companies fail in recent years. He is currently running his fifth venture, Ella & Co, a dog food delivery service, which shows a dramatic drop in assets from last year. He previously set up and closed down the Boomf marshmallow business, the Cake Kit Company, Nice Cakes, and Nice Wine.

The Middletons have also been the target of a hate campaign in their hometown of Bucklebury, where some locals have accused them of being “snooty” and “greedy”. The couple have reportedly received abusive letters and phone calls, and have had their property vandalised. The police are investigating the incidents as harassment and criminal damage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *