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Princess of Wales’ parents face harassment over business failure

The parents of the Princess of Wales, Carole and Michael Middleton, have been subjected to a vicious poster campaign in their home village of Bucklebury, Berkshire, after their party goods business, Party Pieces, went into administration earlier this year.

Party Pieces sold to new owner amid pandemic losses

Party Pieces was founded by the Middletons in 1987 and employed their eldest daughter, the Princess of Wales, before she married Prince William. The company sold party supplies and decorations for various occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. However, the business suffered a severe blow during the pandemic lockdowns, as parties were banned and demand for its products plummeted. According to publicly available accounts, Party Pieces Holdings, the parent company of the firm, lost £285,000 in 2021 and had a deficit of more than £2 million before it was sold.

The Middletons sold Party Pieces to Teddy Tastic Bear, a company owned by entrepreneur James Sinclair, through a device known as pre-pack administration. This means that the buyer agrees to buy an insolvent company provided it goes into administration first, enabling the buyer to come to an arrangement with creditors, who may receive less than they are owed. Some suppliers of Party Pieces have been left out of pocket by the company’s closure and are reportedly angry that the Middletons did not pay the debts out of their own pockets.

Princess of Wales’ parents face harassment over business failure

Posters accuse Middletons of ‘fraud’ and ‘theft’

The posters that have been put up around Bucklebury and the neighbouring village of Yattendon accuse the Middletons of “fraud”, “theft”, and “dishonesty”. They also claim that the Middletons have “stolen” from their suppliers and “lied” to their customers. The posters feature pictures of Carole and Michael Middleton with red crosses over their faces and slogans such as “Shame on you”, “Pay your debts”, and “You are not welcome here”.

The posters have appalled some locals, who have expressed their support for the Middletons. A source from the village told The Sun on Sunday: “Carole and Michael are incredibly popular. Everyone is horrified by these posters. It’s unfair to do this in their home village, just yards from where they live.” The source added: “They are doing their best to make things right and don’t deserve this kind of abuse.”

The Princess of Wales’ younger brother, James Middleton, who lives nearby with his pregnant wife Alizee, was seen taking down some of the posters. He was reportedly enraged by the malicious campaign and confronted some of the people responsible. James Middleton also runs his own businesses, including a personalised marshmallow company called Boomf and a dog food delivery service called Ella & Co.

Royal family unaffected by business woes

The Princess of Wales and Prince William have not commented on the poster campaign or the fate of Party Pieces. The couple are known to share a close bond with their in-laws and often visit them in Bucklebury with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The Middletons have also attended several royal events, such as Trooping the Colour, Christmas at Sandringham, and the coronation of King Charles III.

The Princess’s sister, Pippa Middleton, also lives in the area with her husband James Matthews and their three children, Arthur, Grace, and Rose. Pippa Middleton is a socialite and author who has written books on party planning and healthy living. She is also a regular contributor to various magazines and newspapers.

The Middletons’ wealth has been estimated at around £30 million, which they have accumulated from various sources besides Party Pieces. They own several properties in Berkshire and London, as well as a stake in a racehorse syndicate. They have also benefited from gifts and discounts from various brands and businesses that are associated with the royal family.

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