Pippa Middleton. When one hears the name, a few words come to mind — royalty, sister to a duchess, extremely stylish. However, how much is really known about this Middleton sister?
She first entered the spotlight as a part of her sister’s royal fairy-tale story, but Pippa Middleton has quite the story and transformation as well. From simple beginnings to unexpected, and not-so-welcome public attention, Middleton has worked hard to earn her success on her own terms. So let’s take a closer look at Middleton and her stunning transformation throughout the years.
She had a normal childhood
Growing up, Middleton had a normal childhood, with a normal family and normal meal times. In particular, she has spoken about the family’s meals each week and the expectations put on her and her siblings. Basically, they had to be members of the clean plate club.
She shared with Daily Mail, “We were taught to eat properly and to eat together as a family three times a day. As children we didn’t have anything different, we always ate what our parents ate. My mother and father took the view, and I agree, that you don’t need to make different food for children.”
So what if she didn’t like the food? Tough luck. She continued, “We had to stay at the table until we had eaten everything. There were no exceptions. And in the end I liked everything because I had to.”
She has never liked being called a socialite
Even though she had a normal childhood, she did come from a family with money. With this lifestyle and her sister’s future association with the royals, Middleton has had to deal with some harsh assumptions from others throughout the years.
What word does she dislike being called in particular? “Socialite.” She spoke with Daily Mail about this word in 2016, reflecting on the challenges she has faced throughout the years. “I try not to be too sensitive about things because it’s just a bit of life I have to deal with. But I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect me,” she said. “People see me as someone privileged who has used my position to advantage; that I don’t really work, that I am a socialite — that word really irritates me — and that I’m a party girl without any substance.”
These assumptions are pretty far from the truth. As Daily Mail shared, Middleton worked hard since her teen years to reach her goals. She earned a sport scholarship for secondary school and studied English Literature at Edinburgh University.
She has always shared similar style with her sister
As time continued and Middleton was recognized more often due to her sister’s relationship, it became clear that Middleton and sister Kate not only looked alike, but share a similar style. It’s a similarity that has made people look twice in order to determine which sister they’re seeing.
Throughout the years, the two have been seen in similar outfit choices, showing that they have had similar transformations over time. From a good print, to fabulous nude shoes, and even the most stunning casual pieces, these fashion choices by the Middleton sisters have shown that they can rock any type of look.
She didn’t understand the big deal about her bridesmaid dress
The big moment of recognition for Middleton came during her sister’s wedding to Prince William in 2011. While all were expecting to have their eyes on the bride and her gown, many would say the younger Middleton sister is the one who stole the show. There was great attention on the-then 27-year-old’s bridesmaid dress. And to this day, Middleton doesn’t get it.
When asked by Daily Mail about the fame and chatter her dress caused, Middleton shared her simple and direct thoughts, saying, “I was surprised and still don’t understand it.”
The public attention on her family has been difficult to handle
After the big royal wedding in 2011, Middleton was forced into a world of press and public attention that was overwhelming for the 27-year-old. As reported by The Telegraph, Middleton spoke to this new way of life that she had been forced to experience, saying, “It is a bit startling to achieve global recognition (if that’s the right word) on account of your sister, your brother-in-law and your bottom.”
As the years continued, the focus on her life did not go away. In 2014, the 30-year-old Middleton spoke with Today about the struggles she has faced due to this intense public attention. She said, “There is a lot of pressure I get, in London, just my day-to-day routine. Occasionally I might get followed by paparazzi…. It’s been a bit difficult. It’s getting used to… not being entirely private.”
It has even gone as far as bullying. She spoke to this as well during the interview, saying, “I have felt publicly bullied a little bit… when I read things that clearly aren’t true…. I’m just trying to live a life like any 30 year old.”
She has kept sisterly love with Kate
Having a family member who is part of the royal family can be a challenge. However, when it comes to Middleton and sister Kate, they have made sure to keep a sisterly relationship that is as normal as possible as the years have passed.
During an interview with Today in 2014, Middleton spoke to this bond with her sister. “I mean, obviously she has pressures that she’s taken on and things. But we spend a lot of time together. We still do a lot together as a family,” she said. “And I think that’s really the heart for all of us is having a really close family that we can sort of be normal with each other, treat each other normally. And that’s sort of kept us all, you know, affixed to the ground.”
She has loved taking on the role of aunt
Being part of a close family, it was a big moment for Middleton when she took on the role of aunt, first to Prince George when he was born in July 2013 then to Princess Charlotte when she was born in May 2015.
Later in her 2014 interview with Today, Middleton opened up about her love for being an aunt. She smiled as she shared, “It’s wonderful,” she shared, smiling. “He’s a very dear boy, and he’s brought a lot of pleasure and fun for all of us — for the whole family.” She continued on to share her love of family time with her baby nephew, saying, “He’s brought us all together, and we love spending weekends with him.”
She showed how big her heart was through cooking
While associated with her sister and family often, Middleton has made her own way over time. And she has shown that she can add a few more titles to her list of expertise — writer and cook. In 2016, the 33-year-old released her new cookbook, Heartfelt, which focuses on “quick and easy recipes for a healthy heart.”
Although it is the heart’s health that is a big focus with these healthy recipes, Middleton gave more details in her book about her own heart. She wrote (via E! Online), “I heart family. My mother always says preparing a healthy and tasty meal for the family is one of life’s greatest pleasures — and pressures.”
She went on later to thank her family for their support through her creation of this cookbook. She wrote, “I would also like to thank my family and friends who have been shamelessly used as guinea pigs, sometimes unwittingly. Their observations and criticisms, along with the support of Waitrose Weekend food editors, have proved invaluable in ensuring each and every recipe is not only healthy, but enjoyable to eat.”
She had an active say in her wedding dress
Middleton showed her ultimate expertise and style skills in May 2017, when the 33-year-old bride married her now-husband, James Matthews. She showed up in an amazing gown, fit for royalty.
According to People, the dress was custom made by British designer Giles Deacon, who shared that he was “thrilled to work with Pippa on her wedding dress.” The designer went into more detail, according to Business of Fashion. “I wanted that ‘how-was-that-done?’ factor,” he shared. “It’s all hand-pieced which is why you don’t actually see a seam.”
Accessorized with a beautiful veil designed by Stephen Jones and an amazing tiara made by Robinson Pelham, the whole look was flawless. So how much of this was Middleton’s version versus the designers’? It sounds like Middleton had a vision. As Deacon continued to share, “She has a great eye, she knew what she wanted.”