When We Talks

bitchy | Carole Middleton ‘wants to welcome Ukrainian refugees’ into Middleton Manor


Carole and Michael Middleton live in a £4.7 million home in Bucklebury. For most of then-Kate Middleton’s courtship with Prince William, the Middletons lived in a smaller (but still nice) family home in Bucklebury. Then after Kate and William married, William took money out of his trust to help Carole and Mike purchase this larger “manor house” fit for a queen. I always call it Middleton Manor, I have no idea if the place actually has a name. Middleton Manor is supposed to be quite nice, one of the nicest homes in Bucklebury. It’s gotten a number of upgrades over the years, mostly security upgrades, and the Middletons apparently own commercial property in Bucklebury too, where Party Pieces is headquartered, and for a time, where James Middleton operated his clownish marshmallow operation, Boomf. We never did learn who owns the pot farm adjacent to Middleton Manor, by the way.

In any case, you get the idea. The Middletons are big fish in the small pond of Bucklebury, and Carole Middleton swans around like the lady of the manor. Now, five months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Carole wants people to know that she’s thinking about housing Ukrainian refugees in Middleton Manor. This story is so curious.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s parents want to welcome Ukrainian refugees into their Berkshire home, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Carole and Michael Middleton are understood to be examining plans to create an annexe at the manor house in the village of Bucklebury that they bought for £4.7 million a decade ago.

‘Bucklebury has housed a good number of refugees and Carole has been getting advice from villagers and seeking information about how the process has worked for others in the area,’ said a source. Neighbours who have already provided sanctuary include broadcaster Chris Tarrant and Tory politician Lord Benyon, a friend of the Middletons who recently held a fundraising event for refugees at his stately home.

The source added: ‘Carole talked about wanting refugees to feel they have their own space in her home and has been talking about the logistics of how it all works. There have been a few conversations about this, back and forth. Carole suggested she and some of those who are housing refugees should meet up, to get to know each other and because she wants to find a way to house refugees herself. She’s very philanthropic and wants to be known for her charitable nature as well as her business.’

It is thought one option under consideration is to convert a living room at seven-bedroom Bucklebury Manor into separate accommodation for a family fleeing Ukraine. There are, however, issues around security still to consider, given the regular visits to the property by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, George, Charlotte and Louis.

‘Carole doesn’t have many outbuildings and Kate’s security stay in the main house when they come, so she’ll have to find a way to make it work that is safe,’ said one Bucklebury villager. ‘Carole is very popular here and she’s done wonders for the community and for the family farm. She’s a real tour de force.’

Mrs Middleton, 67, who founded the event supplies firm Party Pieces in 1987, is already involved with Bucklebury Farm Park, a petting zoo owned by her son-in-law James Matthews – daughter Pippa’s husband – which offers free entry to Ukrainian refugees.

The source added: ‘Carole is looking for other ways to support some of the refugees while she sorts out the logistics for accommodating them at her home. She has looked into hosting a fundraiser or a village social event for refugees which could take place at the farm.’

[From The Mail]

If Carole and Mike are able to help, good for them. The stories of people welcoming refugees into their homes are so heartwarming. But I have to say that this particular story strikes me as somewhat odd. One, we’re five months into the Ukrainian crisis. While people still need help and obviously it’s important to keep news about Ukraine circulating, it does feel like Carole is coming to this kind of late? Almost like she’s bandwagoning and clout-chasing? It also strikes me that this is almost a Kate-like promise to eventually be keen? Carole isn’t making firm plans to welcome refugees – she’s making plans to add some buildings to her manor estate with the cover story of “possibly welcoming refugees maybe.” Also: all of this Middleton news recently feels so sus. Why are all of the Middletons everywhere right now? Why is Carole trying to get credit for thinking about refugees? Curious.

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Photos courtesy of Getty, Avalon Red, Backgrid.


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