As the Middletons became the first relatives to visit the duke and duchess of Cambridge’s newborn son, their broad smiles showed how delighted they were at being introduced to their “absolutely beautiful” grandson.
Carole, who was wearing an Orla Kiely Dancing Girls tea dress, and Michael have been an important source of support for William and Kate in their lives together so far.
The new family of three are reported to be set to spend their early weeks at the Middletons’ mansion near Bucklebury in Berkshire.
It may not be a royal palace, but it is a large seven-bedroom £4.7m Georgian property and there is plenty of room for William, Kate and their new baby, as well offering them the privacy they value so much away from the public limelight.
Carole Middleton, who may help to care for the child when her daughter carries out royal engagements, coped well and looked confident in front of the world’s media gathered outside the Lindo Wing with an impromptu comment about her new grandchild.
She has already experienced the full force of public scrutiny while her daughter was dating William. Carole Middleton became the scapegoat following the couple’s brief split amid claims she was “too common” for Queen Elizabeth and the duke of Edinburgh.
Deemed pushy, she was criticised for using words frowned upon in royal company, such as “pleased to meet you”, “toilet” and “pardon”. But she had not even been introduced to the queen.
She is now said to get on well with the monarch and famously with Prince Philip.
In 2006, she was criticised for chewing nicotine gum during William’s passing-out parade at Sandhurst.
Carole Middleton is said to have persuaded Kate to reject her first university choice on hearing the news that William was going to St Andrews, urging her to go there instead, according to an article in The Spectator.
Her former career as an air stewardess is said to have led to mocking by William’s circle, who would declare “doors to manual” when Kate was out of earshot.