She’s a passionate Royal patron to all the charities that she supports, but Kate Middleton raised eyebrows this week when she skipped out on two important events that she had been expected to attend. However, as it’s now come to light that her younger brother James’ failing business had to be bailed out by sister Pippa’s millionaire fiancé, the future Queen of England is understandably dodging the spotlight.
Multi-millionaire hedge-fund manager James Matthews hit the headlines earlier this year when it was revealed that not only had he won the heart of Kate’s eligible younger sister Pippa, 33, but he had also managed to slip a giant expensive ring (said to be worth a whopping Dhs934,000) on her engagement finger too. Not much was known about the 41-year-old – except that he was the older brother of British reality star Spencer Matthews – but his enviable bank balance was well documented. And now, it seems, that his wealth has come in very handy for the Middleton clan, with him handing over a huge sum of cash in order to keep the business belonging to James Middleton – Kate’s 29-year-old brother – afloat.
According to The Daily Mail, Matthews is said to have given James £100,000 (Dhs467,713) in order to help his sagging marshmallow business, called Boomf. The confectionery company prints pictures onto marshmallows, which then sell at £15 (Dhs70) a pop for a box of nine. Unfortunately it’s been discovered that the youngest Middleton sibling’s enterprise has been less than successful, losing almost £1 million (Dhs4.7m) last year, and taking out a £500,000 (Dhs2.3m) loan with a British bank. This wouldn’t be the first failed business venture for James, with a company that he set up in 2007 – The Cake Kit Company – now defunct.
With her family’s worrying financial state now a matter of public knowledge, K-Midd, 34, perhaps unsurprisingly, opted to sidestep two important high-profile functions last week.
The Duchess of Cambridge was scheduled to attend the inaugural gala dinner for the East Anglia Children’s Hospices Nook Appeal at the Natural History Museum in London, but pulled out at the last minute. Both the charity and the museum in which it was taking place, are two of Kate’s chosen patronages as a Royal, making her decision to not show up even more shocking.
The charity posted a message from Kate on its Twitter page, in which she thanked others for attending the gala, but did not explain the reason behind her own absence. It said: “Thank you all so much for supporting EACH, a wonderful organisation of which I am incredibly proud to be Patron. I am in no doubt the Nook will make a huge difference to thousands of children and families for many years to come. I hope you all have an enjoyable evening and are able to continue helping EACH move ever closer to achieving their vision.”
The event, which featured a performance by Ed Sheeran, was, however, Kate’s second no-show of the week. Indeed, just the night before, her husband Prince William was forced to walk the red carpet alone at the Tusk Trust Conservation Awards. The charity is one that is very close to 34-year-old William’s heart, with him travelling to Kenya earlier this year to try and stop poachers hunting elephants and rhinos. At the awards, William handed out honours to some of the leading figures in the world of conservation, alongside veteran naturalist and broadcaster, David Attenborough. In 2013, Kate deemed the event to be of such importance that she attended just 52 days after giving birth to little Prince George. Let’s hope Kate doesn’t find a box of Boomf marshmallows in her Christmas stocking.