Kate Middleton–sorry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge–comes from a middle-class family whose main source of income is a business called Party Pieces. Understandably, Party Pieces took a major hit during 2020 since no one could legally hold gatherings of any kind.
The mail-order company, which was started in 1987 by Carole Middleton at the family’s kitchen table, grew to become a multi-million-pound business. Party Pieces now offers string lights, personalized balloons, and tableware online. But things haven’t been especially rosy for the future king’s in-laws.
Party Pieces Reports Devastating Losses
Party Pieces decided to go public in September 2019–which was disastrous timing. In a public statement by the company’s board of directors, it was revealed that Party Pieces had taken on over a million pounds in loans. “The company began trading in September 2019 to expand and develop the existing ‘Party Pieces’ brand. Loan capital investments of £1.2million were made by the directors to finance four key areas.”
The money went toward designing their shiny new website, investing in the manufacture of their own branded products, and establishing a wholesale division. The company also expanded into international sales… just in time for the entire world to shut down.
Reportedly, the company has just about £175,000 in assets, which means that they’re over a million pounds in the red. Despite their dire financial circumstances, the company believes that they’ll weather this storm and emerge stronger than ever. The board of directors assured investors that they had been working on their branded product line during the past year–and that Brexit posed “no significant impact” to their international trade plans.
“The company has invested heavily in new innovative product ranges to create proprietary Party Pieces own brand merchandise,” the board’s report stated. “The first four product ranges with over 50 lines are being launched in the summer of 2021 with 2 new ranges to follow in the autumn. It remains a priority of the business to introduce new ranges continually.”
The report concluded with a hopeful picture of the future for Party Pieces: “The losses in the year were forecasted and present the foundations that have been put down to trade successfully into 2021. The directors are wholly optimistic with the future forecast for the business to remain on plan in the year ahead”
How Bad Are the Middletons’ Finances?
What does this mean for the Middletons and the Cambridges? Well, the family is no stranger to starting businesses that struggle to stay profitable. James Middleton’s infamous custom marshmallow company, Boomf, comes to mind. So does Pippa Middleton’s short-lived career as a lifestyle columnist.
With the hefty inheritance from Michael Middleton’s grandmother, as well as the support of Carole’s brother Gary Goldsmith, they’d be doing just fine even without a helping hand from their Royal in-laws. However, it’s worth noting that William actually gave the Middleton’s the cash to purchase their £4.7 million home, Bucklebury Manor, in 2012.