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Duchess Kate’s Mom Shares the Secret to Raising Polite Kids

When Duchess Kate was growing up, her mother, Carole Middleton, made sure the kids knew who was boss. 

“I think one of the most important qualities of a good parent is discipline,” Middleton, 63, told The Telegraph recently. “That doesn’t mean you’re strict, but routine is vital. Maybe structure is a nicer word. You can’t suddenly start teaching them about politeness at 13. You have to do it from the start.”

The businesswoman and her husband, Michael are parents of Kate, 36, Pippa, 35, and James, 31. Carole and Michael, 69, are owners of Party Pieces. 

Carole described herself as a “hands -on” parent, but admitted there are occasions when she has to prioritize her company. “There are times when they say, ‘Can you do this, or that?’ And I can’t quite,” she told The Telegraph. But they like the fact that I work.” 

The former flight attendant was never too busy to help her daughters plan their nuptials. (Kate and Prince William tied the knot in 2011, while Pippa and James Matthews said “I do” 2017.)

“We talked about music . . . everything,” Carole said. “I was involved with both Pip’s and Catherine’s weddings. But I think the most important thing, as a parent, is to listen to what your daughter wants. You can have all the ideas in the world, but it has to be about them. And I don’t muscle in on the guest list.”

Carole also shared a tip about planning for the holidays. “Don’t get hung up on perfection,” she advised. “Often it’s the mistakes that make things memorable.”

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