Pippa Middleton turns 40 today

As Pippa Middleton turns 40, a look back at how she achieved global recognition ‘thanks to her sister, her brother-in-law and her bottom’… (And then married a multi-millionaire)

  • Pippa Middleton, sister to the Princess of Wales, celebrates her 40th birthday
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If Pippa Middleton was already in the public eye as younger sister to Catherine, her place there was sealed with the famously figure-hugging white gown she wore as maid of honour for the 2011 royal wedding.

But Pippa, who turns 40 today, is a force to be reckoned with in her own right. 

Philippa ‘Pippa’ Charlotte Middleton, born on September 6, 1983, to parents Carole, Michael. She is one year younger than Catherine and nearly four years older than brother James.

A year after her birth, the Middletons moved from Chapel Row, a village near Newbury, to Amman, Jordan, where her father worked for British Airways.

They returned to Berkshire in September 1986. 

Philippa ‘Pippa’ Charlotte Middleton, 40, famously stole the spotlight during the Royal Wedding in 2011 and ever since, she has been at the forefront of the royal public eye

Catherine Middleton, now the Princess of Wales, aged four with her father Michael Middleton and sister Pippa in Jerash, Jordan

Copies of her bridesmaid dress were soon available on the High Street where there was a great demand for them, beginning a trend which is now referred to as the ‘Pippa Middleton effect’

The middle Middleton child attended St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne followed by Marlborough College, where she held a sports scholarship, before graduating with a degree in English literature from the University of Edinburgh. 

At Edinburgh, Pippa was friends with the so-called ‘castle crew’ of heirs to land, large fortunes and stately homes. 

READ MORE: How Pippa Middleton’s big day unfolded six years ago (and the guest list drama involving Meghan Markle)

There, she shared a house with Lord Edward Innes-Ker, son of the Duke of Roxburghe, and Earl Percy, heir to the Dukedom of Northumberland.

Following graduation, she briefly worked  at a public relations firm promoting luxury products and then had a job in events management. 

The same year, Pippa was named Number One Society Singleton by Tatler magazine, ahead of supermodels, actresses, rock stars and Princess Eugenie.

She later served as the maid of honour at her sister Catherine’s wedding to Prince William, 41. And at the wedding, her dress, made by Alexander McQueen, was much commented upon.  

Copies were soon available on the High Street.

Years later, she said she hadn’t expected the reaction, revealing: ‘I was surprised and still don’t understand it.’

‘I have had a few years of being in the public eye and I have developed something of a thick skin.

She was maid of honour at her sister Catherine’s wedding to Prince William in 2011

Years later, Pippa said she hadn’t expected the reaction to her figure-hugging dress, revealing: ‘I was surprised and still don’t understand it’

Pippa Middleton at the Wimbledon Tennis tournament at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in June 2016

‘But managing it all on my own has been quite hard. I have quite a lot thrown at me, such as being followed by people hiding behind cars and jumping out with cameras. It can be unnerving.’

In 2012, it was announced Pippa had landed a book from publishing house Penguin worth £400,000 for a book on party planning .

In the foreword Pippa wrote: ‘It’s a bit startling to achieve global recognition before the age of 30 on account of your sister, your brother-in-law and your bottom. 

‘One day I might be able to make sense of this.

‘I certainly have opportunities many can only dream of. But in most ways, I’m a typical girl in her twenties trying to forge a career and represent herself in what can sometimes seem rather strange circumstances.’

But, her party planning book, Celebrate, was not well received and sales were poor.

In 2012, it was announced Pippa had landed a book deal from Penguin worth £400,000 for a party planning book, Celebrate 

Catherine and her sister Pippa in the Royal Box on Centre Court for the men’s singles final during the Wimbledon Championships  in July 2012

Catherine, Meghan and Pippa in the Royal Box on Centre Court Wimbledon in July 2019

In 2012, it was reported that NBC would offer Pippa $600,000 to be a royal correspondent but this was denied by the network.

She started having a food column in the supermarket magazine Waitrose Kitchen beginning in the spring of 2013. In June of that year, she was named a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and wrote a series of columns for the magazine.

Pippa also began writing a fortnightly sports and social column for The Sunday Telegrap.

By 2016, it was reported Pippa had been ‘quietly and diplomatically reined in’ by Prince William, who was understood to have been advising her on her future role.

Prince William was said to be aware that commercial ventures associated with the Royal Family, including Pippa’s projects, might bring difficulties of their own.

A friend of Pippa said at the time: ‘It was felt by William in particular that she needed some guidance and support.

‘It was felt something needed to be done. So Pippa has been quietly and diplomatically reined in.’

Calculated changes brought Pippa’s life as a media personality to a close, steadily replacing it with one based on charity fundraising.

She is now an ambassador for The British Heart Foundation, Disability Snowsport UK and The Mary Hare school for Deaf children.

After a three-year relationship with stockbroker Nico Jackson, Pippa started dating her long-time friend James Matthews, and the pair announced their engagement in 2016.

James is set to inherit the 10,000-acre Glen Affric estate near Inverness that his father bought in 2008. It comes with the Scottish courtesy title of ‘Laird of Glen Affric’.

James is listed as managing director of Beaufort Glen Affric.

Pippa and James Middleton arriving at Westminster Abbey for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6

Pippa announced she was engaged long-term boyfriend James Matthews in 2016. They married the following year

Pippa and James tied the knot in May 2017 at St Mark’s, Englefield, Berkshire

James, a racing driver-turned-city trader, proposed with a 3.5 carat £200,000 diamond ring on a weekend getaway at the Lake District.

The two tied the knot in May 2017 at St Mark’s Church Englefield, Berkshire, near the Middleton family home.

The couple has since welcomed three children together, Arthur, four, Grace, two, and Rose, one. 

She gave birth to her children in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, the same place where Kate gave birth to all three of her children.

Pippa and James enjoy a quiet life together with their children in Berkshire, where they own a stunning £15million estate with 150 acres of land.

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