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. 

22 PHOTOS
Most adorable photos of Prince William, Kate Middleton and family
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Most adorable photos of Prince William, Kate Middleton and family
Prince William holds Prince George as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gives him a toy during a visit to the Bilby Enclosure at Sydney's Taronga Zoo April 20, 2014. The Prince and his wife Kate are undertaking a 19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia with their son George. REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool (AUSTRALIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS SOCIETY)
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, leave the chapel with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis after Prince Louis's christening in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Britain, July 9, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Princess Charlotte and Prince George hold the hands of their father, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, as they arrive at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London for the christening of their brother, Prince Louis, who is being carried by their mother, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on July 09, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge pose for a photo with their newborn baby son Louis Arthur Charles as they leave the Lindo wing at St Mary's Hospital in London London, Monday, April 23, 2018.
Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, his wife Princess Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte walk past helicopters at the airfield in Hamburg Finkenwerder, Germany, July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Charisius/POOL
Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, his wife Princess Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte walk at the airfield in Hamburg Finkenwerder, Germany, July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Charisius/POOL
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge (R), his wife Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge (L), Prince George (2nd R) and Princess Charlotte arrive to attend the morning Christmas Day service at St Mark's Church in Englefield, near Bucklebury in southern England, Britain, December 25, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Matthews/Pool
Britain's Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrives to board a floatplane for their official departure from Canada in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Britain's Prince William (2nd R), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd L), Prince George and Princess Charlotte (L) watch as a man inflates balloons at a children's party at Government House in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Britain's Prince William (2nd R), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd L), Prince George and Princess Charlotte (L) watch as a man inflates balloons at a children's party at Government House in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Britain's Prince William (2nd L), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George (L) and Princess Charlotte (R) arrive at a children's party at Government House in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holding Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince William, watch a flypast as they stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony on Horseguards Parade in central London, Britain June 11, 2016. Trooping the Colour is a ceremony to honour Queen Elizabeth's official birthday. The Queen celebrates her 90th birthday this year. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Britain's Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive to board a floatplane for their official departure from Canada in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk past the crowds at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate with their son Prince George and daughter Princess Charlotte, after her christening, on July 5th 2015. REUTERS/Mary Turner/Pool
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, appear with their baby daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in London, Britain May 2, 2015. The Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a girl on Saturday, the couple's second child and a sister to one-year-old Prince George. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Britain's Prince William returns with his son George to the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, after the birth of his daughter in London, Britain May 2, 2015. Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, has given birth to a daughter, the couple's residence Kensington Palace announced on Saturday. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, carries her son Prince George alongside her husband Prince William as they visit the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, July 2, 2014. Prince George celebrates his first birthday on July 22. Picture taken July 2, 2014. REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ROYALS SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Britain's Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, holds her son Prince George as they prepare to board a plane with her husband Prince William (not pictured) to depart Canberra April 25, 2014. The Prince and his wife Kate are undertaking a 19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia with their son Prince George. REUTERS/Phil Noble (AUSTRALIA - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband Britain's Prince William, watch as their son Prince George looks at an Australian animal called a Bilby, which has been named after the young Prince, during a visit to Sydney's Taronga Zoo April 20, 2014. The Prince and his wife Kate are undertaking a 19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia with their son George. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, holds her son Prince George during a Plunket nurse and parents' group event at Government House in Wellington April 9, 2014. Plunket is a national not-for-profit organisation that provides care for children and families in New Zealand. Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate are undertaking a 19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia with their son George. REUTERS/Marty Melville/Pool (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, holds her son Prince George after disembarking with her husband, Britain's Prince William, from their plane after arriving in Wellington April 7, 2014. The Prince and his wife Kate are undertaking a 19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia with their son George. REUTERS/Phil Noble (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge appear with their baby son, outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in central London July 23, 2013. Kate gave birth to the couple's first child, who is third in line to the British throne, on Monday afternoon, ending weeks of feverish anticipation about the arrival of the royal baby. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH)
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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.”

See Kate before she was a duchess:

27 PHOTOS
Kate Middleton before she was a royal
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Kate Middleton before she was a royal
An adorable Kate smiles at the camera, age five.
Kate skis in the Klosters with William and family.
A 3 year-old Kate wearing bright stripes.
ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JUNE 23: New graduate Kate Middleton attends the graduation ceremony at St Andrews University to collect his 2:1 Master of Arts Degree in Geography in St Andrew's on June 23, 2005, St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON - MAY 14: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Kate Middleton (C) and guests attend the book launch party of The Young Stalin: The Adventurous Early Life Of The Dictator 1878-1917 by Simon Sebag Montefiore, at Asprey May 14, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton leaves the paddock enclosure on the first day of the Cheltenham Race Festival at Cheltenham Race course, in Gloucestershire 13 March 2007. (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
ETON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 18: Prince William kisses Kate Middleton, after playing the Field Game in an old boys match at Eton College on March 18, 2006 in Eton, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
Kate Middleton, former girlfriend of Prince William and an unknown friend chat as they watch a performance at Wembley stadium in north London, 01 July 2007, as 60 000 revellers join Princes William and Harry for the six-hour long extravaganza in memory of their late mother Diana. Prince William, who turned 25 on June 21, predicted it would be 'an incredible night' of music after watching preparations being made yesterday for the event which is timed for what would have been his mother's 46th birthday. Police were on high alert as the huge concert got under way, a day after Britain raised its security threat level to maximum. (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
PANGBOURNE, UNITED KINGDOM - UNDATED: In this undated collect photo provided by St Andrew's School, Kate Middleton (front row, C) is pictured in a hockey team photo during her time as a pupil at St Andrew's School in Pangbourne, Berkshire, England (1986-1995). Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge re-visited her former school on November 30, 2012 to take part in a day of activities and festivities to mark the occasion of St Andrew's Day. The Duchess visited the Pre-Prep School for under-5s, unveiled a plaque to officially open a new artificial turf playing field and met members of the school's hockey team, which she played for during her time as a pupil at the school. She was also given a private tour of the school and watched the school's Progressive Games which are traditional games played indoors by teachers and students on St Andrew's Day. (Photo provided by St Andrew's School - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Prince William, attends the second day of the Gatcombe Park Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park near Tetbury, England. Anwar Hussein/allactiondigital.com *** Local Caption *** Zara Phillips
Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Prince William.
Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Prince William, during their graduation ceremony. William got a 2:1 in geography after four years studying for his Master of Arts.
Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Prince William, does some shopping when she attends the second day of the Gatcombe Park Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park near Tetbury, England. Anwar Hussein/allactiondigital.com *** Local Caption *** Zara Phillips
Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Prince William, leaves St Cyriac's Church, Lacock, Wiltshire, following the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles and Harry Lopes.
Kate Middleton, the girlfriend of Prince William, watches from the side-lines as he plays polo for the Highgrove team at Cirencester Park Polo Club.
Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton smiles at Sandhurst, where graduates, including Prince William, marched in today's Sovereign's parade.
Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton enjoy the rugby as England play Italy in the RBS Six Nations Championship at Twickenham.
Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton enjoy the rugby as England play Italy in the RBS Six Nations Championship at Twickenham.
Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Prince William, at the races on the last day of Cheltenham Festival.
Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Prince William, at the races on the last day of Cheltenham Festival.
Kate Middleton (second right), former girlfriend of Prince William, walking the cross country course at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
Kate Middleton, former girlfriend of Prince William, walking the cross country course at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
Kate Middleton (centre), former girlfriend of Britain's Prince William (not pictured), during today's star-studded pop concert in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Kate Middleton, girlfriend of Prince William, hosting Time to Reflect, an exhibition of limited edition photographs of celebrities by Alistair Morrison, at the Bluebird, London which Miss Middleton arranged to raise funds for UNICEF.
Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton walk in RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire after William received his RAF wings from his father the Prince of Wales.
Prince William (standing left) on his birthday with girlfriend Kate Middleton (standing right) watch the William De Broe Polo Test Match featuring England v New Zealand at the Beaufort Polo Club near Westonbirt. England won the match 6-4.
Prince William with his girlfriend Kate Middleton in the audience during the graduation ceremony at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire.
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