Prince William & James Middleton Might Be Closer Than We Thought

Prince William has a close relationship with the Middletons. He feels particularly drawn to Kate Middleton's parents and their dedication to their children, which has inspired his own goals as a parent. "He admires the way that Carole and Michael brought up Catherine, Pippa and James and that seems to be reflected in the way William is a down-to-earth father now," Rachael Andrews, host of the "Keeping Up With The Windsors" podcast, told OK! in 2022. And his tight bond extends to Kate's siblings, James and Pippa. 

William appreciates that Pippa, who has a close relationship with Kate, is discreet and reliable. But beyond that, he enjoys her company. "She also has the same easy manner and sense of humor that attracted him to Catherine in the first place," royal expert Jennie Bond told OK! in 2023. As such, he has no issues splitting the holidays so that Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis get to spend time with their maternal family. 

While William and Kate tend to spend Christmas Day following royal family traditions in Sandringham, the Prince and Princess of Wales are known to take the trip to Berkshire for Boxing Day. And the Middletons love their son-in-law right back. When William and Kate's engagement was announced in November 2010, Carole and Michael shared their enthusiasm with the world. "We're extremely fond of him," Michael said. James may not receive as much media attention as his siblings, but that doesn't mean he is any less close to his brother-in-law.

Prince William inspired James Middleton to open up about depression

In 2019, James Middleton discussed his mental health journey publicly for the first time. It wasn't a decision his parents supported, buthe went ahead and penned an essay for the Daily Mail about his depression diagnosis anyway. His biggest motivator was Kate Middleton and Prince William's work in promoting mental health. "I feel compelled to talk about it openly because this is precisely what my brother-in-law Prince William, my sister Catherine and Prince Harry are advocating," James wrote.

William, as it turns out, admires James just as much. "He's highly thought of," royal historian Gareth Russell told GB News in April. As is the case in his relationship with Pippa Middleton, the Prince of Wales appreciates that James and the Middletons will protect his family's privacy. "All the evidence we have suggests a very loving and close relationship with the family," Russell said. And William knows he can count on James for more practical reasons, too.

Amid Kate's cancer diagnosis and treatment, James cleared his schedule so he could be available at a moment's notice while Kate recovered in their Windsor home, which is just about 30 miles from James' mansion in Berkshire, the Daily Mail reported. William has also supported his brother-in-law. In 2021, William attended James' wedding but ensured to stay in the background. "Prince William and Kate were there but they did not want to steal the show from the newlyweds," officiant François Arizzi told People

Prince William's dogs were gifts from James Middleton

James Middleton gave Prince William and Kate Middleton one of their greatest gifts. In 2012, William and Kate adopted a puppy born to James' beloved cocker spaniel, Ella. The pup, Lupo, seen above, became the perfect addition to their growing family. During Kate's first pregnancy, Lupo acted as her loyal companion, accompanying her on walks and helicopter rides. When Prince George was born in July 2013, Lupo was featured in his first official photos.

Even after William became a father, he continued to place Lupo among his primary concerns. "For me, Catherine, and now little George are my priorities. And Lupo," he told CNN. And Lupo took the news of becoming a big brother rather well. "He's been slobbering sort of around the house a bit, so he's perfectly happy," he added. William and Kate had to say goodbye to Lupo in November 2020, when he died after a short illness. "He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much," the royals shared on Instagram.

James also mourned Lupo's death. "Rest in peace Lupo. Tilly & Mini will be waiting for you," he wrote on Instagram, referring to dogs he's lost. Shortly before Lupo died, James gave George, Charlotte, and Louis another black cocker spaniel named Orla. "I'm really pleased that they are able to enjoy and have the benefit of a dog in their lives," he told OK!