Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is a member of the Middleton family, the daughter of Michael and Carole Middleton and sister of Pippa and James. Shortly before her royal wedding to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in April 2011, a coat of arms was granted to her father, Michael Francis Middleton, the armigerous head of the family of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Michael Francis Middleton was born in 1949 in Leeds where he spent his early years in Moortown. His father, Peter Francis Middleton (1920–2010), was a pilot who flew alongside Prince Philip as the Duke’s co-pilot on a two-month flying tour of South America in 1962. British Pathe newsreel film shows Middleton alongside the Prince during the tour.
Michael Middleton’s grandfather, (Richard) Noel Middleton (1878–1951), was, according to a BBC documentary, a solicitor who met and married aristocrat Olive Lupton in 1914. In 1921, Noel became the director of the firm his wife Olive Middleton née Lupton (1881-1936) had inherited upon her father’s death. Olive was a member of the Lupton family of Beechwood Estate who are described in the City of Leeds archives, as “woollen manufacturers and landed gentry; a political and business dynasty”.
Like his father, Peter, and grandfather Noel, Michael Middleton was educated at Clifton College, the public school in Bristol. At Clifton, all three generations of Middleton men boarded at Brown House. The archives at Clifton record that Michael Middleton was a college prefect, had represented the school at rugby in the 1st XV and had also gained his tennis colours. Middleton declined to follow in his father Peter’s footsteps of studying at New College, Oxford University.