KATE, Duchess of Cambridge, has had her very unexpected ancestors tracked down after she caused a royal frenzy during a recent trip.
The Duchess said she believed she is descended from a goat farmer during a visit to Wales last week and now the unexpected ancestors have been discovered, proving “farming and the land are in her blood”. On Tuesday, Kate and Prince William, 39, marked St David’s Day by meeting young people in Wales, leaders in the agricultural sector and even tried their hands at making Welsh cakes.The couple visited Abergavenny and Blaenavon during their visit, including a stop off at Abergavenny Market.
At the start of their day in Wales, William and Kate visited Pant Farm, a goat farm near Abergavenny.While there, the Duke and Duchess heard from farmers Gary and Jess Yeomans about their decades-long work as well as the challenges and opportunities their sector face. Kate also let slip a little-known snippet about her pedigree, namely that she is descended from a goat farmer.
During a tour of Pant Farm, Llanvetherine, which supplies goat milk from its herd to a local cheesemaker, the Duchess said: “I was looking into my ancestry and there was someone there who was a rare-breed goat farmer. “I’ll have to find out which one it was. It was just after the First World War.”
Since then, the Mail on Sunday tracked down the ancestors in question to confirm that the future Queen Consort is indeed descended from a goat-breeder – though not the kind that toils in the field. Kate is related to the former Lady Mayoress of Leeds, Dr Elinor Lupton, and her sister Elizabeth, who ran a herd of rare-breed goats at Beechwood, a Georgian mansion in Roundhay, seven miles north of Leeds.
According to the outlet, the sisters were unmarried, and were first cousins to Kate’s paternal great-grandmother Olive Lupton and her sister Anne.The Beechwood estate was inherited by Elinor after all three of Olive Middleton’s brothers died in the First World War. Dr Lupton shared her love of animal husbandry with her friend Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary and the aunt of the current Queen, who lived nearby at the Harewood estate with her husband Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood.
The family home located on the estate became a pivotal part of the lives of the Lupton clan – and then to the Middletons once Olive Lupton had married Kate’s great-grandfather, solicitor Richard Noel Middleton. Olive and her children, including Kate’s grandfather Peter Middleton were regular visitors to the Beechwood Estate and its home farm which boasted a famous rare breed of goats.Historian Michael Reed said: “Kate is absolutely related to goat breeders. “Farming and the land are in her blood.
“Her great-grandmother Olive Middleton’s first cousins won awards from the Royal Agricultural Society for their expertise in rare goat breeding in the years between the world wars.” In his family memoir The Next Generation, Kate’s grandfather Peter Middleton wrote: “We were somewhat in awe of our cousins Elinor and Bessie [Elizabeth]. “Visits to them at Beechwood were always rather special occasions before which my mother held careful inspections for dirt behind the ears, clean hankies etc.
“An even greater ordeal was the annual Beechwood Party, for which I still remember the horrors of trying to tie a black bow tie for my first dinner jacket. Nor will I forget my terror of Elinor and Bessie’s aunt, Lady Bryce.”As all three of Olive’s brothers were killed in the First World War, Kate’s great-grandmother Olive and her sister Anne – who was a spinster – shared their father’s £70,538 inheritance, the equivalent of £5 million today.
Much of this wealth when into a trust fund for Olive’s four children and their descendants – which paid for Kate and her siblings Pippa and James to be privately educated.However, the Middleton family did not inherit the herd of goats, which were instead given to another farmer after Elinor died in 1979, aged 92.