One could take a look at Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—the three children of the Prince and Princess of Wales—and, at bare minimum, ascertain their privilege. But their uncle James Middleton—Kate’s younger brother—is calling them “lucky,” and it’s for a reason you may not expect.
Yes, the Wales children are royalty, will never want for anything, and are growing up around palaces and castles. But that’s not why Middleton considers them lucky—it’s because they’ve always had a dog in their home, he says in a new interview with OK. Middleton, who is a devout dog lover, says he is “really pleased” that his nephews and niece are growing up with a pet. William and Kate’s first family dog, Lupo, was a puppy from Middleton’s beloved dog Ella’s litter, and after Lupo died, the Wales family’s current dog, Orla, was also a gift from Middleton.
“I’m really pleased that they are able to enjoy and have the benefit of a dog in their lives,” he says. “I see them being lucky that they have a dog in their life.”
Middleton—who royal aficionados probably can’t imagine not having a dog—recalls not having a pup until he was a teenager, and that he would “write letters to my parents to try to convince them to let me have one,” he says. Eventually, parents Michael and Carole relented, and they got a golden retriever named Tilly.
“I found a lot of solace in my dog, Tilly, particularly when I was a young teenager,” Middleton says. “She knew all of my secrets at the time—who I fancied and all of those little tricky parts that come with growing up that I never told anybody.”
Middleton is perhaps most known for his close bond with dog Ella, who died in January. Middleton wrote an essay in The Sunday Times where he revealed that “all the family” came to Ella’s burial, and he wrote “I can’t speak for them, but I believe she influenced their lives, too. Lupo, Catherine and William’s dog, was one of Ella’s puppies. My sister Pippa and her husband have a pup from Ella, as do other family members.” In fact, when Middleton attended King Charles’ Coronation earlier this month, he brought along a memento of Ella in the form of her image on a pin. “Ella still comes with me everywhere I go…even to the coronation,” he wrote on Instagram.