Carole Middleton is not only the mother to the Duchess of Cambridge, but she’s also the head of Party Pieces, her family’s lucrative business specializing in kids’ party supplies. That makes her a pretty reliable source when it comes to entertaining and hosting advice.
In her first-ever interview, Middleton, 63, shared her best tips and tricks for planning a get-together (ones she’s probably had to perfect over the years to accommodate, ya know, the Queen of England).
1. Make lists. “I start planning Christmas soon after Halloween,” Middleton told The Telegraph. “I’m a big list-maker and I try to get everyone involved.”Yes, that means delegate, delegate, delegate (even if your daughter and son-in-law are in line to the throne).
2. Provide a dress code. “When it comes to dress codes, make it clear on the invitation if you’d like people to wear black tie and long dresses,” Grandma Middleton said. “If guests call to ask what to wear, don’t be tempted to downplay it if you’re going to be formal, because they’ll feel awkward. That said, I really don’t mind what people wear when they come to supper. I rarely host anything formal.”
3. Perfect, schmerfect. “Don’t get hung up on perfection,” she said. “Often, it’s the mistakes that make things memorable.”
Sorry, Kate. We’re voting Carole for Queen (of the Party Planning Committee).