By Harry Mottram: Despite living what many would see as an A-list celebrity lifestyle with Royal Family events and buying a £5 million pound house Michael and Carole Middleton’s company owed £2.6 million when it went bust this spring.

With an unpaid tax bill of £612,685 for their insolvent firm Party Pieces and £218,749 owed to RBS bank for a Coronavirus Business Interruption loan, £456,008 to other creditors and £1.4million in unsecured loans it’s a shocking list of debt. 

The national media have not been slow to point out the anomaly of two well-heeled shareholders of walking away leaving unsecured creditors with unpaid invoices. In the Mail Online reporters Richard Eden and Andy Buckwell noted: “Creditors have been left furious as a party paraphernalia business founded by the parents of the Princess of Wales has run into £2.6million of debt.  Party Pieces Holdings, run by Michael and Carole Middleton, helped send the couple’s three children to £42,930-a-year Marlborough College as well as buy a £4.7million manor house in Berkshire. But at least one businessman is now accusing the Princess of Wales’s mother of ‘betrayal’, amid cries of disbelief about the amount of debt the company has racked up.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said there was an old adage in business that company directors are all too keen to take credit for their business when it makes a profit but shy away from taking responsibility when it makes a loss. He said it is a tragedy for the suppliers left with unpaid invoices as it was possible had seen the Middletons as being so famous they could not fail in business.

The Mail Online reported on a string of debts left by the couple who sold the business in a prepack but dumping the debts to the anger of a number of small businesses with their landlord owed £57,480. The sale to James Sinclair for £180,000 was for stock worth £120,000 and £60,000 for intellectual property, computers, contracts and other equipment meant the suppliers were left with nothing.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said that just because a firm is a household name or the owners are celebrities as it this case there is no reason to grant them extra credit. He said: “Stick to your credit terms and if they start to make excuses about not paying your invoices put them on stop immediately.”

Picture of Carole Middleton and her daughter the Princess of Wales. Credit BBC


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About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website or email Ian at on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

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