Princess Kate Middleton’s mother Carole Middleton is “desperately” trying to shield her from a devastating new blow to the family as she undergoes cancer treatment, Us Weekly can exclusively reveal.

Carole, 69, and her husband, Michael Middleton, who are also parents to Pippa and James Middleton are facing serious debt that they are reportedly unable to pay off.

According to the UK’s The Times newspaper, the pair cannot come up with the “£260,000 (over $329,000) insolvency firm costs” for their embattled business The Party Pieces Company.

The firm responsible for handling the insolvency of Carole’s business has acknowledged the couple cannot pay the total fees.

The Party Pieces Company, set up by the Middletons back in 1987, went into administration last June, owing creditors £2.6 million.

But as the family deals with their business woes, Us has learned that Carole, who has been by Kate’s side during her cancer battle, is determined to stop her daughter from worrying about their problems.

“Carole is desperately trying to keep Catherine fully focused on her recovery,” a source tells Us. “It’s a very worrying time for the family but they are not looking for any assistance from their children and don’t want them to worry.

“Catherine and her parents are very close and they always check in with each other, but talk about the business is off limits as she needs to focus on her health.”

Royal commentator Afua Hagan also tells Us, “Carole will be doing all she can right now to stop her daughter from stressing as she undergoes chemotherapy.

“It’s a stressful time at the moment and she will be pulling out all the stops to shield her daughter from this,” Hagan says. “Party Pieces has collapsed and it’s been devastating for the family, but Carole will be most concerned about Kate’s well-being right now.”

Interpath Advisory was appointed to manage its collapse. According to The Times, it has found itself unable to cover all costs as the rapidly increasing sum surpasses $329,000.

It has also meant that Interpath’s team were not able to recoup the total fees for the work by its restructuring professionals, who were charging an “average hourly rate of £566 ($716).” At the time, reports suggested that Carole had been left “upset and deeply disappointed” by the situation.

Before marrying Prince William, Kate worked as project manager for Party Pieces. She ended her time with them ahead of her and the prince’s 2011 wedding.

A royal aide told People magazine at the time, “She has handed over her work to colleagues and is now preparing for her future life.”

In 2021, there were reports that Party Pieces had faced a major loss of over £250,000 ($316,000) following the effects of the pandemic. Despite this, the business launched a retail partnership in the U.S.

“It’s very exciting to see our Party Pieces Collection expanding into the US starting with Saker ShopRites, a leading retailer in New Jersey and family-owned business with a long history of commitment to the customers and communities its stores serve,” Carole said at the time.

However, soon after, the future of the business looked uncertain as two of their three financial backers, lingerie tycoon Steven Bentwood and former chairman of Oxford United Football Club, Darryl Eales, stepped down as directors.

Then the business appointed consultancy Interpath to give them “options”, which, according to the U.K.’s The Daily Telegraph, included “a sale or finding new investors.” The business then fell into administration, with over £2.5 million ($3.16 million) of debt.

“Due to the company’s cash flow challenges and inability to secure additional funding, rescuing the company… is not achievable,” a report filed to Companies House in June of 2023.

A close friend of Carol’s told the Daily Mail at the time: “Carole is understandably upset and deeply disappointed in this situation. Over the past five months she really has done her best to find a buyer, who not only would take the business forward, but would also honor any outstanding debts.”

“Carole believes in accountability and accepts she had been a little naïve to step back and trust someone else to run the business she had spent decades nurturing and it’s been desperately sad to see the company sold off in this way.”

In the meantime, Carole has been doing the balancing act of dealing with her company’s troubles and rallying around Kate.

“Her mom has been staying with her to help her recuperate,” a source exclusively told Us last month after Kate was pictured in a car driven by Carole. Kensington Palace confirmed on March 22 that Kate had been diagnosed with cancer. According to a second insider, doctors discovered her cancer during her abdominal surgery earlier this year.

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