Will Kate Middleton’s Family Profit From the Royal Wedding?

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The parents of Kate Middleton, Michael and Carole, prepare to read a statement to the media outside their home near Bucklebury, in southern England November 16, 2010. REUTERS/Stefan Rousseau/Pool

Kate Middleton’s engagement to Prince William is romantic. For her family, it could also be very lucrative.

The Middletons have their fingers in several pies that could potentially benefit from involvement in the April 29 nuptial. Her parents, Carole and Michael, run “Party Pieces,” a party planning business which sells festive paraphernalia including balloons and paper plates. Her brother James runs a baking business called the Cake Kit Company, and her sister Pippa works part-time for a catering company called Table Talk. Rumors have been circulating that they could each cash-in on Kate’s big day, though insiders say Queen Elizabeth & Co. would block any such effort. “The Royal family is very keen to ensure that the wedding is not seen as a business opportunity for the Middletons and their associates,” a courtier told the Daily Telegraph.

(Read TIME’s article, “Royal Pain: When Your Wedding Day Coincides with Prince William’s.”)

It’s highly unlikely that Party Pieces would supply goods to any Royal function. Under a “What’s Hot” section on its website, the firm lists a $9 red shovel and a $14 “Peppa the Pig Party Kit.” But it could benefit indirectly from its association with the future Mrs. William Windsor. According to the Daily Mail, a blog posted on the Party Pieces site yesterday said that “every little girl dreams of being a princess – and there’s nothing a princess likes more than throwing a party.” It went on to give tips on how to throw an “Angelic Christmas Party” by tying baubles with silver ribbon and pasting glittery snowflakes over envelopes—all of which can be purchased from Party Pieces.

(Read “Bad Scheduling: Kate Middleton and Prince William Share Royal Wedding Date with Adolf Hitler.”)

Kate has faced accusations of profiteering in the past. In March, the Guardian reported that Kate successfully sued a photo agency for invasion of privacy after they snapped pictures of her playing tennis during a holiday in Cornwall. Reports estimated that she received an apology and more than $15,000 in damages—plus legal expenses.

(See pictures of Kate Middleton.)

Despite her need for privacy, she was happy to have her picture posted on the Party Pieces web site a few weeks later along with an interview on how to throw a perfect party, and to share memories of her favorite parties as a child. That interview was quickly removed from the site.

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