All of a sudden, there's a lot more interest in Carole Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's 58-year-old mom and the only biological grandmother of the littlest future king of England.
With Kate and her mom extremely close, and the new parents both eager to live somewhat of a normal life, you can be sure Grannie Middleton will want to be very hands-on in her new royal role.
There's been a lot of buzz about how the Prince of Cambridge will be the first high-ranking British royal to be raised with the middle-class values that his mother was brought up with. The baby may get more privacy, which is something Prince William would want to embrace, after experiencing first-hand how intrusive the public spotlight can be for a child.
So what kind of grandmother will Carole Middleton make? She's been described as both humble and ambitious (not to mention she looks more like Kate's sister than her mom), but also a pushy social climber, who was very involved in supporting Kate's relationship with William from their university days up until the royal wedding.
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Carole and Her daughter kate are very close
Kate Middleton & Mother Carole Visit The Spirit Of Christmas Shopping Festival At London'S Olympia. (Photo by Antony Jones/Brendan Bierne/UK Press via Getty Images)
She got to visit the baby Prince of Cambridge before Charles, Camilla, or the Queen
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Carole Middleton leaves The Lindo Wing after visiting her daughter The Duchess Of Cambridge and her newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
She helped Kate hide out at her Bucklebury home in the final stretch of the pregnancy
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Carole Middleton and Pippa Middleton look on as rain stops play during the Men's Singles third round match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands on day four of the AEGON Championships at Queens Club on June 13, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
She's the daughter of a part-time truck driver
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Carole Middleton arrives at The Lindo Wing to visit her daughter Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge and her newborn son on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
She met her husband Michael when they were flight attendants for British Airways
Michael (R) and Carole Middleton (L), the parents of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watch the action from the box at centre court during play on day three of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 26, 2013. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)
They've been married for 33 years
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Carole and Michael Middleton arrive at The Lindo Wing to visit their daughter Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge and her newborn son on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
They also have a mail-order party supply company called Party Pieces, reportedly worth about 30 million pounds
Carole, right, and Michael Middleton, the parents of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, speak to the media after visiting their daughter at St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London Tuesday July 23, 2013 where the Duchess gave birth on Monday July 22. The Royal couple are expected to head to London's Kensington Palace from the hospital with their newly born son, the third in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
The couple has three kids: Kate, Pippa and James
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: (L-R) Carole, Michael James and Philippa Middleton depart the Goring Hotel in London on April 30, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
The couple has also recently upgraded to a 4-million-pound, 18-acre manor house in Berkshire
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 03: Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton sit in the Royal Box in Centre Court on day eight of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 3, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Carole has been described by media as humble and ambitious, but also pushy and a "social climber"
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Carole Middleton attends day three of Royal Ascot, Ladies Day, at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2012 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/Getty Images)
"She is certainly ambitious and industrious, qualities that some have sought to portray as faintly soiling, but could equally be regarded as to her credit," notes the Guardian.
According to the paper, her first home as a baby was her grandmother's tiny and condemned apartment in west London. She met her husband, Michael Middleton, when they were both flight attendants for British Airways, and they launched a successful party supplies company reportedly worth 30 million pounds today — which probably allowed them to afford very expensive private schools for the children and a big reno to their 4-million-pound manor in Berkshire.
Kate spent a lot of time at her parents' home before the baby was born and is reportedly planning to spend the first few weeks of her son's life there as well.
"She has already played a central role in helping her daughter to prepare for the birth of her son, and Carole Middleton will play a uniquely influential part in the upbringing of the future monarch as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge break with royal tradition," says the Daily Telegraph.
This is especially true since Kate (unlike Prince William and Harry) reportedly never had a nanny and is not expected to hire one full-time, marking the first time in centuries that in-laws have been so integral raise a future king or queen, adds the paper.
Rosemary Albone, an expert on royal nannies at caregiver services site Ca.Care.com, says that says both Kate and Will will have to consider traditional Royal Family upbringing and blending it with their own modern touch.
Will and Kate have already set a precedent as a modern-day couple, becoming the most senior members of the Royal Family to live together before marriage.
And unlike the Queen Elizabeth II, who promised to "obey" Prince Philip when they married in 1947, Kate only vowed to 'love, comfort, honour and keep" him when they wed two years ago.
We may see more of the new baby as well. "The role of the parents has changed over the years, as nannies would watch the children while their parents toured countries for extended periods. However, the role later evolved as the nanny and child would tour with the parents. This evolution provides a more parent facing role for the modern royal nanny and a life of travel with the family themselves," Albone says.
And Kate should take all the help she can get, especially when it comes to putting the child's grandparents to good use. That goes for Charles and Camilla too.
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