Kate Middleton’s brother James reveals how his family supported him
The Princess of Wales’s brother, James Middleton, has opened up about the grief he experienced following the death of his therapy dog Ella, and how she and her family helped him overcome clinical depression.
In an emotional tribute to her beloved spaniel, who died earlier this year aged 15, James said she had been with him through his lowest moments as he experienced “challenging thoughts”.
James also explained how his sisters, Pippa and Kate, and his parents were there for him through some very difficult times and had the patience to help him even when they couldn’t fully understand what he was going through.
“I was very lucky that they were willing to get involved and understood that it is a process, there is no quick fix.
“And understanding the way my mind works, which may be different from theirs or other people’s, is a very important part, because it was a process for both me and them, and I think we grew as a family.” From that.’
James Middleton paid an emotional tribute to his beloved spaniel, who passed away earlier this year at age 15 and acted as his therapy dog.
She was the inspiration for the entrepreneur behind the Ella & Co dog food brand and motivated him to sign up as a volunteer with the Pets as Therapy charity, which he and Ella did for more than four years before her death in January.
He explained that throwing himself into his work and being around “many other dogs” has helped him cope with the loss of his beloved pet.
“I was 20 years old when I first got her, so I was discovering myself as an adult, we grew up together, we discovered things, she took care of me and I took care of her.
“She’s been there for all the great moments in my life over the last 15 years and it was a really challenging time to prospect the next phase of my life without her.”
He explained that while he would “never wish depression on anyone”, his experience meant that he became “the person I am now”, adding that he helped the Middletons “grow as a family”.
Kate and Pippa Middleton’s brother was on the sofa at This Morning discussing the work Pets As Therapy does with vulnerable people.
He was joined on the show by a representative from the charity, along with two ‘volunteer’ dogs, Mabel and her 6-month-old daughter Isla.
Pup Isla was getting into mischief as she tried to get on the couch throughout the show, with James joking “she’s got some training to do.”
James was joined on the This Morning sofa by a representative of the Pets as Therapy charity and two ‘volunteer’ dogs, Mabel and her 6-month-old daughter, Isla.
After her death, the businessman shared this photo of him cradling Ella, taken just hours before she died.
The volunteer added that he gets “a lot of reward” from working with the dogs and seeing how they help people.
James previously told his followers that Ella helped him overcome clinical depression and “saved his life”, and Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield asked him how she helped him overcome some “dark thoughts”.
‘Fair [by] to be consistent in my life at that time, when many of my friends, family and people around me were trying to help, wanted to help, but it was hard for me to let them help.’
‘There would just be this look that she would have and the tip of her tail would just move a little bit, and she would just know there was something. [wrong].
Mr Middleton told his followers after Ella’s death: “For 15 years, Ella has been by my side, from my darkest days to my happiest.”
Mr Middleton has previously described how Ella was the reason he met his wife, Alizée.
And she’d just come in, she could snuggle into me or put her head on my knee, just distract me, potentially helping me stop a really challenging thought I was having.
“Among many other things, she was that thing in me that was always there and looked me in the eye and gave me the confidence that everything was going to be okay.”
One of the ‘many other things’ Ella did for James was, incredibly, introducing him to his future wife, Alizée Thevenet.
‘Without my noticing, while I was in a restaurant [Ella] slipped out.
“I was with a very cute girl, so I went up to her and said ‘I hope I’m not bothering you.’
‘[Alizée] I ordered their drinks thinking that I was the waiter. I was very puzzled so I went and ordered her drinks for her… And a few years later we got married!
Until Ella’s death, James and Alizée had seven dogs, including a pup from a litter one of their dogs gave birth to late last year.