NATALYA WILSON investigates William and Kate’s Yorkshire lineage, while MAXINE GORDON meets a member of Kate’s family who has been invited to Friday’s wedding.

NORTHERN links to the royal family throughout history have been tenuous – even Richard III, famed for his York connections, was a southerner, the former Duke of Gloucester. Even when we go back to the War of the Roses in search of a strong Yorkshire link with our monarchs, it turns out that the members of the House of York were all southerners.

To find true Yorkshire kings and queens we have to delve much further back, to Viking times.

However, when Kate Middleton marries Prince William, our future king, she will bring strong links with Yorkshire. Although she was born in Berkshire, her father’s family were prominent in Leeds.

Kate’s father, Michael, who is descended from Sir Thomas Fairfax, a Parliamentarian general in the civil war, was born in Leeds and her great-grandmother, Olive, was a member of the Lupton family, who were prominent wool merchants in the city and also active in municipal work.

One of her ancestors, Francis Martineau Lupton, was an alderman of Leeds council in the 19th century while his brothers, Charles and Hugh, held the office of Lord Mayor, and another brother, Arthur, was a pro-vice chancellor of Leeds University.

Olive, Francis’s eldest daughter, married Noel Middleton, who came from a long line of Leeds solicitors, and so linked the two families.

As for William’s lineage, there are some credible Yorkshire connections, as the Duchess of Kent is from Ryedale and the current Earl of Harewood, a member of the Lascelles family, is the Queen’s cousin.

His mother was Princess Mary, daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, who married Lord Lascelles and lived first at Goldsborough Hall, near Harrogate, and then Harewood House near Leeds from 1930 until she died. Meanwhile, the Earl of Halifax, who owns Garrowby Stud near York, is one of Prince Charles’s best friends.

Kate and William have spent a fair amount of time in Yorkshire. In the early part of 2008, Prince William came to RAF Linton-on-Ouse as part of his RAF training, during which time he was known as Flying Officer Wales.

During his time at Linton, Prince William stunned diners at the York curry house Saffron Desi by turning up unannounced with 47 of his friends and colleagues and ordering a house special, aptly named Royal Delight. The dish was a favourite of his mother, Princess Diana, for whom chef Asad Malik cooked at a function at London’s Dorchester Hotel.

In January, princes William and Harry stopped at the Ship Inn in Aldborough near Boroughbridge, when they were in the village for the wedding of their friends, Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, the son of Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, 8th Baronet and Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, and Louise Stourton, the daughter of Edward Stourton, the 24th Baron Stourton. The wedding was also attended by Kate Middleton.

William was an usher for Harry, one of his oldest friends and a fellow former pupil at Eton, and Princess Beatrice was also among the guests. As he was leaving the service, Prince William joked to the waiting crowds, “It’s not my wedding yet”. The reception was held at Allerton Park, between York and Knaresborough.

Although Prince William and Kate Middleton are getting married at Westminster Abbey, how lovely would it have been if they had chosen York Minster as their wedding venue? We did have a royal wedding here in 1961, that of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, at which the then ten-year-old Princess Anne was a bridesmaid. The Duchess was Katherine Worsley of Hovingham Hall, near Malton, and crowds turned out in their thousands to see the first royal wedding held in York since Edward III married Philippa of Hainault in 1328.

Kate’s clan ‘discreet and uncolourful’

CREAM, thick and crisp: the invitation is to the event of the year.

It reads: “The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by the Queen to invite Mr David Middleton to the marriage of HRH Prince William of Wales KG with Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on Friday, April 29, 2011 at 11am.”

David Middleton, 83, lives quietly in a leafy street, just 15 miles from York. As a distant relative of Kate Middleton, he admits it was “very handsome” of the family to invite him to the wedding.

Kate, he explains, is his “second cousin once removed”. Over a cup of coffee and a shortbread slice, David brings out the family tree, painstakingly drawn out in black pen, to explain the family tie.

Noel Middleton, Kate’s great, great grandfather, was the younger brother of Gilbert, David’s grandfather.

The Middleton family were solicitors. The eldest sons, including Gilbert and David, worked for the family firm, although Noel worked outside the business.

Portraits and photographs of Kate’s ancestors adorn the walls of David’s modest home. In the hall, in a large frame, is a black and white picture of William Middleton, who was born in Wakefield in 1807. In the dining room is a print of William’s son, John William, who was a solicitor in Leeds in the mid-1800s. His son, Noel, married Olive Lupton, from a prominent family in Leeds.

David, who is widowed and has three grown-up children and five grandchildren, is proud of the Middleton clan and the legal business that spawned five generations.

He said: “If you ask about us, I say that the eldest sons carried on the family business as lawyers. We are quiet, discreet and uncolourful.” He is quick to point out there are no “black sheep” in the family.

David reconnected with the family last year at the funeral of Peter Middleton – son of Noel – and grandfather to Kate. Peter died last year, only days before the royal engagement was announced.

“I went to Peter’s funeral, being the most senior member of the family, and met so many people in the family. It was so interesting to meet them; they were a very interesting and pleasant lot.”

Kate and Prince William attended the funeral and it was the first time David had seen the young couple together.

“There was talk about an engagement and I was very pleased to meet them,” said David.

It was the third family funeral in a matter of months for the Middletons as Peter’s brothers, Christopher, from Boston Spa, and Tony, from Poppleton, died last April. Their funerals took place on the same day, and Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole, attended both.

The wedding at Westminster Abbey on Friday will be a happier occasion. David will be going down to London with his son, Andrew, and family, who live in Cawood, and will be attending a family party for the Middletons, at The Goring Hotel.

It is expected that Kate’s parents will call in to visit after the festivities at Buckingham Palace.

Speaking of the royal couple, David, who will wear a morning suit for the occasion, said: “People seem to wish them well. I think they come across as friendly and well found.

“They have known each other for nine years; they must know each other’s faults by now!”

Are you a Kate lookalike?

In celebration of the royal wedding, McArthurGlen’s York Designer Outlet is offering York’s best Kate Middleton lookalike the chance to win £250 in shopping vouchers to spend in the centre.

The winner will enjoy a shopping spree with Alison Rockett, the centre’s resident style consultant, taking advantage of the outlet’s 120-plus leading designer and fashion brands (including Calvin Klein, LK Bennett, Phase Eight and Ted Baker) with prices discounted up to 60 per cent.

Alison, who has helped hundreds of women discover how to become body confident, will enhance your shopping experience, giving expert advice on top trends for the season and guiding you on the styles and colours to best suit your shape and personality.

The style consultations are free and perfect ahead of an event, such as a day at the races, a wedding or a holiday, or just to help revamp a wardrobe and get the designer look for less.

For a chance of winning, send a recent picture of yourself with your name, address, home and mobile telephone numbers to Kate Competition, Features, The Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York, YO1 9YN or email

Deadline: Friday, May 6, 2011. The winner will be chosen according to the best Kate Middleton lookalike and may be invited to take part in a future feature for The Press.

For more information on McArthurGlen’s York Designer Outlet, or to book a style consultation, visit or phone 01904 682700 You can follow McArthurGlen’s York Designer Outlet on Facebook at: