Kate Middleton descends from goat breeders (but very posh ones)


We kid you not! Kate Middleton descends from goat breeders (but very posh ones who ran a herd of rare-breed goats at a Georgian mansion)

  • Duchess of Cambridge let slip that she is descended from a goat farmer 
  • Her goat-loving relatives are former Lady Mayoress of Leeds and sister Elizabeth
  • The unmarried sisters were first cousins to Kate’s paternal great-grandmother Olive Lupton and sister Anne
  • They regularly visited the estate Beechwood in Roundhay, where Elizabeth and her sister ran herd of rare breed goats


It was an unusual admission for a future Queen. On an official visit last week to a farm near the Welsh town of Abergavenny, the Duchess of Cambridge let slip a little-known snippet about her pedigree – she is descended from a goat farmer.

‘I was looking into my ancestry and there was someone there who was a rare-breed goat farmer,’ she said on a tour of Pant Farm, Llanvetherine, which supplies goat milk from its herd to a local cheesemaker. ‘I’ll have to find out which one it was. It was just after the First World War.’

Now The Mail on Sunday has done the work for Kate – and we can today reveal that she is indeed descended from a goat-breeder – though her forebears were hardly horny-handed toilers in the fields.

In fact, her goat-loving relatives are the former Lady Mayoress of Leeds, Dr Elinor Lupton, and her sister Elizabeth, who ran a herd of rare-breed goats at Beechwood, a Georgian mansion in Roundhay, seven miles north of Leeds.

Now The Mail on Sunday has done the work for Kate ¿ and we can today reveal that she is indeed descended from a goat-breeder ¿ though her forebears were hardly horny-handed toilers in the fields

Now The Mail on Sunday has done the work for Kate – and we can today reveal that she is indeed descended from a goat-breeder – though her forebears were hardly horny-handed toilers in the fields

In fact, her goat-loving relatives are the former Lady Mayoress of Leeds, Dr Elinor Lupton, and her sister Elizabeth, who ran a herd of rare-breed goats at Beechwood, a Georgian mansion in Roundhay, seven miles north of Leeds. Pictured: Elinor Lupton and Princess Mary

In fact, her goat-loving relatives are the former Lady Mayoress of Leeds, Dr Elinor Lupton, and her sister Elizabeth, who ran a herd of rare-breed goats at Beechwood, a Georgian mansion in Roundhay, seven miles north of Leeds. Pictured: Elinor Lupton and Princess Mary

The unmarried sisters were first cousins to Kate’s paternal great-grandmother Olive Lupton and her sister Anne. Olive and her children, including Kate’s grandfather Peter Middleton, regularly visited Beechwood Estate and its home farm with the famous rare breed of goats.

Elinor, who inherited the Beechwood estate after all three of Olive Middleton’s brothers died in the First World War, shared her love of animal husbandry with her friend Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary and the aunt of the current Queen, who lived nearby at the Harewood estate with her husband Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood.

Historian Michael Reed said: ‘Kate is absolutely related to goat breeders. Farming and the land are in her blood. Her great-grandmother Olive Middleton’s first cousins won awards from the Royal Agricultural Society for their expertise in rare goat breeding in the years between the world wars.’

The family house at the Beechwood estate was central to the lives of the Lupton clan – and to the Middletons once Olive Lupton had married Kate’s great-grandfather, solicitor Richard Noel Middleton.

Much of the Lupton family wealth ended up in a trust fund for Olive's four children and their descendants ¿ which paid for Kate and her siblings Pippa and James to be privately educated

Much of the Lupton family wealth ended up in a trust fund for Olive’s four children and their descendants – which paid for Kate and her siblings Pippa and James to be privately educated

In his family memoir The Next Generation, Kate’s grandfather Peter Middleton wrote: ‘We were somewhat in awe of our cousins Elinor and Bessie [Elizabeth]. 

‘Visits to them at Beechwood were always rather special occasions before which my mother held careful inspections for dirt behind the ears, clean hankies etc. 

‘An even greater ordeal was the annual Beechwood Party, for which I still remember the horrors of trying to tie a black bow tie for my first dinner jacket. Nor will I forget my terror of Elinor and Bessie’s aunt, Lady Bryce.’

The tragedy of the three brothers being killed in the First World War meant Kate’s great-grandmother Olive and her spinster sister Anne shared their father’s £70,538 inheritance, the equivalent of £5 million today.

Much of the Lupton family wealth ended up in a trust fund for Olive’s four children and their descendants – which paid for Kate and her siblings Pippa and James to be privately educated.

The young Middletons did not, however, inherit the goat herd, which was given to another farmer after Elinor died in 1979, aged 92.

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