Strange Things About Pippa Middleton's Marriage

Pippa Middleton became known around the globe when her older sister, Kate Middleton, married a prince, but don't worry about her being caught in her sister's shadow — she's doing just fine.

Pippa, who studied English at the University of Edinburgh and has worked in party planning and public relations, tied the knot last summer with billionaire Brit James Matthews. Pippa's very own Prince Charming seems to be successful in everything he touches, whether it's professional race car driving or managing a hedge fund. 

Together, Pippa and James are anything but ordinary. Aside from the obvious fact that they are now the aunt and uncle to a future king, their opulent life will make it hard for you to believe they aren't actually royalty themselves. Although the title James will one day inherit makes that matter even more confusing. Intrigued? Keep reading to find out what sets this unique couple apart.

James Matthews waited ten years for Pippa Middleton

According to the Daily Mail, James Matthews knew that Pippa Middleton was the one from the moment he laid eyes on her. They reportedly met in 2007 on St. Barth's, a French island collectivity in the Caribbean, and friends said it was love at first sight — at least for James.

The pair faced roadblocks from the beginning, however. James is eight years older than Pippa and, back then, the age gap was more apparent, as she was in her early twenties while he was in his thirties. Another issue? She had a boyfriend at the time.

According to the Mail, the two stayed in touch but dated others until 2012, when they both found themselves single and dated for a few months. It didn't last, though, and Pippa moved on to a two-year relationship with stockbroker Nico Jackson. But apparently she and James were meant to be because, in late 2015, the two each ended their respective relationships and got back together. The newspaper reported that a friend said, "The truth was, the only girl he really wanted was Pippa. He always carried a torch for her."

Less than a year after they reunited, James proposed with a diamond ring reportedly worth over $300,000, and they tied the knot at her parents' estate in May 2017.

Pippa Middleton's mother reportedly 'masterminded' her engagement

It's not so common these days that a mother would be said to be the "mastermind" of her child's engagement. But a source told The Telegraph that's just what happened when it came to James Matthews and Pippa Middleton.

According to the paper, Pippa's mother, Carole Middleton, reportedly told a friend years before the engagement that she really hoped the two would get serious. A source said, "This is something she has hoped for for quite some time. She appears to be something of a mastermind in making this happen."

James reportedly had a private meeting with Carole before asking for her daughter's hand. The Telegraph reported that, after the proposal, Carole was "thrilled."

And while some had speculated that the wedding might take place at James' family estate in Scotland, Carole's influence on the couple seemed to come through in their choice to marry on the Middleton family estate instead.

Pippa Middleton's wedding cost over $1 million

While weddings in England aren't cheap (according to a 2017 poll, the average cost was £27,161, or $36,803) James Matthews and Pippa Middleton really took their nuptials to the next level, spending an estimated $1 million.

According to E! News the couple and their 350 guests celebrated with the best of everything, including $92,000 worth of champagne and wine, $20,000 in flowers, and $26,000 in the form of vintage cars and a fleet of Range Rovers to transport the wedding party and guests. E! News also reported that Middleton's up-do cost almost $1,000 and her couture Giles Deacon lace wedding gown was estimated to carry a whopping $52,000 price tag.

And, moving into the realm of the absurd, they even flew in a glass "palace" from Belgium (more on that soon) and reportedly spent $6,500 for a vintage British airplane to do aerial acrobatics over the reception.

Well, when the engagement ring costs over $300,000, it kinda makes sense the wedding would be three times that... maybe?

They flew in a 'glass palace' for their wedding reception

Apparently, when you're marrying a billionaire, your sister is a Duchess, and your nephew is a future king, not just any old wedding venue will do. 

According to the Daily Mail, rather than holding their reception in any of the many buildings in England, Pippa Middleton and James Matthews chose to fly in a glass structure (which E! News called a "palace") from another country. According to the Mail, the building was flown in from Belgium in pieces and was built over a period of several days at the Middleton estate. The cost of renting and bringing in the temporary structure was reportedly a whopping $130,000.

All wasn't completely perfect, however. The only downside to marrying in a glass palace in your parents' yard? An unfortunate lack of plumbing. According to E!, guests reportedly used portable bathrooms that were housed in a tent next to the glass building. To be fair, they were reportedly luxury Port-a-Potties.

There was a future king in Pippa Middleton and James Matthew's wedding party

Not many people can say that the future King of England was a guest at their wedding! Pippa Middleton's nephew Prince George, who is third in line to the throne, and his sister, Princess Charlotte, were both members of her wedding party. According to Harper's Bazaar, George carried a flower basket down the aisle in his role as a page, while Charlotte was a bridesmaid. 

But royalty or not, kids will be kids, and, according to the Daily Mail, George and Charlotte were reportedly scolded by their mother for bad behavior after the ceremony. They reportedly got a talking to after stepping on the train of Aunt Pippa's dress outside the church. George appeared to be crying in a photo taken after the incident.

In addition to the royal kiddos, both Prince William and Prince Harry attended the nuptials. (Harry's then-girlfriend Meghan Markle reportedly attended the reception but not the ceremony, so that her presence wouldn't distract from the bride and groom.)

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews' home has a gym, underground movie theater, and elevator

Real estate in London isn't cheap, but that's not cramping Pippa Middleton and James Matthews' style! According to the Daily Mail, the couple lives in a five-story mansion worth $22 million that's located on an exclusive street in London. 

Their home features amenities that most people can only fantasize about — a gym, an underground movie theater, an elevator to help traverse all that square footage, and a whopping six bedrooms. And if that weren't enough, the couple began renovating the property in 2017 to add even more space! According to the Mail, a new bathroom was being added to the home's second floor, along with his and hers closets. 

Not everyone is happy about the construction, however. According to the Mail, their next-door neighbor told a local council that she was worried the addition would block the light in her kitchen and on her patio. The neighbor complained, "It will completely block the sunlight which currently comes into our kitchen for a limited time in the middle of the day." She claimed that James had never spoken to her about his plans to expand his home.

They will someday be 'Laird and Lady'

Pippa Middleton's sister, Kate, became a duchess upon her marriage to Prince William, but she's not the only one in the family who will have a title. According to House Beautiful, James Matthews' billionaire father, David Matthews, holds the Scottish title of Laird of Glen Affric, and James will inherit the title once his father passes on. Pippa will then become Lady of Glen Affric.

While Kate's husband, Prince William, gained his title from being descended from a long line of kings and queens, when it comes to the Matthews family, their Lairdship was bought and paid for when David purchased the 10,000 acre Glen Affric Estate in 2008.

David turned a Victorian mansion on the property into a vacation rental called Affric Lodge, and, according to House Beautiful, many notables, including soccer player David Beckham, have stayed there. But the luxury lodgings, located only 15 miles from Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, aren't cheap to rent. The mag reported in 2017 that a three-night stay for eight people would cost about $13,000.

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews do extreme sports together

Even before they were officially a couple, Pippa Middleton and James Matthews competed in sporting events together. 

The pair, along with Pippa's brother, James Middleton, participated in a number of extreme activities to raise funds for the Michael Matthews Foundation, which was established to honor the memory of James' younger brother Michael Matthews. 

Michael died at age 22 in 1999 while hiking Mount Everest, and Pippa and James have paid tribute to his adventuresome spirit by undertaking grueling physical challenges. In 2014, Pippa and James rode bikes from Southern California to Maryland in the Race Across America event. 

And in September of 2015, shortly before they officially got together, the pair competed in the Otillo 47-mile swim-run race in Sweden. According to People, Pippa said of the grueling event, "It was one of the hardest things I've done!" She added, "The toughest part was the long swim with the cold water and big waves."

Pippa Middleton kept mum on reports of her pregnancy

Shortly before Pippa Middleton's sister, Kate, gave birth to her third child, news broke that Pippa herself was reportedly expecting. 

The Sun reported in late April 2018 that Pippa was 12 weeks along, but, for some unknown reason, neither James nor Pippa immediately confirmed the news. In contrast, sister Kate revealed all three of her pregnancies quite early on, most likely due to the fact that she suffered from an extreme form of morning sickness. 

A source told The Sun, "Pippa and James have always known they wanted children. They have made the most of their first few months of marriage and felt the time was right to expand their family."

The newspaper reported that the first people that Pippa told of the pregnancy (after her husband) were her siblings and parents, and Kate reportedly "couldn't be more delighted" to welcome a new niece or nephew. Pippa and James welcomed their first son, Arthur, in October 2018, according to People.

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews don't want to be famous

Unlike her sister, who made the conscious decision to marry into the most famous family in all of Britain, Pippa Middleton and James Matthews never made the choice to be in the public eye. In fact, Middleton struggled with her newfound fame when her sister rose into the spotlight. In her 2012 book Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends (via E! News), the not-so-royal sibling admitted, "It's a bit startling to achieve global recognition (if that's the right word) before the age of 30, on account of your sister, your brother-in-law and your bottom." (Regarding the latter portion of that quote, Middleton's backside became the subject of quite frenzied interest on the internet.) 

It shouldn't be surprising that Middleton and her husband have stayed away from the spotlight, which is no small feat considering the tenacity of British tabloids. By the looks of it, however, the couple never wanted to be famous in the first place, and especially don't want to subject their future children to the paps. According to a source that spoke to People, Middleton and Matthews have a "'deep desire' to disappear from the spotlight in the long term" and they want lead "a quiet life" after establishing their family. It's probably no coincidence that we haven't heard much about the couple since Arthur was born.