Kate Middleton's younger brother has an unusual hobby — and the coolest set of wheels in London

Friends for Life Ambassador James Middleton with his dogs Luna, Inka Ella and Mabel Friends for Life award Crufts photocall, London, UK - 18 Feb 2020 The Kennel Club and James Middleton have announced the five hero dogs that will compete in the public vote for the prestigious Friends for Life award at Crufts 2020.
Credit: Flick Digital/Shutterstock

Happy birthday, James Middleton!

Kate Middleton‘s younger brother celebrated his 33rd birthday on April 15, and although he hasn’t shared how he’s spending the big day, it’s sure to be full of time with his beloved dogs.

Beyond his Instagram-friendly pups, there’s so much more to the animal-loving little brother of the future queen:

He’s “Proud” to be Kate and Pippa’s Little Brother

In a 2016 interview with the Daily Mail, James revealed that he’s always been best known as the Middletons’ younger sibling, even before becoming the brother-in-law of the future king.

“It’s always been, whether at school or now, that I am Pippa and Catherine’s little brother. It’s probably going to be the story of my life,” he said. “[But] I am James Middleton. I am very proud to be ‘the little brother of…’ but, equally, they are proud that I am who I am.”

Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Day 4, The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, UK - 05 Jul 2018
Pippa and James Middleton
| Credit: James Gourley/BPI/Shutterstock

James Is an Entrepreneur

He’s the cofounder of Boomf, a personalized marshmallow business started in 2013. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — mom Carole Middleton started a successful party supplies business called Party Pieces.

He Bravely Shared His Battle with Depression

In a op-ed for the Daily Mail published in Jan. 2019, James opened up about his battle with depression, recounting his darkest moments before seeking treatment. He recalled how he would struggle to get through the day during the worst of his depression.

“During the day I’d drag myself up and go to work, then just stare with glazed eyes at my computer screen, willing the hours to tick by so I could drive home again,” he wrote. “Debilitating inertia gripped me. I couldn’t respond to the simplest message so I didn’t open my emails.”

“I couldn’t communicate, even with those I loved best: my family and close friends,” James continued. “I know I’m richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression. It is tricky to describe the condition. It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind.”

His Dogs Are Part of the Family

Dogs Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu (black cocker spaniels) and Mabel (a golden retriever) are James’ constant companions, as seen in his many Instagram posts starring the furry crew.

James even credits his pets with helping him through his depression.

“I recognize, too, the role my dogs — Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu and Mabel — have played in my recovery,” he wrote in the Daily Mail.

“Ella, particularly, has been my constant companion for ten years and she’s been with me to all my therapy sessions. In her own particular way, she has kept me going,” he said. “As a result, Ella and I now volunteer with the Pets As Therapy charity and Ella is a fully-fledged therapy dog for PAT.”

James Has the Coolest Ride in London

Kate’s little brother is known to bring his dogs along for his outings, loading the crew into a special bike with a compartment for them to ride.

In 2019, the famous set of pet-friendly wheels was stolen, leaving James and his dogs “devastated.”

He wrote on Instagram, “Taking the dogs out on the bike brings me so much joy and to all those we meet on the way.”

James Middleton
James Middleton
| Credit: James Middleton/Instagram

James got a replacement and the original bike was eventually found, although it was damaged. James made the best of the situation, restoring the original ride with the help of bike manufacturer Babboe and donating it to the animal charity, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

He Has a Sweet Hobby

James revealed he has a surprise hobby that is also helping him de-stress: beekeeping!

“Many of you know I am passionate about dogs, but not many know I am almost as passionate about bees,” he wrote on Instagram.

James Middleton beekeeping
James Middleton

Kate’s sibling went on to say that he has 10 hives in Bucklebury, where the Middleton family resides.

“I’m fascinated by the little creatures. From their waggle dance to the queen laying her own body weight in eggs a day… there‘s a lot to be said about these humble little creatures,” he continued.

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He’s Soon to Be a Married Man

James popped the question to French financial analyst Alizee Thevenet in Sept. 2019 — and “She said OUI.”

He confirmed the news on Instagram, writing, “Our secret is out but we couldn’t be happier to share the news,” adding a sweet hashtag with their couple nickname, Jalizee, as well as some celebratory emojis.