Kate Middleton's brother James reveals how his family supported him

Princess of Wales’ brother James reveals the Middletons ‘grew as a family’ by helping him through his depression – as he pays tribute to his beloved therapy dog Ella

  • James Middleton revealed the grief he experienced after losing therapy dog
  • He said that dealing with his depression helped Middletons to ‘grow as a family’
  •  READ MORE: ‘Goodnight my darling’: James Middleton announces death of dog

The Princess of Wales’ brother James Middleton has opened up about the grief he experienced following the death of his therapy dog, Ella, and how she and his family helped him to overcome clinical depression.

In an emotional tribute to his beloved spaniel, who died at the start of this year aged 15, James said she had been with him through his lowest points as he experienced ‘challenging thoughts’. 

James also explained how his sisters, Pippa and Kate, and their parents were there for him during some very difficult times, and had the patience to help him through even when they couldn’t fully understand what he was going through.

‘I was very lucky that they were willing to be involved and understood that it’s a process, there’s no quick fix to it.

‘And understanding the way that my mind works, which may differ from theirs or other people’s is a really important part, because it was was a process for me as much as it was a process for them, and I think as a family we grew from that.’  

James Middleton made an emotional tribute to his beloved spaniel, who died at the start of this year aged 15 and acted as his therapy dog

Ella was the entrepreneur’s inspiration behind dog food brand Ella & Co and motivated him to sign up to volunteer with the charity Pets as Therapy – which he and Ella did for more than four years before her death in January.

He explained that throwing himself into its work and being surrounded by ‘many other dogs’ has helped him to cope with losing his beloved pet.

‘I was 20 when I first got her, so I was discovering myself as an adult, we grew up together we discovered things, she looked out for me and I looked out for her.

‘Ella was there for every, over the last 15 years huge moments in my life 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 anybody’, his experience meant he became ‘the person I am now’, adding that it helped the Middletons to ‘grow as a family’. 

Kate and Pippa Middleton’s brother was on the This Morning sofa discussing the work that Pets As Therapy does with vulnerable people. 

He was joined on the show by a representative from the charity, along with two doggy ‘volunteers’, Mabel and her 6-month-old daughter Isla.

Pup Isla was up to mischief as she tried to get onto the sofa throughout the show, with James joking ‘she has got some training to do’, 

James was joined on the This Morning sofa by a representative from the charity Pets as Therapy and two doggy ‘volunteers’, Mabel and her 6-month-old daughter Isla

Following her death, the entrepreneur shared this photo of him cradling Ella, taken just hours before she died

The volunteer added that he gets ‘so much reward’ from working with the dogs and seeing how they help people.

James previously told his followers Ella helped him overcome clinical depression and ‘saved his life’, and Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield asked him about how she helped him through some ‘dark thoughts’.

‘Just [by] being the consistent in my life at that time, when a lot of my friends and family and people around me were trying to help, wanted to help, but it was difficult for me to let them help.’

‘There would just be this look that she would have and the tip of her tail would just wag a little bit, and she would just know that there was something [wrong].

Mr Middleton told his followers after Ella’s death: ‘For 15 years Ella has been at my side, from my darkest days to my happiest’

Mr Middleton has previously described how Ella was the reason that he met his wife, Alizée

‘And she would just come in, she might nestle into me or put her head on my knee, just distract me, which would potentially help me stop a really challenging thought that I was having.

‘Amongst many other things she was that one thing in me that was always there and would look me in the eyes and give me the confidence that everything was going to be okay.’

One of the other ‘many things’ Ella did for James was, incredibly, to introduce him to his future wife, Alizée Thevenet.

‘Without me noticing, while I was at a restaurant [Ella] slipped away.

‘She was with this very pretty girl, so I went over to say “I hope she’s not bothering you”.

‘[Alizée] ordered her drinks thinking I was the waiter – I was very taken aback so I went and ordered her drinks for her… And a few years later we’re married!’

Until Ella’s death, James and Alizée had seven dogs, including a puppy from a litter which one of their pooches gave birth to late last year. 

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