Valerie Middleton

Grandmother of Prince William's girlfriend

VALERIE Middleton, grandmother of Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton, was a transatlantic sailor brought up in Oakwood, Leeds. Her father was Frederick Glassborow and her mother, Constance, was a Robinson before her marriage.

Valerie has died aged 82.

In 1946 she wed Peter Middleton of Roundhay, Leeds, a flying instructor, at Adel Parish Church. Her son Michael – father of Kate – was born at Chapel Allerton Nursing Home, Leeds, became an airline officer and in 1980 wed Carole, nee Goldsmith, then a stewardess.

Kate's great-grandfather, Noel Middleton, was a solicitor, a founder of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, chairman of the Northern Philharmonia and a committee member of the Leeds Music Festival which commissioned William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast and in 1931 gave it its premie re.

The Middletons were a prominent Leeds family of long standing, as was that of Kate's great-grandmother, Olive Christiana Lupton.

The Lupton family's history was compiled into a book and published in 1965.

Family homes included Beechwood in Elmete Lane and Carr Head in West Avenue, Roundhay; Mount Pleasant in Harehills; Newton Hall, Chapeltown; North Town End, Potternewton Hall; Rockland, Chapeltown; Springwood, Oakwood Lane; and The Acacia in Oakwood Garden, Leeds.

An earlier ancestor, Darnton Lupton, who lived at Newton Hall and Headingley Castle, was Mayor of Leeds in 1844 and a magistrate.

His grandchildren, Norman and Agnes, left their collection of watercolours, including some by JMW Turner, Thomas Girtin and John Sell Cotman, to Leeds City Gallery in the early 1950s.

Luptons were Lord Mayors, one was pro-vice chancellor of Leeds University from its foundation, another was treasurer and chairman of the General Infirmary and yet another was chairman of the Board of Guardians.

The family was instrumental in turning The Headrow into one of the city's major shopping thoroughfares.