Kate Middleton's mother is said to be devastated by claims she was to blame for Britain's Prince William ending his relationship with her daughter. Former air stewardess Carole, 51, has been weeping for two days after it emerged that courtiers branded her "too common" to be the prince's mother-in-law.
A source told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "Carole is at breaking point. She is in such a bad way that Kate has had to comfort her. It is so unfair that someone has got the knives out for Kate's mum. She is an innocent party."
Kate's father Michael is said to be so concerned about his wife being driven to break down by the comments he has booked a last-minute Caribbean holiday.
The source added: "Kate is not going with her parents to the Caribbean because she is concerned about the signals that would send. It was an amicable split and Kate is relaxed about the decision."
Since it was revealed the prince ended his relationship with the fashion buyer during their recent holiday, speculation has been rife that Carole was the source of the problem.
She reportedly shamed Kate at William's passing out ceremony from Sandhurst Military Academy when she greeted Queen Elizabeth by saying "Pleased to meet you", ignoring formal protocol by not addressing her as "Ma'am."
Carole is also said to have chewed gum throughout the ceremony. William is also rumored to have mocked Kate's mother for being a retired air-hostess and allegedly whispered "doors to manual" whenever she entered a room.
However, a royal source has dismissed the reports as an urban myth and the prince is said to be "horrified" by the "hurtful" attacks on Carole.
A source told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper: "William does not believe that anyone genuinely - or even remotely - connected with him would say such things and is horrified that these reports have emerged.
"He suspects there is a great deal of mischief-making going on - although who by, he has no idea - and thinks it is extremely unfair and totally unnecessary, particularly for Kate and her family."
Buckingham Palace sources have been quick to deny reports the queen disliked Kate's mother.
One said: "There have never been any meetings between the two and the queen certainly wouldn't voice an opinion on her."
Another senior aide added: "The reports which allege that the palace was horrified at Mrs Middleton's so-called behavior simply aren't true and are really quite offensive to all those concerned.
"To suggest that the palace was snobbish in any way about Miss Middleton and her family could be very damaging. That's just not the way things work nowadays."