INTERIOR DECORATOR & ROMANCE AUTHOR, 55
I find it a ridiculous story, becoming engaged just before my 16th birthday [to Chris Madden, then a carpenter, now CEO of a global payment processing company] and getting married at 18 – what were my parents thinking? At 20 I thought it might be nice to have a baby; from a young age I knew I wanted to be a mother. So I started crocheting dozens of booties, and my husband fitted out a lovely wardrobe, and I thrived on it from the moment I had Fleur. I loved it.
I recall someone saying to me that you can make of motherhood what you want – you can be the CEO of that job if you wish – and that’s what I did. No matter what else I’ve done in my life, it’s what I’ve loved the most. I had Nicholas four years later. When he was born, Fleur was so mature it seemed like a much bigger age gap; she was so bossy when it came to looking after him.
We’ve always been very close – my husband is the strong, silent type and Nick is the strong, silent type, junior – but Fleur has my words. She’s my biggest confidante and, as we’ve got older, our age gap has got even smaller. Now I think it’s beautiful that Fleur sometimes gives me back the advice that I gave her. Often when she achieves something fabulous, people say, ‘Oh, you must have taught her well’, but I feel like she’s gone far beyond what we taught her. I feel like now she’s showing us how it’s done.
I think Fleur Madden can well and truly take credit for what she’s achieved. It’s a privilege to be her mother – I wouldn’t trade that for being her friend.
“I feel like she’s gone far beyond what we taught her. I feel like now she’s showing us how it’s done.”