How James’s spaniel helped to un­leash love

The Sunday Independent - - METRO -

HE was con­sid­ered one of the most el­i­gi­ble bach­e­lors in Bri­tain. But that is all in the past af­ter James Mid­dle­ton had a chance meet­ing with a stun­ning French City worker – bro­kered by his dog.

It ap­pears that the duchess of Cam­bridge’s 31-year-old brother is well and truly off the mar­ket hav­ing struck up a new ro­mance.

He was spot­ted kiss­ing Al­izee Thevenet, 29, dur­ing his New Year’s fam­ily get­away to the Caribbean is­land of St Barts this week.

A friend re­vealed yes­ter­day that Thevenet had no idea who Mid­dle­ton was when she struck up a con­ver­sa­tion with him at a Lon­don club last year af­ter say­ing hello to his cocker spaniel, Ella.

“They met in the South Kens­ing­ton Club. Al­izee was hav­ing a drink with friends and James was at a dif­fer­ent ta­ble,” the friend.

“She said hello to his dog, Ella, and they started chat­ting.

“Af­ter Al­izee went back to her ta­ble, James asked the waiter to give her a note say­ing, ‘I never nor­mally do this, but would you like to go for a drink with me?’ He also picked up their tab. A few weeks later, they went out for a drink to­gether.”

The friend added: “It wasn’t un­til af­ter they’d met for a drink that Al­izee re­alised who he was – one of her friends had to tell her. They met thanks to Ella.”

Thevenet is a keen skier who speaks four lan­guages thanks to her time spent in coun­tries in­clud­ing Chile, In­done­sia and Bel­gium while grow­ing up.

She lives in Chelsea af­ter mov­ing to the UK six years ago and has a mas­ter’s de­gree in in­vest­ment and finance from Queen Mary Univer­sity, Lon­don.

Her LinkedIn pro­file lists her strengths as “team spirit, good com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, high work ethic and ded­i­ca­tion to suc­cess” and notes her “multi­na­tional back­ground”.

It adds: “I am a re­sult-driven in­di­vid­ual with good plan­ning and or­gan­i­sa­tional skills with at­ten­tion to de­tails. I have a demon­strated abil­ity to find so­lu­tions to prob­lems us­ing my creativ­ity and rea­son­ing. I am al­ways open to new ideas.”

Her fa­ther, Jean-Gabriel Thevenet, runs a ru­ral bed-and-break­fast called Le Moulin de Chas­saing near Li­mo­ges in cen­tral France.

Mid­dle­ton con­firmed his split from his on-off girl­friend, TV pre­sen­ter Donna Air, at the be­gin­ning of last year af­ter a five-year ro­mance.

He and his new love saw in the New Year with his mother Ca­role Mid­dle­ton, sis­ter Pippa, her hus­band James Matthews and their baby son Arthur, as well as Pippa’s brother-in­law Spencer Matthews and his wife Vogue Wil­liams.

She gave birth to her first child only 11 weeks ago, but Pippa Matthews is al­ready back to her pre-baby shape. The 35-year-old showed off her wash­board stom­ach dur­ing the fam­ily’s hol­i­day on St Barts this week.

The new mother wore a white cro­chet Biondi bikini with blue trim as she swam off the beach with her hus­band, 43.

The duchess of Cam­bridge’s sis­ter and her fi­nancier hus­band, who mar­ried in May 2017, have kept a rel­a­tively low pro­file since the birth of their son Arthur on Oc­to­ber 15.

Pippa was spot­ted ar­riv­ing on St Barts last Sat­ur­day af­ter spend­ing Christ­mas at the Mid­dle­ton fam­ily home in Buck­le­bury, Berk­shire.

The Matthews fam­ily own the high-end Eden Rock re­sort on St Barts. Pippa and James first met on the sun­soaked is­land back in 2006, al­though they did not strike up a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship un­til 2012. | Daily Mail

Al­izee was hav­ing a drink with friends and James was at a dif­fer­ent ta­ble. She said hello to his dog Ella and they started chat­ting. Un­named friend of the cou­ple

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