Who are the Matthews brothers, Pippa Middleton’s soon-to-be family?
One is a secretive hedge fund millionaire, the other a womanising reality TV star
Earlier this week, Pippa Middleton announced she was engaged to elusive hedge fund millionaire James Matthews. His brother Spencer, however, is a household name, finding fame as the guy you loved to hate in E4’s Made In Chelsea.
So who are the brothers Matthews, the elder of whom will be walking Britain’s most eligible bachelorette down the aisle?
Though they seem different at first, Spencer and James actually have a lot in common. Both are fitness-obsessed: James has competed in a number of exhaustive sporting events with Pippa, while Spencer was forced to drop out of I’m A Celebrity due to a steroid addiction.
Spencer has also admitted in the past that he got his womanising ways from James, saying: “As a boy, I wanted Nina’s heart of gold, Mike’s general character, and James’s girlfriends.” Both brothers also made their money in finance – Spencer as a trader, James as a hedge fund manager.
That’s not to say they haven’t always been rich: their father is David Matthews, Laird of Glen Affric and owner of a castle near Loch Ness, and their childhood was split between their Lincolnshire manor house and St Barths, where their parents own the luxurious Eden Rock hotel. As David’s oldest son, James will inherit the his father’s title – and Pippa will be given the title of Lady Glen Affric.
Both James and Spencer went to school at Eton – the same college as Prince William and Prince Harry. At school, James was one of the country’s most promising go-kart racers, and would later go on to become a semi-professional motor racing driver.
Thrill-seeking clearly runs in the family: their older brother Michael followed his dream of becoming an adventurer after leaving Eton. He would go onto become the youngest person ever to reach the summit of Everest at 22, but would die tragically on his descent.
Spencer has talked in the past about the loss of his brother, and his family run the Michael Matthews Foundation charity in his honour. Since Mike’s death, James, Spencer and sister Nina are said to be “tribally loyal” to their family,
In adulthood, the remaining brothers both moved into the financial sector, with James setting up the Eden Rock Capital Management Group and Spencer becoming a foreign exchange trader after a short-lived career in PR. Despite his background, James’ huge fortune is almost entirely self-made.
That’s not to say that Spencer hasn’t paid his own way: the notorious bad boy brought the Matthews brand to the masses in 2011 when he joined Made In Chelsea as the show’s resident long-haired lothario. 28-year-old Spencer recently quit the show after five years and 10 seasons, and has remained relatively quiet since – but he’s had enough controversies in the past to last a lifetime.
Aside from his well-publicised steroid issues, Spencer has boasted about acid-fuelled orgies and famously coined the line “It’s hard to respect you when you allow me to cheat on you” to long-suffering ex Louise Thompson. James has recieved his share of criticism too, though – mainly over his company’s subsidiaries in secretive offshore tax havens.
But if James values secrecy, he has another thing coming. His brother claims to have slept with over 1,000 women, but admits in his autobiography that he was always jealous of his older brother’s girlfriends. This time seems to be no different: the 40-year-old is soon to be rubbing shoulders with royalty, with a fiancée eight years his junior.
James and Pippa have dated before, in 2012, and “remained friends” since. They rekindled their relationship last year, with Pippa moving into his £17 million mansion just six months after the pair started dating again. Their engagement was announced this week, and Pippa’s parents have said they are “absolutely thrilled”.
James is yet to comment publicly, although media attention is presumably something he isn’t familiar with. While Spencer is notoriously fond of the public eye, James is going to have to get used to attention – although that’s probably not a problem for someone who allegedly spent £250,000 on his engagement ring.