James Middleton met fiancée Alizee Thevenet when she said hello to his black Spaniel Ella at London’s South Kensington Club last year, so it makes total sense that canines will have a huge role in the couple’s upcoming nuptials.
Duchess Kate’s brother recently told Vanity Fair Spain that while he and his sweetheart haven’t set a date yet, they’re planning to make at least some of the nine very good doggos they share together – golden retriever Mabel, a black Labrador retriever, two cocker spaniels and Ella and four other black spaniels named Rafa, Zulu, Inka and Luna – a big part of the ceremony.
“I still don’t know which one, but they will be one of the keys of that day,” James told the magazine.
He also revealed the wedding will be “as private a possible” and full of dancing and “fun.”
“We are in the phase before we start planning everything, just enjoying the process,” he said. “The trip we are going to undertake together, as a team. And that’s fine.”
After doing this interview, James took to Instagram to share a very touching detail about his personal life: he asks to bring a dog with him to any interview he does with the press! Mabel and Ella both went with him this time.
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Every interview I agree to my one request is to bring a dog or 2 or 3,4,5 – they give me the courage to speak openly, freely & without fear of judgment especially when I talk about my experience with depression . Every 40 seconds someone takes their own life because of depression. This statistic scares me. It’s a big factor in why I talk openly about depression & will continue to do so . Ella & Mabel accompanied me on a wonderful day out with @vanityfairspain – thank you for translating my words so carefully . #vanityfairspain #petsastherapy #itsgoodtotalk #mentalhealthawareness #condenast #nofee
“My one request is to bring a dog or to or three, four, five – they give me the courage to speak openly, freely & without fear of judgment, especially when I talk about my experience with depression,” he wrote.
Dog lover James has been very open about how his pups have helped him with his mental health. On World Mental Health Day back in October, he shared a photo of Ella looking up at the camera and shared what she’s done for him when things have felt unbearable.
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This is Ella & these are the eyes which helped me get through the insufferable darkness . The gentle touch of your wet nose and a loving lick was enough to make me feel brave. I will forever be in your debt. Thank you Ella ❤️ . #worldsmentalhealthday #petsastherapy #dogs
“These are the eyes which helped me get through the insufferable darkness,” he wrote. “The gentle touch of your wet nose and a loving lick was enough to make me feel brave. I will be forever in your debt. Thank you, Ella.”
In January, James wrote a heartwrenching op-ed for the Daily Mail in which he addressed his battles with depression, which he dubbed “a cancer of the mind.” The 32-year-old, who had also struggled with dyslexia since childhood and was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in 2017.
In his piece, he described how depression completely debilitated him to the point where he was not able to communicate with family and friends. He described how a trip to the Lake District in December 2017 made him realize he needed to get help, and wrote that he was speaking out about his experience because he wanted to help others.
Alizee and James confirmed their engagement in October in a sweet Instagram post that saw them embracing in front of a gorgeous mountain landscape. Thirty-year-old Alizee showed off her ring, which features a big sapphire in an emerald cut, as she rested on James’s chest.