Princess Kate and Sister Pippa Attended Therapy as a Family

Kate Middleton's brother, James Middleton, revealed in an emotional essay how his sisters, Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Pippa Middleton, supported him when he lost his beloved pet.

In an essay for the Sunday Times, James wrote all about the passing of his 15-year-old cocker spaniel, Ella.

"She was next to me through my darkest times, her head in my lap. Winston Churchill would complain that he was followed by the 'black dog' of depression. I had my own black dog but she was my saving grace," he wrote. Ella was a certified therapy dog with Pets As Therapy, a United Kingdom organization.

This is not the first time he has spoken about his mental health struggles; he's been open about his battles with depression. "It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind," he wrote in 2019. "It's not a feeling but an absence of feelings. You exist without purpose or direction. I couldn't feel joy, excitement, or anticipation–only heart-thudding anxiety propelled me out of bed in the morning. I didn't actually contemplate suicide—but I didn't want to live in the state of mind I was in either."

Ella, James said in this new essay, saved his life. "Everybody knew how much she meant to me and there was a day they feared the most: the day Ella was no longer in my life. She meant something to all of them too," James wrote.

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Kate and Lupo in 2012.Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

His sisters, Pippa and Kate, both have dogs that were Ella's puppies. "All the family came to say their goodbyes. I can't speak for them but I believe she influenced their lives too," he wrote. "Lupo, Catherine and William's dog, was one of Ella's puppies. My sister Pippa and her husband have a pup from Ella, as do other family members."

After Ella's passing, he was in therapy to get through the challenging time—and his sisters supported him there, too. "My sisters came to some of my therapy sessions. They've always been there during difficult times and they were at my side during the hardest of times as well. For that, I am forever grateful," he wrote.

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James and his dog, Ella, on the red carpet in 2019.David M. Benett - Getty Images

He concluded, "Having shared my story, the one thing I think we can all agree on, is that the worst thing about having a dog is that they are only with us for part of our life. They can never be there for the whole of it. Sleep well, Ella."

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