The touching reason James Middleton took his dog to the GQ Awards

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
James Middleton took his therapy dog Ella to the GQ Awards. [Photo: Getty/PA]

James Middleton had an unexpected date at the GQ Awards last night: his dog.

The younger brother of the Duchess of Cambridge took his cocker spaniel Ella, a trained therapy dog, as his plus one to the glamorous Men of the Years awards ceremony held at the Tate Modern in London last night.

Middleton, 32, who is also brother to well-known socialite Pippa Middleton, wore a burgundy velvet tuxedo jacket and black suit trousers, a luxe outfit complemented by the cocker spaniel’s glossy fur. The dog wore a “Pets as therapy” coat.

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In a tweet, entertainment journalist Dan Wootton called Middleton “brave” for bringing along his therapy dog.

James Middleton says he sometimes finds it easier to talk to dogs compared than humans. [Photo: PA]

He has previously opened up about suffering from depression, admitting in an interview with ES Insider he sometimes finds it easier to communicate with dogs than humans.

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“Fundamentally inside me I know how much the dogs helped me. I find it easier talking to the dogs than I sometimes do to humans,” he said.

Speaking to the publication at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Middleton also said he takes his dog Ella to all his therapy sessions.

His girlfriend, French financial expert Alizee Thevenet, was nowhere to be seen at the event.

However, earlier this summer, Middleton shared a picture of her alongside another of his dogs, golden retriever Mabel.

Middleton, who previously dated British singer, actress and presenter Donna Air, 40, is the proud “Dog dad” of four hounds: Mabel, Ella and three more cocker spaniels, Zulu, Inka and Luna, according to his Instagram bio.

He frequently features the five dogs on his account, with hashtags such as #mybestfriends and #mansbestfriend.

He is also a founder for Boof, a personalised gifts business, and ambassador for the Pets for Therapy charity.

Despite the high profile of both of his sisters, Middleton has mostly kept out of the limelight.

“I lead a separate life to them. If there's interest in me, great. If there's interest in me because of them, that's different,” he previously told Tatler.