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Carol was born in Blackpool, while her father, the actor Derek Royle was doing a season there. Her parents had met in Yeovil rep, and married three months later; her mother, Jane Royle, who gave up acting to become a film makeup artist.

Carol and her sister, the actress Amanda Royle, born eight years later, spent their childhoods moving around the country, depending on the city their father was working in.

Carol went to Central School of Speech and Drama from 1973 to 1976.  In 1977, she married Julian Spear, son of actor Bernard Spear and dancer / writer Mary Logan, and they have two children - a son, Taran, drummer in the band Anonymous Tip and compositor for Electric Theatre Collective and a younger daughter Tally Spear - a musician.

As well as her acting work, Carol has many interests including Interior Design, Fashion, Writing and Teaching.

‘Do unto others as you would have done to yourself' is Carol’s main philosophy of life.