When it comes to royalty, scandal just seems to be part of the playbook — and the higher the rank, the bigger the story. So, it’s no surprise that every relationship the royals have is put under a magnifying glass and the worst assumed.
Case in point: the relationship between Prince William and Kate Middleton’s former best friend Rose Hanbury. Last year, tabloids reported rumors that William allegedly had an affair with Rose while Kate was pregnant with their third child, Prince Louis.
But there appears to be no truth to the rumors, so let’s delve into the facts of the matter. How did the rumors get started and why? Here is the unknown truth of Prince William and Rose Hanbury’s relationship.
Who is Rose Hanbury?
A former fashion model, Rose Hanbury became the Marchioness of Cholmondeley in 2009 when she married David Rocksavage, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley. But Rose’s family had been part of the royal social circle for generations. For instance, her grandmother Lady Rose Lambert was a bridesmaid at Queen Elizabeth II’s 1947 wedding. Meanwhile, Rose’s husband David, 23 years her senior, has been a friend of Princes Charles for years.
How did Kate and Rose become friends?
The Cholmondeleys attended William and Kate’s wedding in 2011, when Kate became Duchess of Cambridge. The two couples lived only three miles apart. In 2014, they started bonding over their similar lifestyles and situations. Born in 1984, Rose is just two years younger than Kate. Like Kate, Rose also has three children with her husband, two boys and a girl.
Kate and Rose became close friends and are said to have bonded around playdates for the children and a shared passion for organic food. The couples also enjoyed dinner parties together in their social circle.
NEXT: How did the rumors of an alleged affair between William and Rose begin?
How did the rumors of an alleged affair between William and Rose begin?
Rumors of an alleged affair began when The Sun reported that Kate and Rose had a major falling out in March 2019. The report even said that Kate views Rose as her “rural rival.” A source told The Sun, “It is well known that Kate and Rose have had a terrible falling out. They used to be close but that is not the case any more.”
Then, in April 2019, Australian tabloid New Idea reported that Kate allegedly fell out with Rose due to rumors of an affair. “The rumors started around Christmas that William had become just a bit too close to Rose and was infatuated with her,” a source told New Idea. “She is a naturally flirtatious and beautiful woman and William is only human. The rumors are untrue but they got back to Kate and she hit the roof.”
The source continued, “Pretty soon the rumors were swirling about on Facebook and WhatsApp devices and spread like wild fire…. It’s very sad because they were close friends and Rose’s children played with Kate’s George and Charlotte.”
According to an anonymous source speaking to In Touch, William “just laughed [the rumors] off saying there was nothing to it.”
But the fact that the rumors were out there at all was reportedly enough for Kate to cut Rose out of her life. This meant not only severing the women’s friendship, but also William distancing himself from David, and their children no longer playing together. The Sun reported that William wanted to “play peacemaker so the two couples can remain friends… but Kate has been clear that she doesn’t want to see them anymore.”
Then came the lawyers
These were not divorce lawyers, though: these were for the libel suits William brought against the tabloids for the rumors of the affair and the nasty coverage they had been given.
As reported by the Daily Beast, the law firm of Harbottle and Lewis issued a warning on behalf of the royal family to at least one British publication. It claimed that “in addition to being false and highly damaging, the publication of false speculation in respect of our clients’ private life also constitutes a breach of his privacy pursuant to Article 8 of the European Convention to Human Rights.”
This broke with the traditional “no comment” response, and is an indicator that the younger members of the House of Windsor are not going to let the tabloids off so easily when it comes to scandalmongering.
NEXT: Rose caused a scandal when she was spotted without her wedding ring
Rose caused a scandal when she was spotted without her wedding ring
While all of this is going on, what is happening with the other couple involved? Well, signs pointed to trouble at first. Rose’s husband David is 23 years her senior and the two may have a strained relationship like many with such an age gap.
This was brought to light during a June 2019 state banquet at Buckingham Palace, which Rose attended without wearing her wedding ring. The media had a field day with that one, and she has not been seen without it since. Rose and David likely had no control over the seating arrangements, but they were seated apart. David was seated on the table near Kate, while Rose “was on the other side of the room, close to the Duke of Cambridge and next to GCHQ chief Jeremy Fleming,” the Latin Times reported. Perhaps Rose was seated near William’s side of the table in an effort to defuse the rumors.
Meanwhile, a representative for the Cholmondeleys released a statement to International Business Times denying the alleged affair. “There is no foundation to any of the tabloid articles that have appeared. There is nothing else to say whatsoever,” the statement said.
Both couples attended the same church service in January
The rumors took quite a toll on both the Cambridges and the Cholmondeleys. After her disastrous state banquet appearance in June 2019, Rose stayed out of the media. She waited until January 2020 to make another appearance at the same event as William and Kate, this time with her wedding ring present and seated next to her husband.
The Cholmondeleys and the Cambridges both appeared at the Sandringham church St. Mary Magdalene for the first Sunday church service of 2020. It is significant that the Cholmondeleys decided to attend, because this is the royal family’s traditional service and they knew William and Kate would be there. The fact that both couples were present (although they did not appear together) is seen as a signal to the public that the couples are on good terms.