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Who is Rose Hanbury and Why is She Famous?

Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years due to rumors of an alleged affair with Prince William, the Prince of Wales. While the details of this alleged relationship remain unconfirmed, Hanbury’s connection to the British royal family and her own social standing have made her a subject of intense public interest.

Hanbury’s Background and Connections to the Royals

Rose Hanbury, née Cholmondeley, is a member of the British aristocracy. She is married to David Cholmondeley, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, and holds the title of Marchioness of Cholmondeley. The couple’s ancestral seat is Houghton Hall, a grand estate located in Norfolk, not far from Anmer Hall, the country home of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales.

Hanbury’s connection to the royal family goes back generations. Her grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Lambart, was one of the bridesmaids at the 1947 wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. This familial link has likely contributed to Hanbury’s close relationship with the royals, particularly the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Alleged Affair with Prince William

The rumors of an affair between Prince William and Rose Hanbury first surfaced in 2019, when the British tabloid The Sun reported a “fallout” between Hanbury and Kate Middleton. The article included quotes attributed to Hanbury’s brother, suggesting that there was an affair between Hanbury and Prince William, and that Hanbury’s husband, David, was gay.

However, the allegations were quickly denied, and both Hanbury and Prince William’s legal teams threatened legal action against the publication. Hanbury’s brother threatened to sue for libel and slander, and the article was subsequently removed. Prince William’s attorney also denied the claims, calling them “false and highly damaging.”

Despite the denials, the rumors have persisted, with the Instagram gossip account Deuxmoi posting a tip in 2022 that claimed a British royal couple’s “extramarital affair is an open secret.” The message did not specify that the royal in question was Prince William, but many fans and observers have drawn that conclusion.

The Fallout with Kate Middleton

In addition to the alleged affair, the rumors also suggest that Hanbury and Kate Middleton were once close friends, but had a falling out around 2019, around the same time the affair allegations surfaced. However, the details of this supposed falling out have never been confirmed.

The relationship between Hanbury and Middleton is further complicated by the fact that Hanbury, as the wife of the Lord Great Chamberlain, was invited to attend the Spanish State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in 2017, where she was seated next to Prince Harry. This suggests that Hanbury maintained a level of social standing and access to the royal family, even as the rumors of her falling out with Middleton were circulating.

Hanbury’s Public Appearances and Involvement with the Royals

Despite the ongoing rumors, Hanbury and her family have continued to maintain a presence in the public eye, particularly in relation to the British royal family. In 2023, Hanbury and her husband attended King Charles III’s coronation, with their 15-year-old son, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, serving as one of the pages of honor alongside Prince George.

Additionally, in 2016, the Cholmondeleys hosted a dinner fundraising gala for one of the Princess of Wales’s patronages, EACH Children’s Hospices, at their Houghton Hall estate. This event was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, further highlighting the close ties between the Hanbury family and the royals.

The Ongoing Speculation and Conspiracy Theories

The rumors surrounding Rose Hanbury and Prince William have continued to captivate the public imagination, with various conspiracy theories and speculations emerging in the wake of the initial allegations.

The Disappearance of Kate Middleton

One of the most prominent conspiracy theories involves the recent absence of Kate Middleton from the public eye. In January 2024, Middleton underwent a planned abdominal surgery, and since then, she has been seen in public only a handful of times, sparking wild speculation about her whereabouts and the reason for her prolonged absence.

Some have suggested that Middleton’s absence may be related to the alleged affair between Prince William and Rose Hanbury, with some even going so far as to speculate that Middleton may have “died 18 months ago” and that the royal family is “Weekend at Bernie’s-ing this situation.”

 However, these claims remain unsubstantiated and have been dismissed by more reliable sources.

The Doctored Photograph Controversy

Adding fuel to the conspiracy theories, the royal family recently released a Mother’s Day photograph of Kate Middleton with her children, which was subsequently recalled by news agencies, who claimed that the image had been “manipulated.”

 Middleton herself acknowledged the editing, stating that she “occasionally experiment[s] with editing” and apologizing for any confusion the photograph may have caused. This incident has only served to further stoke the flames of speculation, with some royal watchers expressing their belief that the royal family is attempting to cover up something more sinister. However, it is important to note that the manipulation of the photograph was likely a harmless attempt to present a polished public image, rather than a nefarious cover-up.

The Role of the Media and Tabloid Journalism

The ongoing saga surrounding Rose Hanbury and the alleged affair with Prince William has also highlighted the complex relationship between the British royal family and the media, particularly the tabloid press. The initial allegations were first reported by the British tabloid The Sun, a publication with a reputation for sensationalism and a history of publishing unsubstantiated claims about the royals.

The fact that the article was quickly retracted and met with legal threats from both Hanbury and Prince William’s teams suggests that the claims were not well-founded. However, the rumor has continued to circulate, fueled in part by the insatiable appetite of the public for royal gossip and scandal. This has led to a proliferation of conspiracy theories and speculation, often driven by unreliable sources and a lack of verifiable information.

The Importance of Discretion and Privacy

The case of Rose Hanbury and the alleged affair with Prince William underscores the importance of discretion and privacy, particularly when it comes to the personal lives of public figures.

The Toll on Innocent Parties

As a private citizen, Rose Hanbury and her family have been thrust into the public spotlight through no fault of their own. The unsubstantiated rumors and speculation have undoubtedly taken a toll on their lives, with Hanbury’s brother even threatening legal action in response to the initial allegations.

Similarly, the ongoing speculation about Kate Middleton’s absence from the public eye has placed an unnecessary burden on the Princess of Wales and her family, as they navigate a sensitive personal matter. The manipulation of the Mother’s Day photograph and the subsequent media frenzy have only exacerbated this situation, further undermining the royal family’s right to privacy.

The Responsibility of the Media and the Public

The role of the media and the public in perpetuating these rumors and conspiracy theories cannot be overlooked. While the public’s interest in the lives of the royal family is understandable, it is crucial that this interest is balanced with respect for their privacy and the wellbeing of those involved.

The media, in particular, has a responsibility to uphold journalistic standards and to refrain from publishing unsubstantiated claims or sensationalized stories. The initial reporting by The Sun, and the subsequent proliferation of the rumors through various outlets, highlights the need for greater accountability and ethical practices within the media industry.

Similarly, the public has a role to play in tempering their own appetite for royal gossip and in critically evaluating the information they encounter online and in the media. By exercising restraint and skepticism, the public can help to mitigate the harm caused by unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories.


The case of Rose Hanbury and the alleged affair with Prince William is a complex and multifaceted issue that has captivated the public imagination. While the details of the relationship remain unconfirmed, the ongoing speculation and conspiracy theories have shed light on the challenges faced by public figures, particularly those within the British royal family, in maintaining their privacy and personal lives.

Ultimately, the importance of discretion, respect, and ethical practices in the media and public discourse cannot be overstated. By upholding these values, we can ensure that the personal lives of individuals, whether they are members of the royal family or not, are protected and respected, even in the face of intense public interest and scrutiny.

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