Rose Hanbury Denies Affair Rumors With Prince William: What to Know About Their Connection

Hanbury's name has been thrust back into the limelight amid Kate Middleton's ongoing recovery from abdominal surgery.

Now that Rose Hanbury has officially denied having an affair with Prince William amid the ongoing Kate Middleton conspiracy theories, many online are starting to examine where the origin of the rumors began.

On Monday, lawyers for the 40-year-old Marchioness of Cholmondeley told Business Insider that any and all reporting of improper relations between William, 41, and Hanbury "are completely false." Furthermore, Kensington Palace has refused to respond to questions about the nature of their relationship. 

This all comes as the Princess of Wales, 42, continues to recover from a January abdominal surgery and her more recent Photoshop controversy that sparked plenty of theorizing over her whereabouts. The notable absence since Dec. 25 has created a vacuum on social media for millions to speculate wildly about Kate's condition -- described as non-cancerous by Kensington Palace -- and where she has been this entire time. 

Among the arm's length list of theories are several that prominently feature Hanbury's name in connection to resurfaced rumors of an affair with the next in line for the British throne. 

Below, ET has compiled answers to some of the internet's most pressing questions about Hanbury and her connection to the future king of England.

Who Is Rose Hanbury?

Rose is 40 years old and a former model. She's officially Sarah Rose Cholmondeley, Marchioness of Cholmondeley. She and her husband David Rocksavage, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, share three children -- 15-year-old twins Alexander Hugh George Cholmondeley, Earl of Rocksavage; Lord Oliver Timothy George Cholmondeley; and their 8-year-old daughter, Lady Iris Marina Aline Cholmondeley.

Rose once held the position of researcher for Michael Andrew Gove, a Member of Parliament and current Secretary of State for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities. According to The Independent, Rose now manages her husband's estate.

The couple met in Italy in 2003 and were engaged six years later. They tied the knot at a private ceremony at Chelsea Town Hall in London in 2009.

A Long Royal Connection

It's been said that Rose's family has a long history with the British royal family. According to reports, her grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Lambart, served as one of Queen Elizabeth's II's bridesmaids when she married Phillip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947.

Fast forward to more present day, Rose's son, Lord Oliver, served as one of four Pages of Honour for King Charles's coronation ceremony. The Pages formed part of the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey. The King’s Pages of Honour also included His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales, Master Nicholas Barclay and Master Ralph Tollemache.


They're Former Neighbors

William and Kate were once neighbors with Rose and David. Rose rarely gives interviews, but in a 2023 interview with English Home she was asked to describe her home.

"It's a Palladian house built in the 1720s for Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, who employed the very best architects, decorators and designers of the day," she said. "Colen Campbell was the architect and William Kent designed the interiors. The house today is very much as it was then, which is a testament to the incredible care that the house has received from its former occupants and David’s family."

Rose said she needed to adjust to the gigantic home when she first moved in in 2009.

"Moving anywhere feels awkward at first, and it took me a while to adjust and feel at home," she said. "We use the ground floor, and the second and third floors, where the bedrooms are. The first floor is mainly occupied by the State Rooms. I don’t know how many rooms we have in total."

Relationship Rumors

Affair speculation between the future King of England and Rose first surfaced in April 2019, after a U.K. tabloid first sparked the rumor following an alleged fallout between Rose and Kate. It was around that time during an outing when Kate was also seen seemingly giving William's PDA the cold shoulder, which only added fuel to the fire.

Not helping matters, when  Rose attended King Charles' coronation earlier last May, though there were no photos of her with Kate, who married William in an extravagant wedding in April 2011.

Kensington Palace never addressed the rumor, and royal expert Omid Scobie briefly mentioned the allegation in his book, Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy's Fight for Survival, but he told ET in November he wasn't buying the rumor either.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

"Unfortunately, if a rumor's left to kind of do its own thing it can run 20 laps around the world before you even think about what, how you want to kind of address it," the royal expert and author told ET. "They never addressed it, so those rumors will never go away even though there's no truth to suggest that they are true."

The mere mention of the rumor became a sensitive subject for the royal expert.

"I was very careful in the book to really focus on this, as the allegations against William, Kate's and their fallout with Rose Hanbury," he said. "For legal reasons there are so many things that one can't go into but I thought it was really important, even if a rumor is a rumor. And I really don't see proof that there is more to this than just a tittle-tattle, you know."

In a statement released on March 18, the former British model and mom of three finally broke her silence on the speculation, denying the rumors vehemently.

"The rumors are completely false," Hanbury's lawyers told Business Insider.

What the Palace Says 

It's Scobie's estimation that the palace indirectly addressed the Rose-William affair rumor -- by offering Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as sacrificial lambs amid their fallout with the palace.

"I thought it was really interesting to analyze how the palace dealt with that," the author says in reference to U.K. journalists digging around for any shred of evidence that might suggest the extramarital affair was true. "The worst case scenarios that they feared would happen, you know, just those rumors themselves were going to have enough impact, negatively, on William's reputation. We still see them [the rumors] trend on Twitter on a regular basis ... that's something that's incredibly damaging, I think, for William. It probably looks even worse, actually, that there was a kind of willingness to throw Harry under the bus simply to make these things disappear."