Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton’s marriage has been under a microscope for years, as it was once rumored that the Prince of Wales cheated on his wife with Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. Those rumors have now resurfaced amid Kate’s absence from the public following her planned abdominal surgery in January 2024. Many royal watchers have theorized that her surgery and private recovery were a cover for Kate and William’s rumored relationship issues, as the princess may have become fed up with her husband’s alleged infidelity. But who is William’s alleged mistress, Rose?

Who Is Rose Hanbury?

Rose, whose real name is Sarah Rose Cholmondeley (née Hanbury), is the daughter of web designer Timothy Hanbury and fashion designer Emma Hanbury. Rose and her sister, Marina, and their parents lived at Holfield Grange in Coggeshall, Essex. Rose attended Stowe School and later became a student at The Open University in England. However, it’s not currently known what she studied or what she earned her degree in.

Rose has gone down a few different career paths. She worked as a fashion model with the agency Storm at 23 years old and did campaigns for brands like Miu Miu and Poplin London. Additionally, she briefly worked as a researcher for Conservative politician Michael Gove. Most recently, Rose had an interior design career. In May 2022, she and Martina Mondadori worked with interior design company Caban to create a collection inspired by the historic mansion Houghton Hall.

Is Rose Hanbury Married?

Rose married David Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, on June 24, 2009. The couple welcomed twins Earl of Rocksavage Alexander Hugh George and Lord Oliver Timothy George on October 12, 2009. Rose and David later had a daughter, Lady Iris Marina Aline, in March 2016.

How Does Rose Hanbury Know Prince William and Kate Middleton?

Rose’s family has long been connected to William’s. Her mother is the granddaughter of Lady Elizabeth Longman, who was close with Queen Elizabeth II and served as a bridesmaid in her wedding to Prince Philip in November 1947.

While it’s not known exactly when Rose became friends with William and Kate, she and David were once neighbors with the Prince and Princess of Wales, according to Entertainment Tonight. Rose and Kate were close for many years and have been photographed together a few times. Rose even attended William and Kate’s wedding in April 2011. However, rumors swirled in May 2019 that Rose and Kate’s relationship was over.

Who Is Rose Hanbury? Kate Middleton, Prince William Rumors
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“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 anymore,” a source claimed to The Sun at the time. “William wants to play peacemaker so the two couples can remain friends, given they live so close to each other and share many mutual friends.”

While the insider didn’t share what led to the alleged falling out, they claimed that Kate said she didn’t want “to see [Rose and David] anymore” and asked “William to phase them out, despite their social status.”

Did Rose Hanbury Have an Affair With Prince William?

Around the same time as the falling out rumors, reports circulated that William cheated on Kate with Rose. However, the rumored affair was never verified, and the royals never publicly responded to the speculation.

The rumors picked up again in 2022 when celebrity gossip account DeuxMoi shared an anonymous tip claiming that an unnamed royal’s infidelity wasn’t surprising. “This British royal’s extramarital affair is an open secret in London and amongst the English artisto set and is the talk of every party and news desk [sic],” read the tip. “At a recent media party, I was told the real reason for the affair was the royal’s love of pegging, which the wife is far too old fashioned to engage in.”

The source added that the unnamed royal’s wife allegedly didn’t “mind” her husband’s affair and preferred that he was “getting his sexual needs fulfilled elsewhere as long as things don’t become emotional, which was the cast with the last woman.”

Again, the royal family did not respond to the affair rumors. Meanwhile, Rose seemingly commented on the matter via her lawyers, with the legal team reportedly telling Business Insider in March 2024, “The rumors are completely false.”