The Palace Was ‘Desperate’ to Squash This Rumor About Prince William and Rose Hanbury

By: Sam Watanuki | Published: Mar 26, 2024

Whispers of another scandal have shaken the foundations of Kensington Palace. In 2019, allegations surfaced suggesting an affair between Prince William and Rose Hanbury, a close family friend. These rumors spread like wildfire, but with no concrete evidence, they remain just that: rumors.

Yet, their impact is undeniable, stirring public curiosity and media frenzy. This begs the question … how much truth lies behind these allegations, and what effect do they have on the individuals involved?

The Power of the Press

The British tabloid, The Sun, initially brought the affair allegations into the limelight, setting off a chain reaction within the palace walls (via Yahoo). The royal family’s relationship with the media is complex and fraught with tension.

A stack of newspaper pages

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This incident reveals the power dynamics at play, where information, or the suppression of it, can serve as a bargaining chip, influencing what is revealed and what remains hidden from public view.

Royal Efforts to Quell the Storm

Behind the grandeur of Kensington Palace, efforts quickly got underway to quash the spreading rumors. Christian Jones, the press secretary, found himself at the forefront of this battle. Tasked with protecting the royal family’s reputation, he engaged in a delicate dance with the media, according to royal expert Omid Scobie, author of “Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival.”

Prince William wearing a suit and tie and in a crowd full of people. One person to the left of the image is holding the Malaysia flag.

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“Christian was so desperate to stop [the rumor] and made it his mission to do so,” a former courtier reportedly told Scobie (via Page Six).

A Courtier's Desperate Mission

As mentioned, the former courtier revealed the palpable desperation within the palace to halt the spread of the scandalous rumor.

Prince Willaim pictured in a light-colored suit alongside his wife, Kate

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This desperation underscores the immense pressure faced by those within the royal circle to maintain a facade of decorum and dignity, amid swirling allegations. It’s a revealing glimpse into the personal toll taken on individuals tasked with guarding the royal family’s private life.

Legal Lines Drawn

In April 2019, Prince William’s legal team intervened, categorically denying the rumors. The involvement of Harbottle & Lewis, a London law firm, signifies the severity with which the allegations were taken.

A well-polished wooden gavel sits on its side at the end of an auction

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This legal stand emphasizes the royal family’s right to privacy under the law, pitting public curiosity against the private lives of public figures.

The Impact of Silence

The decision by Prince William and Kate Middleton to remain silent on the allegations is an interesting, yet strategic one. This silence can be interpreted in various ways, but it serves as a powerful statement in the face of unverified claims.

Prince William and his wife, Princess Kate, pictured together during a tour to New Zealand

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The royal couple’s choice reflects a broader strategy often employed by the royal family: the belief that silence can sometimes serve as the strongest rebuttal to unfounded rumors.


Rose Hanbury: Caught in a Royal Scandal

Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, found herself at the heart of a royal controversy. Known for her long-standing friendship with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, her name became intertwined with scandalous rumors, changing her public persona overnight.

Prince William and Kate Middleton in Paris. They are surrounded by various people who are showing them around.

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Hanbury’s private life was thrust into the limelight, spotlighting the unpredictable impact of media attention on personal relationships within the aristocratic world.


Historic Ties and Modern Twists

The connection between the Hanbury family and the British royals stretches back generations. This historical context adds depth to the current scandal, illustrating how past relationships can influence present dynamics.

Prince William, Prince of Wales, receives a Christmas gift at the Britannia Royal Naval College

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Understanding these ties helps to unravel the complex web of relationships that define the upper echelons of British society.


Media Shifts Focus

In a strategic pivot, media attention shifted from the alleged affair to other royal family members, notably Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Prince Harry pictured alongside his wife Meghan Markle during an event

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This shift raises questions about media tactics and the potential influence of the palace in directing narrative focus (per ABC News). It highlights the constant negotiation between public interest and royal privacy.


Public Perception and Royal Realities

The handling of rumors and scandals by the royal family significantly impacts public perception.

Queen Camilla, King Charles III, Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, pose for a photograph

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In an era where every action is scrutinized, understanding this balance is key to comprehending the challenges faced by modern monarchies.


The Role of Legal Teams in Royal Affairs

The involvement of legal teams in defending the privacy and reputation of the royal family underscores the modern challenges they face.

A statue of the blindfolded ‘Lady Justice.’

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Legal interventions, such as those by Harbottle & Lewis, highlight the intersection of law, privacy, and public life, revealing the lengths to which the royals will go to protect their personal lives from public scrutiny.


The Neverending Battle

The saga surrounding Prince William and the rumored affair is just one chapter in the ongoing struggle between privacy and public interest.

Prince William and Prince Harry pictured standing beside each other at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

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This incident sheds light on the continuous challenges faced by the royal family in navigating a world where private life is increasingly public.