The Palace attempted to shut down rumors that Prince William had an affair, according to Omid Scobie’s new book.
The royal expert wrote that Kensington Palace “pulled out all the stops” to bury a 2019 story that alleged William, 41, was cheating on wife Princess Kate Middleton with former friend Rose Hanbury. The author claimed that press secretary Christian Jones offered British tabloid The Sun other royal-related stories “in exchange for standing down on the rumors.”
Hanbury, who is married to David Cholmondeley, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, was a longtime friend of William and Kate. Neither William, Kate nor Hanbury ever addressed the rumors. At the time, a Middelton family friend told Us that Kate “finds the rumors hurtful, obviously, and hates the thought that one day her children will be able to read about them online.”
The public discourse seemingly put a strain on the trio’s friendship as they’ve distanced themselves over the years. Hanbury was, however, spotted at Prince Philip’s 2021 memorial service. Hanbury’s 13-year-old son, Lord Oliver, also served as a page of honor at the coronation of William’s father, King Charles III, in May. (Oliver joined William and Kate’s eldest child, Prince George, 10, as one of the four pages.)
Two days after the book dropped, Scobie revealed that he was “very careful” with how he broached the topic in the book.
“I thought it was really important [to mention], even if a rumor is a rumor,” he said to Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, November 30. “And I really don’t see proof that there is more to this than just a tittle-tattle, you know.”
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Scobie noted that William and Kate’s marriage remains “solid” as the couple continues to “work as a team.” According to the book, William is “incredibly proud” of his wife’s accomplishments as a senior working member of the royal family.
As Scobie’s book continues to make headlines, William and Kate and other members of the royal family have remained quiet. A source exclusively told Us Weekly last month that William has remained tight-lipped because “the more attention it feeds” it creates a “whole frenzy.”
“He considers [the book] to be a spiteful portrayal of the monarchy,” the insider added, noting that William doesn’t want “to help publicize a litany of false and cruel narratives” about his family.
As Kate and William have focused a lot of their energy on their royal duties, the pair have had to prioritize their relationship. A second source exclusively told Us in October that the Prince and Princess of Wales have “ups and downs in their marriage like everyone else.” However, their priority is being a “unit” as they handle the new responsibilities they have taken on since the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.
A third insider told Us that the death of William’s grandmother deeply affected both him and Kate. “They’re the first to admit it’s been a tough year, but everyone agrees William and Kate have done a wonderful job staying strong in the face of such adversity,” the source explained.