THEIR friendship has been plagued by rumours of a deep rift in recent years – but when the famously clean-living Princess of Wales went to her first rave this week, it was with none other than Rose Hanbury.
Socialite Rose is said to be no stranger to a “hedonistic” night, having grown up with “erotic, exotic and eccentric” parties at her impressive childhood manor, Wembury House in Devon.
Kate and Rose’s friendship goes back years to when they lived three miles apart in NorfolkCredit: Getty
Bikini-clad Rose (left) and sister Marina Hanbury (right) partying with former PM Tony Blair
Rose and Marina brushing shoulders with Hugh Grant at a 2007 charity dinnerCredit: Rex
So just what is it that bonds the two women?
Former model Rose didn’t befriend the Princess of Wales until Kate first started going to Sandringham with Prince William.
As royal expert Ingrid Seward confirmed to Fabulous: “They were not childhood friends.
“They are from very different backgrounds.
“Rose is an aristocrat in her own right and something of a free spirit.
“She married filmmaker David the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley when pregnant with twins.”
While Kate was brought up having a respectable “Enid Blyton ‘Famous Five’ childhood”, Rose – now the Marchioness of Cholmondeley – had a more colourful experience.
In socialite Violet Naylor-Leyland’s book, RareTrue Style, Rose recalls her teenage years where her parents transformed their home for wild parties.
As reported by the Mail, Rose divulged: “Mum turned the basement into a nightclub for us, painting the whole place herself and hanging Moroccan lanterns and suzanis from the walls.
“It felt a bit like an opium den.”
One party with a food-themed dress code saw Rose – whose grandma was a bridesmaid in Queen Elizabeth’s wedding toPhilip – embody a “Catch of the Day” donning “fish netting and an octopus on her head.”
Meanwhile, another “dangerous” soiree saw attendees using a flaming loo roll, doused in naphtha, as aball.
The game was cut short after someone’scaught alight.
The family moved in glamorous circles and Rose and her sister were famously pictured bikini-clad with Tony Blair on holiday.
And while Kate’s family’s £5million Bucklebury mansioncosy log fireplaces and traditional decor, Rose’s childhood home had rooms adored with suspender belts for curtain pelmets – and a eye-catching picture of a stuffed sea turtle in the downstairs loo.
Rose now finds herself the chatelaine of one of England’s finest Palladian houses, Houghton Hall, in the grounds of which the rave took place.
The 4,000-acre, 106-room pad is just a stone’s throw (three miles to be exact) from the Prince and Princess of‘ Anmer Hall – but it’s not just proximity the two women have in common.
Kate and Rose have one particular common interest – both being valued joint patrons of East Anglia Children’s Hospices, with the Princess having made “emotional” visits to see kids with rare conditions.
Ingrid added of Middleton and the Marchioness: “I think they are both quite reserved but can certainly let their hair down when they want to.
“They are both artistic and probably both used to getting on with life on their own terms.”
Rose and her husband, who wed in 2009 and are worth an estimated £112million, have twin boys, Alexander and Oliver, and daughter Iris.
The boys have been playmates of Prince George and the couples have enjoyed dinner parties and pals’together.
Ingrid continued: “Both Rose and Kate love children and Rose is very discreet.
“I think Rose was very much a party girl but now she has three children and a stately home to manage, so I imagine she doesn’t have much time.
“Since Rose’s, she has been a mother, a hostess and running the stately home, Houghton Hall, which is a full time job.
“Rose and Kate both work and have ‘jobs’ although quite different. “
In 2019, there were rumours of a rift between Kate and Rose, which were later slammed by friends as “false” and “mad.”
A family source allegedly told the Daily Mail: “These hurtful rumours of a fall-out are simply false.”
But friendship appears as strong as ever, as they partied together at the Houghton Festival last weekend.
The Dukan diet-loving Kate, who is said to avoid dairy and “drinks spirulina and kale smoothies morning and afternoon”, even splashed out on a balthazar-sized (14 litre) bottle of AIX rosé, according to the London Evening Standard.
Rose and Kate met years ago, when the Princess of Wales, who wasPrince at the time, started visiting him at Sandringham – as Rose was living nearby at Houghton Hall with her new husband.
Thanks to the Marquess and Marchioness’ royal connections, David and Rose were in attendance at Kate and William’s wedding in 2011.
AfterWilliam and Kate tied the knot, they were given Anmer Hall in as a wedding gift from the late Queen Elizabeth.
The Cambridges moved to the country bolthole in 2014 when William joined the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and they used it as their main residence until 2017 – with Prince Louis being born in 2018.
When they resided in the Norfolk pad, their friendship deepened withDavid and Rose.
It wasn’t long before the couple became part of Prince William and Kate’s “Norfolk set” of countryside pals, also known as the “Turnip Toffs”.
The pair’s warm greetings to each other at a gala in 2016 confirmed their tight-knit relationship.
And Rose was not out of place being seated near William and Kate at a banquet in honour of President Trump’s state visit to the UK in 2019.
Despite all differences, it seems the women’s bond remains as strong as ever.
Ingrid added: “I think their friendship is improbable as they come from very different backgrounds.
“But they are both very strong women. Whatever happens they will survive.
“They recognise their similarities and like each other for it.”
Rose grew up with ‘erotic, exotic and eccentric’ parties at her impressive childhood manor, Wembury House in DevonCredit: Getty
Rose was a fashion model in her 20s when she reportedly had a contract with Storm – the agency which discovered Kate MossCredit: Getty
The Princess of Wales is said to have attended a 24-hour rave on Rose Hanbury’s estate last weekendCredit: PA:Press Association
Rose married David Rocksavage, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, in 2009 and he is 23 years her seniorCredit: Rex Features
Kate and the Marchioness of Cholmondeley at a gala dinner at Houghton Hall in 2016Credit: PA:Press Association
The Houghton Festival has been running since 2017 and attracts crowds of around 12,000 people
The Princess was said to have been at the Houghton Festival, as pictured in previous yearsCredit: Instagram
Rose arrives at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace for President Donald Trump’s three day state visit in 2019Credit: AFP or licensors