Who is Rose Hanbury? Why her ties to Prince William and Princess Catherine are so controversial

Meet the Marchioness of Cholmondeley.
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Rose Hanbury has found herself in the media spotlight several times in recent years after being linked to a salacious rumour of an affair in the royal family.

The British socialite is close friends with Prince William and Princess Catherine, but unsubstantiated claims that her connection to William was more than friendly set the internet on fire in 2019.

Now she’s back in the headlines after attending the coronation of King Charles III. Her son, Oliver, was one of the four Pages of Honour – alongside His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales.

Royal experts have called it proof that any “rift” between her and the royal couple was baseless. Now with the Hanbury family playing a key role in the Coronation, the rumours look even more far-fetched. But what were the rumours that surround Rose and how did she become connected to the monarchy in the first place? Read on to find out.

Prince William and Princess Catherine pictured with Rose Hanbury in 2016.

(Image: Getty)

Did Rose Hanbury attend the coronation?

Yes, Rose did attend the coronation of King Charles III, because she is the wife of David Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley. Buckingham Palace confirmed her son Oliver would also have a part to play in the ceremony, too.

“Throughout the Coronation Service on 6th May, Their Majesties will each be attended by four Pages of Honour. The Pages will form part of the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey,” the statement from Buckingham Palace read.

“The King’s Pages of Honour will be His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Master Nicholas Barclay and Master Ralph Tollemache. The Queen Consort’s Pages of Honour will be Her Majesty’s grandsons, Master Gus and Master Louis Lopes and Master Freddy Parker Bowles, and Her Majesty’s great-nephew, Master Arthur Elliot.”

Oliver was seen standing between Prince William and Prince George when the historic balcony photos were taken at Buckingham Palace.

Rose Hanbury was photographed arriving at the coronation.

(Credit: Getty Images)

Oliver stood between Prince William and Prince George on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

(Credit: Getty Images)

Was Rose Hanbury at the Queen’s funeral?

Speculation that Rose had been excluded from royal engagements was debunked when Rose and husband David, Marquess of Cholmondeley were among the thousands of mourners who packed into Westminster Abbey on September 19 for the Queen’s funeral.

Dressed in black with a sparkling brooch pinned to her bust, Rose looked sorrowful as she and David took their seats for the solemn service.

And it’s not the first royal engagement she’s been to since the rumours surfaced.

Rose Hanbury and husband David, Marquess of Cholmondeley attend the funeral of the Queen.

(Image: BBC)

She and David were also invited to the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in March 29, 2022, where the royals were in attendance.

Previously, she attended Sunday service with the extended royal family at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on January 5, 2020.

Rose at the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 2022.

(Image: Getty)

Who is Rose Hanbury?

Rose is married to David George Philip Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, and her official title is the Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

She was described as a “beguiling socialite” and worked as a model before she met and married David, who is 23 years her senior, the couple tying the knot in 2009.

David already enjoyed connections to the royal family through his own high social status, counting King Charles among his friends.

Meanwhile Rose boasts strong ties back to the royal family with her grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Lambart, serving as one of The Queen’s bridesmaids at her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip.

Rose and David have been friendly with the Prince and Princess of Wales for years.

(Image: Getty)

The couple also became friendly with the Prince and Princess of Wales, as their sprawling Houghton Hall estate in Norfolk is situated close to the royal couple’s Anmer Hall home in the area.

All of them are said to be part of an elite social circle from the area which have been dubbed the “Turnip Toff” crew by the UK press and Rose has worked with Catherine as patrons of East Anglia’s Children Hospices charity.

Rose and David share three children together, twin boys called Alexander and Oliver, and a daughter called Iris.

What were those affair rumours?

Rumours that Rose was at the centre of an alleged affair with Prince William first emerged in 2019 and resurfaced again in 2022, but there is no evidence to support the claims.

At the time The Sun reported Rose and Kate had fallen out and William was attempting to “play peacemaker”, though his wife wanted to “phase the couple out” of their social circle.

The reason for the falling out was unclear at first, but the Daily Mail said that both parties were considering legal action over the outlandish claims which raised eyebrows.

There is no evidence to support the claims of an affair between Rose and William.

(Image: Getty)

British food writer and socialite Giles Coren then tweeted that Kate and Rose fell out because of “an affair” between Rose and William, though supplied no evidence.

Both Kensington Palace and the Cholmondeleys declined to comment, but the rumours quickly gained traction online.

Royal experts repeatedly denied that William would have engaged in an extra-marital affair, given his parents divorced for that very reason.

The Daily Mail’s Richard Kay shut down the allegations of a feud, labelling them as totally “false” and cruelly spread simply to “damage Kate.”

“This is a question of a lie going round the world before the truth has even had time to take its boots off,” an insider also told him.

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Though rumours of a “rift” between Rose and the royal couple persisted after the affair allegations were first reported, it seems she’s still a key player in senior royal circles.

Her attendance at the Queen’s funeral in 2022, and the key role played by her family at the Coronation, was seen by many as proof that the rumours were just that – rumours.

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