Scobie: Prince William was furious about the Rose Hanbury story in 2019

In March 2019, The Sun published Dan Wootton’s infamous “rural rival” story, about then-Duchess Kate trying to “phase out” her rural rival Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholomondeley. The first story was carefully worded, leaving just enough space to allow people to insinuate that the beef between Rose and Kate was about a rumored/alleged affair between William and Rose. The follow-up reporting spelled it out, although that report of “private dinners” between William and Kate was soon wiped from the internet. Tom Parker Bowles’ BFF Giles Coren even tweeted out a confirmation about the affair, and by April, Kensington Palace had sent out legal warnings to most British papers, all in a desperate attempt to contain the story. I still believe that Prince Harry’s story, in Spare, about William’s temper tantrum in April of that year, was all about the Rose story (and William blamed Camilla for the story leaking out).

Well, Omid Scobie covers the Rose Hanbury rumors in Endgame. He doesn’t have confirmation of an affair either way, but he does say that the British media was abuzz with insider details and Kensington Palace was fully panicking. He also spells out the “deal” William’s office apparently worked out – to blatantly bury the affair story, William sold out Harry and Meghan at every turn.

Unsubstantiated rumours about the Prince and Princess of Wales’ marriage erupted online – prompting a ‘furious’ Prince William to resolutely deny them.

The gossip started when a story broke in 2019 claiming that Kate had had a ‘terrible falling out’ with friend and neighbour, Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. “They used to be close, but that is not the case anymore,” the report read according to an explosive new book by royal writer Omid Scobie. Kate, it was claimed, had apparently instructed William to ‘phase her out’.

According to the book, reports alleged that Rose had ‘one or two suppers with William in Norfolk while Kate was away’ – but purely as ‘platonic friends’. “But it was hardly as if they were meeting behind Kate’s back – of course she knew they were getting together. And Kate was grateful that a good friend and neighbour like Rose was there to entertain William.”

Rival reports hit back, insisting that the fall-out talk was false and merely ‘aristocratic dinner party gossip’, and that William actually ‘bears all the hallmarks of a contented man,’ thanks to his marriage.

Scobie makes it clear that there was never any evidence found to back up the wild allegations, and Christian Jones, head of communications at Kensington Palace, asked William if they were true – and was met with short shrift.

“William, he said, was furious when the question came up and vehemently said it was not true,” Scobie writes. For Kate’s part, although she is said to have been ‘uncomfortable’ with the talk, she ignored it. However, a friend of the Prince of Wales is quoted as telling the author: “Dealing with nasty, untrue rumours… wouldn’t you be filled with rage? It’s been very difficult for him, and for Kate. But I truly believe these things make you stronger.”

[From The Daily Mirror]

What Scobie did in this section was really interesting – he basically just re-reported everything which had been buried and erased from the online archives, added some new information about Christian Jones’s panic (Jones was William’s press secretary at the time) and then put the whole thing in the larger framework of William blatantly throwing the Sussexes under the bus, all to save his own ass. Anyway, I’ve always believed that Rose was the one who leaked the initial story, and I also believe that there were widespread rumors about the affair in aristo circles. I think Rose was putting Kate in her place more than anything else, although it would not surprise me at all if Camilla was also behind some of it.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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