Reports that Prince William had an affair with Rose Hanbury have been quietly deleted from some news websites

A composite image of Rose Hanbury and Prince William.
Rumors about Rose Hanbury and Prince William first emerged in 2019.Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images, Chris Jackson/Getty Images
  • Rumors that Prince William had an affair with Sarah Rose Hanbury have circulated since 2019.

  • A new Vulture investigation suggests British outlets have quietly removed mentions of the affair.

  • Lawyers for Hanbury told Business Insider in March that the affair rumors were "completely false."

Reports speculating that Prince William had an affair with British noblewoman Sarah Rose Hanbury have been quietly deleted by UK media outlets, a Vulture investigation suggests.

A royal correspondent for Vulture, Ellie Hall, pieced together a timeline of the erasure or modifications of news stories that stretches from 2019, when the affair rumors first emerged, to March 2024.

The timeline lays out how several British publications published articles about connections between William, 42, and Hanbury, 40, that have since been taken down or substantially updated.

The stories amended after publication came from outlets including tabloids such as The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, and The Mirror as well as Tatler, a high-society magazine.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Rose Hanbury with a crowd of other people in a garden.
Prince William and Kate Middleton used to be neighbors with Hanbury when they lived in Norfolk.Stephen Pond/Getty Images

The news stories Vulture said were amended after publication range from opinion pieces to aggregated articles, covering, for example, rumors that Hanbury was at one point a potential romantic "contender" for William and an apparent falling out between Hanbury and Kate Middleton, 42, over the Princess of Wales seeing her as "rival."

Vulture reported that some of the deleted or updated articles were still accessible in their original form via resources such as the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine.

Hanbury, through her lawyers, said in a March email to Business Insider that the affair rumors were "completely false."

Vulture said it was unclear whether the outlets that erased or edited stories did so at the request of representatives for William or Hanbury, who is the Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

The only publication to issue a statement to Vulture was The Guardian. That newspaper removed a reference to a joke that the talk-show host Stephen Colbert made on air about the affair rumors in March. The Guardian told Vulture it had adjusted its story "after internal editorial consideration and not following external outreach."

The publications, Kensington Palace, and representatives for Hanbury didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from BI.

Rose Hanbury has close ties to the royal family

As BI previously reported, Hanbury has been linked to William, Kate, and the royal family for years.

Her maternal grandmother was one of Queen Elizabeth II's bridesmaids. In 2019, she officially became a noblewoman after marrying David Cholmondeley (pronounced "Chumley"), the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley.

Rose Hanbury and Kate Middleton smiling at each other as Prince William looks on.
Hanbury, William, and Kate at Houghton Hall in 2016.Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Affair rumors have been bolstered by the fact William and Kate were briefly neighbors with the Cholmondeleys.

Before making Windsor Castle their primary home, the couple was living at Anmer Hall in Norfolk, about a 10-minute car ride from the Cholmondeley residence at Houghton Hall.

After rumors first sprung up online in 2019, the Daily Beast reported that lawyers representing William issued a warning to "at least one British publication" that covering the gossip was not only "false and highly damaging" but would infringe upon his privacy in line with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the law protects an individual's "private and family life" and can only be interfered with in certain instances, such as if the information concerns "public safety" or "the rights and freedoms of other people."

While the William-Rose rumors have ebbed and flowed over the years, they hit a boiling point when Colbert dedicated part of his opening monologue on the March 12 episode of "The Late Show" to speculation that the rumored affair was connected to Kate taking months off from public appearances.

Kate later said the absence was because of her cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Read the original article on Business Insider