The Shady Side of Rose Hanbury

The Shady Side of Rose Hanbury

Did Rose Hanbury married for money?

Rose Hanbury’s alleged connection to Prince William isn’t the only shady thing she’s been accused of. From her husband’s questionable friendships to the origin of some of their prized possessions, there’s plenty more to know about the mysterious marchioness.

Rose Hanbury’s family has always moved in the same circles as the British royals. For example, Hanbury’s grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Mary Longman, served as a bridesmaid at Queen Elizabeth II’s 1947 wedding to Prince Philip.

Of course, Hanbury’s proximity to the royals only grew after she married David Rocksavage, also known as David Cholmondeley, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley and the former Earl of Rocksavage.

He also serves as a Lord-in-Waiting to King Charles III, which sometimes requires him to attend official royal events as the king’s representative.

Hanbury met her future husband in 2003 when they both attended a party at Villa Cetinale in Italy.

The marquess had a reputation as an eternal bachelor, and, according to the Daily Mail, some saw him as “the greatest catch in England.” But the couple didn’t officially start dating until 2006, perhaps because of their age difference. Hanbury was just 19 years old when she met the 42-year-old Rocksavage.

On June 24, 2009, Hanbury and Rocksavage tied the knot in a low-key ceremony at London’s Chelsea Town Hall.

They announced their engagement just two days before their wedding, which caused a stir that was intensified by the revelation that Hanbury was pregnant with twins at the time.

The couple went on to have three children; Alexander, Oliver, and Iris.

Stolen Chinese artifacts

In March 2024, Hanbury found herself embroiled in controversy when some eagle-eyed viewers on Chinese social media platforms suggested the Cholmondeleys may be in possession of rare, and potentially stolen, Chinese artifacts.

Sharing photos of the couple taken in their family home by Vanity Fair and the Financial Times, one X user explained, “Unfortunately, people in China looked a little too closely at this photoshoot of the Marquis and Marchioness of Cholmondeley […] and noticed that it’s full of authentic Chinese furniture and artifacts that were stolen from China during the fall of the Qing dynasty.”

The thread summarized online speculation that Rocksavage inherited the items from his ancestors, which included the Sassoon family. The Sassoons were famous for building a successful business during the 19th century, selling products like opium and tea.

This involved, of course, travel to China and India. If the items seen in the Cholmondeley family home were, indeed, acquired illegally, then Rose and David may have some answering to do.

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Suspect associations

Hanbury and Rocksavage lived a relatively quiet life until rumors of their connection to Prince William and Kate Middleton started making headlines.

But after the Princess of Wales retreated from her official royal duties in early 2024, details about Hanbury and Rocksavage’s private lives received closer scrutiny.

This included Rocksavage’s close friendship with François-Marie Banier, a French artist who was convicted of financially exploiting French heiress Liliane Bettencourt, from whom he allegedly stole hundreds of millions of euros.

He was sentenced to almost three years in prison but eventually appealed for a suspended four-year sentence.

Rocksavage and Banier are reportedly extremely close. Banier is even the godfather of Hanbury and Rocksavage’s twin sons.

Upon learning of Rocksavage’s friendship with Banier, many X users questioned the connection, particularly as the marquess and his wife are so close to the British royal family.

One X user wrote, “Rose Hanbury’s husband has been involved for years with François-Marie Banier, who swindled Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oreal heiress out of millions. This could not get juicier.”

The affair rumors

On March 26, 2019, journalist Giles Coren replied to a post on X suggesting that Prince William was having an affair with Hanbury, which had led to a fight between Hanbury and Kate Middleton.

Coren wrote in his since-deleted reply, “Yes. It is an affair. I haven’t read the piece but I know about the affair. Everyone knows about the affair, darling.” According to The Daily Beast, Coren may have been forced to remove his post after Prince William’s legal team allegedly attempted to quiet the rumors, but the damage was done.

According to sources who spoke to InTouch, Kate heard reports of the affair and asked her husband point blank if he was cheating on her, which he reportedly denied. However, the rumors were thrown into question after Hanbury attended Buckingham Palace in June 2019 for a state banquet alongside most of the royal family.

Since then, she’s been photographed at multiple events alongside Kate and William, making royal fans wonder whether there was ever any drama between them. Still, the rumors have never really died down.

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Falling out with Kate

Rumors of an affair between Prince William and Rose Hanbury increased after it was reported that Hanbury and Kate Middleton had an argument and were no longer friends. In March 2019, The Sun quoted a source who alleged, “It is well known that Kate and Rose have had a terrible falling out.They used to be close but that is not the case anymore.”

After Hanbury and her husband attended King Charles III’s coronation in May 2023, onlookers wondered if she may have repaired her friendship with Kate.

However, Richard Kay, the Daily Mail’s royal expert, suggested Kate and Hanbury had never ended their friendship in the first place, writing, “Both sides have considered legal action, but because none of the reports have been able to offer any evidence about what the so-called dispute is about, they have chosen to ignore it … These hurtful rumors of a fallout are simply false.” “You know, journalists in the UK spend a lot of time digging, and if, at this point, they still don’t have anything, that says a lot.”

Whatever the truth of the matter is, it’s clear affair rumors and tales of bitter feuds have generated even more interest in Hanbury’s life, especially when it comes to her relationship with Kate and William.

Going ring less

In June 2019, The Irish Mail reported that Hanbury hadn’t worn her wedding ring to a high-profile event, leading many to wonder if there were problems in her marriage.

The occasion was an official state banquet at Buckingham Palace honoring a visit from then-U.S. president Donald Trump.

As the dinner took place mere months after rumors of the affair between Hanbury and Prince William first surfaced, it was speculated that the marchioness had purposefully taken off her ring. Then, In June 2021, New Idea shared photos of Rocksavage without his wedding ring and reported that he doesn’t usually wear one, like many other royal men.

Why the marquess went ring-less remained unclear. Regardless, Hanbury and Rocksavage’s lack of wedding rings only inspired more conspiracy theories.

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