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Reports of Prince William’s affair with Rose Hanbury quietly removed from websites

Rumors that Prince William had an affair with British noblewoman Sarah Rose Hanbury have been circulating since 2019. A recent investigation by Vulture suggests that UK media outlets have quietly removed mentions of this alleged affair.

Ellie Hall, a royal correspondent for Vulture, has compiled a timeline tracking the erasure or modifications of news stories from 2019 to March 2024. The timeline reveals that several British publications, including tabloids like The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, and The Mirror, as well as high-society magazine Tatler, had published articles about a relationship between William, 42, and Hanbury, 40, which have since been taken down or substantially updated.

These stories, amended after publication, ranged from opinion pieces to aggregated articles. They covered various aspects from rumors that Hanbury was a romantic “contender” for William to an alleged falling out between Hanbury and Kate Middleton, 42, due to Middleton seeing Hanbury as a “rival.”

Some of the deleted or updated articles remain accessible in their original form via resources like the Internet’s WayBack Machine, as reported by Vulture. Hanbury’s lawyers stated in a March email to Business Insider that the affair rumors were “completely false.”

Vulture also mentioned it is unclear whether the outlets that erased or edited the stories did so at the request of representatives for William or Hanbury, who is the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. The only publication that issued a statement to Vulture was The Guardian. This newspaper removed a reference to a joke talk-show host Stephen Colbert made about the affair rumors in March. The Guardian informed Vulture that they had adjusted their story “after internal editorial consideration and not following external outreach.”

The publications involved, Kensington Palace, and representatives for Hanbury did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Hanbury has longstanding ties to the royal family. Her maternal grandmother was one of Queen Elizabeth II’s bridesmaids. In 2019, she officially became a noblewoman after marrying David Cholmondeley, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley. The affair rumors have been fueled by the fact that William and Kate were briefly neighbors with the Cholmondeleys. Before making Windsor Castle their primary home, William and Kate lived at Anmer Hall in Norfolk, only about a 10-minute drive from the Cholmondeley’s residence at Houghton Hall.

When the rumors first appeared 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 under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, this law protects an individual’s “private and family life” and can only be interfered with in instances such as concerns over “public safety” or “the rights and freedoms of other people.”

Although the rumors about William and Rose have fluctuated over the years, they intensified when Stephen Colbert dedicated part of his opening monologue on the March 12 episode of “The Late Show” to speculation that the alleged affair was connected to Kate’s months-long absence from public appearances. She later revealed that her absence was due to her cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Source: Business Insider, Vulture, The Daily Beast, The Guardian, Equality and Human Rights Commission