Prince William and Princess Kate are set to become king and queen consort of England one day, but they’ve had their ups and downs just like any other couple.
In 2019, the Prince of Wales and his wife faced one of their biggest challenges when rumors circulated that William had an affair with Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. Hanbury is a close friend of the Cambridges, attending their 2011 wedding and the 2021 memorial service for Prince Philip.
The former model’s connection to the royal family goes way back — her grandmother Lady Elizabeth Lambert was a bridesmaid when William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II married Philip in 1947. Hanbury’s husband, David Cholmondeley, served as the Lord Great Chamberlain for Elizabeth from 1990 until her death in 2022. After William’s father, King Charles III, took the crown, the Marquess of Cholmondeley became a lord-in-waiting.
Speculation about an affair between William and Hanbury began in 2019 when multiple outlets reported that Kate had a falling out with her friend over the alleged infidelity. Kensington Palace never commented on the rumors, but royal watchers never stopped searching for clues.
“Kate finds the rumors hurtful, obviously, and hates the thought that one day her children will be able to read about them online,” a Middleton family friend exclusively told Us Weekly in June 2019, referencing Prince George (born in 2013), Princess Charlotte (born in 2015) and Prince Louis (born in 2018).
The insider added that the gossip actually inspired the couple to spend more time focusing on their marriage. “It forced her and William to sit back and examine their relationship, which they realized they should have been doing more often,” the source explained.
A second insider said that the duo — who met as undergraduates at the University of St Andrews in Scotland — were “doing a great job at getting their marriage back on track again” after the rumors made headlines. “It’s not unusual to have a few hiccups in a marriage, especially after eight years, and Kate and William are no different,” the source told Us. “They’re still going strong. Regardless of their ups and downs, they love each other dearly and their kids are the most important thing in their lives.”
While William and Kate have been together for their most of adult lives, the Duke of Cambridge has stayed in touch with Rose Farquhar, his first serious girlfriend. The former military pilot dated Farquhar in 2000 after they met at the Beaufort Polo Club while William was finishing his A-levels at Eton College. (The future king didn’t meet Kate until 2003.)
After their split, William and Farquhar continued to cross paths at weddings and other social events. When the Duke of Cornwall left for the University of St Andrews, his ex moved to New York City to pursue acting. Before starting her current career in business development, Farquhar auditioned for The Voice UK in 2016.
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In December 2022, William was present when Farquhar married George Gemmell. The Earthshot Prize cofounder was photographed at the time arriving for the ceremony via a back entrance at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Gloucestershire, England.