Because of the coronavirus, gossip has slowed to the pace of molasses, which explains my desire to do a “remember when” gossip story. Our Gossip with Celebitchy podcast this week is about old gossip mysteries too, and it got me thinking about the royal mystery at the heart of so much of what happened in the Windsor family for the past two years or so. Did you know that we didn’t remark on the one year anniversary of Dan Wootton “outing” Rose Hanbury as the Duchess of Cambridge’s “rural rival”? That happened on March 22, 2019 aka Rural Rival Day. Wootton actually didn’t break the story, the Daily Mail did weeks earlier, only they buried the curious “rivalry” story in one small gossip column, and it was largely ignored. Incidentally, the Daily Mail online took down that original column from mid-March 2019. Curious, huh?
After The Sun published their very shady, talking-around-the-issue column, Prince William ran to Richard Kay at the Daily Mail. In a piece published on March 24th, 2019 (just two days after Wootton’s story dropped), an unnamed source who just had to be William insisted that nothing was happening between Kate and Rose and something something, it’s all some kind of evil plot cooked up by the Duchess of Sussex. That story is still up, and it’s still one of the most bizarre “denials” in the history of royal gossip. As the story unfolded over the next few days and weeks after that, we got a clearer picture of what happened: an alleged affair between William and Rose, likely when Kate was pregnant with Louis, and Kate only finding out much later. Kate probably did try to freeze out Rose from their Norfolk society too. We also learned that William and his lawyers were doing the most to shut down media outlets from writing about anything to do with Rose.
There are still so many mysteries around all of this. Who leaked the original “rural rival” story and what was the goal there? To hurt the Cambridges, or to hurt Rose? Did William, in his rush to shut down the affair gossip, end up selling his soul and lifetime access to his family to various media outlets? Did Rose and Kate “make up” to any extent? They were seen at the same church service a few months ago, and Rose attended the Trump state dinner at Buckingham Palace last year. And the biggest question: is William still trimming Rose bushes?
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.