It would have been the best gossip ever if Finding Freedom had made any kind of reference to Rose Hanbury. Alas, having finished the book, it feels like there were some large chunks about Prince William edited out of the final product. I get that Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand were never going to spill major tea on Prince William’s alleged affair with the Marchioness of Chholmondeley, but there was definitely room for a shady reference about rose bushes or something. I’m just saying! While Scobie and Durand avoided it, Tom Sykes at the Daily Beast is not. Sykes was never a fan of the Duchess of Sussex, and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve avoided his royal coverage for months now, but Sykes also broke a few stories about Prince William, like the fact in April 2019, William’s lawyers were furiously trying to shut down the affair story and threatening legal action (which is how you know it’s true). So, Tom Sykes dropped this into a Daily Beast piece about where he gets his gossip:
While the working life of my hard-bitten colleagues at The Daily Beast involves a punishing regimen of worn shoe leather, lightning-fast shorthand and an easy facility with navigating the murkier corners of the dark web, my working life is rather different. My best scoops all seem to come from country house dinner parties, shooting weekends and my network of family, friends, and old school and university friends.
…It was at a dinner party attended by one of my top sources, the daughter of an earl, that I first heard the shocking rumors that Prince William was having an affair with one of his neighbors and it was over a family lunch that I was told that William and Harry really, really don’t get on with their dad, and he finds their habit of publicly emoting embarrassing and undignified. Both stories were denied by the Palace, of course.
“The daughter of an earl” well that’s interesting! It just goes to the theory that William and Rose’s affair was common knowledge among the aristocrats and Turnip Toffs. It also goes to the theory that those people – the sons and daughters of earls, the sons and daughters of dukes, the old money blue-bloods – feel like the Duchess of Cambridge is not one of them, and they’ll get their revenge on her. They were mad when Kate tried to phase out Rose. And that Tatler debacle a few months back – that was one part of this too.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.