She’s a member of the royal family’s inner circle with a, frankly, mouthful of a title herself. So who is Rose Hanbury (née Cholmondeley), the Marchioness of Cholmondeley? She was once hailed one of the best-dressed guests at the Royal Wedding of the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, now Prince and Princess of Wales.
As a member of the peerage of the U.K., Cholmondeley will be among the esteemed guests at King Charles’ coronation ceremony on May 6, 2023. Historically, the coronation was considered a sacred ceremony between a monarch and their people in the presence of God, but Charles will do away with tradition and invite his counterparts from around the world in addition to many other guests. A source told The Mail on Sunday: “I believe the rule began because a Coronation is meant to be a monarch’s private event with God. At the Queen’s Coronation, there were no crowned monarchs, only the protectorate rulers like the Queen of Tonga. It’s been a tradition for centuries.”
Buckingham Palace announced that the Cholmondeley’s son, Oliver, would be taking up an official role in the day’s festivities. “Throughout the Coronation Service on 6th May, Their Majesties will each be attended by four Pages of Honour. The Pages will form part of the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey,” the statement read. “The King’s Pages of Honour will be His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Master Nicholas Barclay and Master Ralph Tollemache. The Queen Consort’s Pages of Honour will be Her Majesty’s grandsons, Master Gus and Master Louis Lopes and Master Freddy Parker Bowles, and Her Majesty’s great-nephew, Master Arthur Elliot.”
Rose Cholmondeley (née Hanbury) is the wife of David Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumley), 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley. A Marquess (and his wife, a Marchioness) holds the fourth most senior rank in the British nobility (behind King/Queen, Prince/Princess, and Duke/Duchess). The Cholmondeleys are particularly notable, however, as they are hereditary co-holders of the office of Lord Great Chamberlain.
David was named King Charles’ Lord-in-Waiting meanwhile their son, Oliver, was named as one of the king’s pages, who was tasked with holding the robes of the king, alongside Prince George on Coronation Day. The couple also share another son, Alexander—Oliver’s twin—and daughter Iris. Not only is Rose connected to the royal family through her friendship with Kate, but her grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Lambert, was a bridesmaid at Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s wedding in November 1947.
Rose was educated at Stowe School and was a boarder at the prestigious school before taking an Open University degree. She served as a researcher for conservative politician Michael Gove. Cholmondeley, who was originally a model, married Rocksavage in 2009.
The couple, living a mere three or four miles from Will and Kate, began attending dinner parties and arranging play dates between their children. In 2019, Rose was wrapped up in rumors that she was “the other woman” to Prince William eight years after his marriage to Kate—rumors that were vehemently denied by William’s lawyers and proven to be incorrect.
The rumors began swirling in 2019 when inside sources claimed that Kate and the former model friend were sparring. At the time, people said the Duchess of Cambridge was attempting to phase Rose out of her friendship circle. And Prince William’s role in all of it was simply a husband trying to get his wife to get along with a neighbor. (Rose and her husband, David, live in a neighboring estate to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s country manor, Amner Hall). But then—out of the feud rumors came the question, why? Now, it’s likely there was no feud to begin with and we’re all very aware of the press’ penchant for pitting women against each other. But even if there was, it definitely wasn’t because of an affair, because an affair never happened.
William responded to the allegations via his lawyers, who threatened to sue any U.K.-based media outlet that reported the rumors as fact. “In addition to being false and highly damaging, the publication of false speculation in respect of our client’s private life also constitutes a breach of his privacy pursuant to Article 8 of the European Convention to Human Rights,” the Duke of Cambridge’s lawyers wrote in a statement.
As a member of the royal’s inner circle, Hanbury was in attendance at King Charles’ Coronation on May 6, 2023. After the false rumor of an affair began circulating again close to the coronation date, some wondered whether Hanbury would attend the occasion. A friend of the family told The Daily Beast in an article published on April 12, 2023, that “there has never been any enmity between Kate and Rose. The rumors were all a load of rubbish. The family are ancient allies of the Crown and they will be there.”
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