Inside Rose Hanbury's Relationship With King Charles

In the weeks and months leading up to King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort's coronation on May 6, 2023, royal fans had no shortage of titillating content. Between rumors of the guest list, those not attending, and other dramatic details surrounding the historic day, there was plenty to keep us all entertained. 

One name that made some headlines in regard to the coronation was Rose Hanbury. If you follow royal family gossip, then you've likely seen her name before. Hanbury, also known by her married name Rose Cholmondeley, or her title, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, has run in the same circles as royal family members for most of her life. But, due to controversy regarding her friendship with the Prince and Princess of Wales, some speculated that she might no longer be in good standing with the royal family.

However, decisions by King Charles himself show that he holds no ill will towards the Cholmondeley family. So, what is Hanbury's relation to King Charles, and why did people expect drama around her and the coronation? That's exactly what we intend to get to the bottom of. After sorting through the gossip and the facts, we've come to a better understanding of Hanbury's relationship with the Crown.

As the Marchioness of Chomondeley, she's close to Charles and the royal family

Rose Hanbury has strong ties to King Charles and the royals due to her family. Before marrying, Rose Hanbury was a socialite and worked as a model. According to Now to Love, her family has been a part of British high society for decades, and her grandmother was even a bridesmaid in the queen's 1947 wedding.

Hanbury became even more entrenched in the royal family in 2009 when she married David Cholmondeley, who is 18 years older than her. Cholmondeley is the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, making Hanbury's official title Marchioness of Cholmondeley upon their marriage. The marquess is also a close personal friend of King Charles.

Along with their connection to King Charles, the marquess and marchioness became close friends with the Prince and Princess of Wales. The Cholmondeleys live at Houghton Hall, an estate in Norfolk, quite close to William and Kate's country manor. They run in the same high society social circle as the royal couple, which the U.K. press calls the "Turnip Toffs." Just as generations before her, it seems Rose Hanbury, her husband, and three children are close to the royals.

Rose Hanbury's oldest son was given an important role in the coronation

Coronations are a symbolic ceremony marking the beginning of a reign of a monarch, so King Charles III's crowning as king in Westminster Abbey involves many significant customs that date back through the generations of monarchs before him, all watched by subjects across the U.K. and by many interested in the royals from around the globe. With that in mind, it's hard to overstate the significance of being included in such a ceremony. So, many were surprised in early April 2023 when headlines announced that Charles had appointed Oliver Cholmondeley, the 13-year-old son of Rose Hanbury, as one of his pages for the coronation.

This appointment may have been Charles' way of putting rumors about a rift between Hanbury and the royals to rest. For several years before the coronation, tabloids ran wild with the story of an alleged affair between Prince William and Rose Hanbury and the subsequent feud between the Princess of Wales and Hanbury. However, Charles seemed unconcerned with any gossip regarding his son's affair, given his decision to award an honorable position to Hanbury's son at his coronation. Perhaps this appointment was King Charles' way of communicating to the public that there is no bad blood between the families.

Charles appointed Rose Hanbury's husband to an honorable position

Along with making Oliver Cholmondeley a page, King Charles appointed Rose Hanbury's husband, Marquess of Cholmondeley, as his Lord-in-Waiting. This firmly placed the marquess and his wife in high standing with the royal family. The Marquess of Cholmondeley or David Rocksavage is a filmmaker who married the former model Hanbury in 2009. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, his new role meant the marquess would be required to attend important royal functions and even represent His Majesty when necessary.

Participating in royal life in an official capacity is not new to the marquess. Prior to Queen Elizabeth II's death, he served as Lord Great Chamberlain. However, as is tradition, the role shifted hands upon the monarch's death, and Cholmondeley was replaced by the 7th Lord Carrington. So, for a time, it seemed he might lose his close connection with the monarchy, but King Charles righted that with the new appointment.

Giving the marquess this prestigious role reaffirms the Cholmondeley family's place at the center of the royal court. And it confirmed to the public before the coronation that it was almost an impossibility that Rose Hanbury won't be there, since her husband and son would be playing such prominent roles. Although the palace didn't confirm RSVPs before the big day, a friend of the royals told The Daily Beast in April 2023 that the marquess attending without his wife would be "unimaginable."

The king may have unintentionally reignited rumors

In 2019, rumors of Prince William having an affair with Rose Hanbury began taking off in U.K. and U.S. tabloids. The Prince and Princess of Wales have a manor in Norfolk where they're neighbors with Rose Hanbury and her husband. Kate and Hanbury are similar ages and seemed to be close friends for a time. But soon, gossip began about a feud between the two. According to tabloids, Kate began icing out Hanbury after learning of an affair between her husband and her friend. Though there has yet to be any substantiating evidence, the rumors took on a life of their own and persisted for quite some time.

King Charles' decision to appoint the marquess as his Lord-In-Waiting gave the Cholmondeleys a place of honor, but it may also have unintentionally reignited those vicious rumors. The high-ranking position brought the marquess and his wife back into the spotlight, and Hanbury's name made headlines again as many outlets returned to the same story. However, some sources have come forward to combat the rumor mill. One friend of the Crown told The Daily Beast, "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."

Rose Hanbury has attended many important royal events

There were speculations that Rose Hanbury had been left out of royal gatherings after her supposed affair with Prince William. However, those rumors should easily have been put to rest. Despite rumors of a rift between the Marchioness of Cholmondeley and the Princess of Wales, the former was still extended invitations to plenty of royal functions even before the coronation. Not only did Charles name her husband his Lord-in-Waiting, but the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley continued attending royal events the same as always, even before Charles's recent gesture.

As Now to Love reported, Hanbury attended Sunday service at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate with members of the royal family on January 5, 2020. She was also invited to a memorial for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on March 29, 2022. And while there were rumors that she'd been left off the guest list at the queen's funeral, these were proven false. The marchioness and marquess were at the funeral along with the royal family and many other high-ranking leaders from around the world. She and her husband came to mourn the queen and support King Charles and the rest of the royal family. Despite all the whispers to the contrary, from all appearances, Hanbury's relationship with the Crown was still as cordial as ever.

Rose Hanbury was expected to be in attendance at the king's coronation

Due to her family ties to the royals and her son being a page of honor, it wasn't surprising to anyone that Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, was expected to attend King Charles' coronation as a guest along with her husband, David Cholmondeley. According to Marca, it was Charles himself who insisted Hanbury attend despite any animosity between her and the Princess of Wales. Giving her son a prominent role essentially cemented Hanbury's invitation. One source claims that the princess made the condition that Hanbury does not interact with her at the coronation. However, it's hard to know if this was true or merely petty gossip.

Richard Kay for The Daily Mail claimed any stories about the princess and marchioness falling out were just lies meant to hurt Middleton. He wrote, "I am told the rumors of a falling out between these two attractive young women are false. I can also reveal both sides have considered legal action but, because none of the reports have been able to offer any evidence about what the so-called dispute is about, they have chosen to ignore it." It seemed the royals would continue to ignore these rumors, and Hanbury attend King Charles's coronation the same as she always would have. King Charles and the Cholmondeleys seem on good terms.