How Did 21 News Stories About Prince William and Rose Hanbury Get Killed?

Stephen Pond/Getty Images
Stephen Pond/Getty Images

At least 21 stories hinting at an alleged affair between Prince William and Rose Hanbury have been deleted from U.K. media outlets, a new investigation has found.

An extensive report by Vulture’s Ellie Hall, which revealed the shocking information cull, has triggered a new round of speculation that the British royal family are acting in cahoots with British newspapers to crush unflattering reporting about baseless rumors of a liaison between the couple.

Hall argues that the “mysterious individuals” responsible for the attempted clean-up have made a poor fist of their work, saying: “Broken links to these vanished stories still exist in each publication’s royal coverage from this timeframe and, in many cases, on these outlets’ official social-media accounts.” Hall reached out to all the newspapers concerned for comment, and only one returned her request—the Guardian, who said they had decided to alter a story themselves.

Stephen Colbert Trolls Prince William With Bit About Alleged Affair

The story was given new impetus earlier this year when Catherine, the Princess of Wales, disappeared from public view, and there was unfounded speculation that her marriage to Prince William was in trouble.

Catherine subsequently shut the rumors down by revealing she had been diagnosed with cancer, but not before Stephen Colbert had joked during a March 12 Late Show monologue about the alleged affair.

Colbert said “internet sleuths” were guessing that Kate Middleton’s “absence may be related to her husband and the future king of England, William, having an affair.”

Colbert mocked the fact that Rose’s married name, Cholmondeley, is pronounced Chumley, and the name of her husband David Rocksavage as “sounding less like a British noble and more like a musician from The Flintstones.”

His remarks prompted Hanbury to issue her first public statement denying the rumors, and a legal warning was sent to CBS about Colbert’s “royal mistress” remarks.

The Vulture story also chronicles how Rose has been the subject of increasingly positive media coverage in British newspapers in recent years, with reports focusing on her friendship with Catherine.

Legal representatives for both the royal family and the Marchioness of Cholmondeley have strongly denied the rumors.

Hall cites a story by this reporter in The Daily Beast as “one of the most important source materials in the multiyear Rose Hanbury Alleged Affair Saga.” The Royalist story reported that the palace had sent legal letters asserting that publishing details of the alleged affair would not only be “false and highly damaging,” it would constitute “a breach of [William’s] privacy pursuant to Article 8 of the European Convention to Human Rights.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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