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Prince William’s alleged affair with Rose Hanbury gets late-night treatment as Kate drama grows

Stephen Colbert.
Stephen Colbert (left) jokes about Prince William's alleged affair.

Stephen Colbert is on the case of the missing princess.

Amid the drama about Kate Middleton’s whereabouts — since the Princess of Wales, 42, has barely been seen in public since her planned abdominal surgery in January — Colbert trolled Prince William’s alleged affair with Rose Hanbury.

“The kingdom has been all aflutter by the seeming disappearance of Kate Middleton. Well now, internet sleuths are guessing that Kate’s absence may be related to her husband and the future King of England William having an affair,” the comedian, 59, said on Tuesday’s episode of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

Wild speculations and conspiracy theories about her whereabouts and the reason for her long absence have abounded on social media.

Wild speculations have abounded about Kate Middleton’s health and why she’s out of the public eye. AP
Wild speculations have abounded about Kate Middleton’s health and why she’s out of the public eye. AP
Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley. WireImage
Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley. WireImage
“The kingdom has been all aflutter by the seeming disappearance of Kate Middleton,” said Stephen Colbert. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
“The kingdom has been all aflutter by the seeming disappearance of Kate Middleton,” said Stephen Colbert. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

To add fuel to the fire of internet conspiracies, William has ignored questions about his wife’s condition and her recovery from her unspecified medical issue.

The situation got more bizarre when Kensington Palace released a Mother’s Day photo of Middleton with her kids, allegedly taken by William, 41.

The photo featured Middleton sitting down and smiling alongside her children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

The photo was subsequently recalled by news agencies, who claimed the photo was “manipulated.” A “kill notification” released by AP read, “At closer inspection, it appears that the source has manipulated the image.”

Colbert joked about Prince William’s alleged affair. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Colbert joked about Prince William’s alleged affair. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Prince William’s attorney has previously denied the affair allegations. Samir Hussein/WireImage
Prince William’s attorney has previously denied the affair allegations. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Middleton herself took to X (formerly Twitter) on Monday to explain why there were several alterations to the portrait.

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused,” she wrote.

She ended by saying, “I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day” — which was Sunday in the UK — and ending casually with “C,” for her first name, Catherine.

Kensington Palace has refused to release the original unedited photo.

The snapshot was meant to put to bed the speculation about Middleton’s health but ultimately backfired.

“Cancelling all plans this afternoon as I’m now down a very deep rabbit hole,” one person joked on X.

“I’m not generally into conspiracy theories but this Kate Middleton photo has got me feeling like a flat earther,” another wrote.

Conspiracy theories have flown about Middleton and William. UK Press via Getty Images
Conspiracy theories have flown about Middleton and William. UK Press via Getty Images
“Oh no, my heart goes out to poor Kate,” said Colbert. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
“Oh no, my heart goes out to poor Kate,” said Colbert. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

And now, as Colbert said, the rumors have come back around to speculate that Middleton’s absence from the spotlight is connected to her husband’s alleged affair.

“Oh no, my heart goes out to poor Kate,” Colbert said on Tuesday.

“So, I think we all know who the alleged other woman is. Say it with me –– the Marchioness of Cholmondeley –– what a beautiful name!” he joked, referring to Hanbury’s formal royal title.

Hanbury, Prince William’s alleged affair partner. Getty Images
Hanbury, Prince William’s alleged affair partner. Getty Images

Colbert explained that Cholmondeley is pronounced “Chumley.”

“Now there have been rumors of an affair between William and the Marching Band of Chicanery since 2019,” Colbert said, joking about her title.

“According to tabloids back then, when Kate supposedly confronted him about it, he laughed it off, saying there was nothing to it. Always a good response when your wife accuses you of cheating.”

Colbert then went into a fake British accent. “’Ha ha, imagine me having an affair! It is to laugh. It reminds me of a jape –– knock, knock, who’s there?'” he said. “‘Oh, it’s my illegitimate son. I’ve knocked up my mistress.'”

Rumors about Middleton’s whereabouts are saying it has to do with William’s alleged affair. Getty Images
Rumors about Middleton’s whereabouts are saying it has to do with William’s alleged affair. Getty Images

Colbert further explained that Hanbury is “an old friend of the royals” and married to “a close friend of William’s, David Rocksavage.”

“Really? Rocksavage? That sounds less like a British noble and more like a musician from ‘The Flintstones.’ Rocksavage? Oh, I’m sorry, I’m being told it’s actually pronounced Chumley,” Colbert joked.

Rumors about the alleged affair between William and Hanbury, 39, began in 2019 when In Touch reported the claim.

William’s attorney denied it and told the Daily Beast it was “false and highly damaging.”

The Instagram gossip account Deuxmoi posted a tip in 2022 that claimed a British royal couple’s “extramarital affair is an open secret,” according to a screenshot shared by Cosmopolitan. The message didn’t specify that the royal was William.

Hanbury and her husband attended King Charles III’s coronation in May 2023.

Neither Prince William, Middleton nor Hanbury have ever publicly commented on the allegations.

Colbert joked about the case of the missing princess, Middleton. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Colbert joked about the case of the missing princess, Middleton. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Colbert’s former fellow “Daily Show” alum, John Oliver, has also joked about Middleton’s whereabouts.

“I was out. I thought, ‘Let’s all just ignore this. We’ve moved on,’ until the Photoshop thing,” Oliver, 46, said during an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.”

“That feels, like, you’re almost handling it in an oppressive way at this point,” the “Last Week Tonight” host added.

“There is a non-zero chance she died 18 months ago,” Oliver said.

“They might be ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’-ing this situation. I’m not saying it happened, but I’m saying it’s non-zero until proven otherwise. Until we see her sitting there with a copy of the day’s paper.”