The Shady Sign Rose Hanbury Is Taking Over Kate Middleton's Life, According To Royal Watchers

Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, has been frequently linked with Catherine, Princess of Wales. Since Anmer Hall, the Wales' country residence, is close to the Cholmondeleys' home, Houghton Hall, the two women had the opportunity to cultivate a friendship. Unfortunately, due to her close connection with the royal family, Hanbury's also had to deal with accusations that she had an affair with William, Prince of Wales. Much to Hanbury's distress, these rumors have been circulating in the press intermittently since 2019, and she's taken legal action to refute them. Meanwhile, Hanbury continues her close association with the royal family.

Recently, that closeness has crossed the line for some royal fans. As Kate continues to remain out of the public eye following her March announcement regarding her cancer diagnosis and treatment,  Hanbury has been photographed at royal events. On May 15, Hanbury, along with her husband David Cholmondeley, attended an Order of The British Empire event at St. Paul's Cathedral. The couple's son, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, served as a page and was tasked with the high-profile duty of carrying the hem of King Charles' scarlet robe. While Hanbury was ostensibly attending to support her son, some royal watchers view her as usurping Kate's place. "As Kate Middleton is still missing, Rose Hanbury is seen more and more at Royal events," posted one critic on X (formerly Twitter). Hanbury's hat also struck a nerve, since it looked identical to a hat previously worn by Kate.

Rose Hanbury has a duty to support the royal family

Three days before the May 15 service, Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, spent time with Queen Camilla at the Badminton Horse Trials. Photos of this event show both women smiling and talking animatedly to one another like old friends. Some fans interpreted Hanbury's presence there as a harbinger that she'd be seen at a lot more events with the family in the future. 

However, not everyone was swayed by the idea that Hanbury's impinging on Catherine, Princess of Wales' territory, particularly with her choice of that Kate-esque black hat at the Order of The British Empire ceremony. "Given Rose's pedigree I'll bet she wore it first & Kate copied her," a fan wrote on X. "She has effortless style."

Besides showing friendship with Camilla, there's also evidence that Hanbury has been strengthening her bond with Kate. Hanbury is said to have sent support and well wishes to the princess as she undergoes cancer treatment. In addition, while some individuals see Lord Oliver Cholmondeley's role as a royal page as a sign of Hanbury's family taking over, the Cholmondeleys are simply fulfilling longstanding responsibilities. In May 2023, Hanbury and her husband, David Cholmondeley, attended King Charles' coronation while their son performed similar page duties at that event.  "There has never been any enmity between Kate and Rose," a friend of the Cholmondeleys asserted to the Daily Beast in April 2023. "The family are ancient allies of the Crown."