Hands up if you are still deeply confused by what a "rural rival" is and why Kate Middleton has one. Cool, same, we're all in this together. The internet has spent the past few months low-key obsessed with the clearly-fabricated-and-definitely-deranged "feud" between the Duchess of Cambridge and her friend Rose Hanbury, and honestly the pure thirst of it all has taken years off my life.
But in the interest of understanding 2019's most insane tabloid drama about the royal family (you know, minus literally every piece of news about Meghan Markle's dad), here's a handy guideline to, like, guide you or whatever.
March 22, 2019
British tabloid The Sun publishes a "report" that Kate has had a falling out with one of her glamorous friends in the country named Rose, who happens to be the Marchioness of impossible-to-pronounce Cholmondeley. The tabloid claims Rose is Kate’s "rural rival," and that the Duchess has asked Prince William to have her “phased out” of their country friend group.
Meanwhile, a "source" tells The Sun that "it is well known that Kate and Rose have had a terrible falling out. They used to be close but that is not the case any more. William wants to play peacemaker so the two couples can remain friends, given they live so close to each other and share many mutual friends. But Kate has been clear that she doesn’t want to see them any more and wants William to phase them out, despite their social status."
Hmmm, kinda awkward considering Rose and her husband live at Houghton Hall, which is just a stone's throw away from Kate and William’s country home, Anmer Hall.
^ Here's Rose looking super rich, FYI!!!!
March 24, 2019
The Daily Mail reports that Kate is super pissed about The Sun's claims, with royal reporter Richard Kay telling the outlet there’s no truth to them and that both sides are so upset they've “considered legal action.” However, since “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.”
A family source also tells Kay that "these hurtful rumours of a fallout are simply false. William and David [Rose’s husband] were in touch with each other over the weekend, not knowing whether to laugh or complain. Both wives are hurt by the suggestion that there is any argument or even a coolness between them. They have plans for future events involving their charity."
In other words: KATE HAS NO TIME FOR YOUR DRAMA.
March 26, 2019
Writer Giles Coran sets affair rumours in motion by randomly tweeting and deleting this: "I know about the affair. Everybody knows about the affair, darling."
Unclear why he thought this was a good idea, but ya know! Twitter is a mess!
Please note: The Daily Beast says they "understand that pressure was applied by the palace" to get this tweet removed. Interesting.
March 30, 2019
Writer Nicole Cliffe tweets a viral thread with her personal theories about William/Kate/Rose, speculating that William and Rose's alleged "affair" is the source of the "rift" between Harry and his brother. (But that's a whole other ~feud~ for another time.)
"Wills would absolutely have told Harry about the affair, bc of how those two are, and I think that Harry was like 'this is exactly what ruined our childhoods, this is pulling some Dad shit, you have three small children, what the fuck?'" she tweeted. "Because Wills very definitely had been telling Harry for ages before he proposed to Meghan 'this is moving too fast, are you sure, etc' and so this would REALLY stick in his craw."
Read the full thread below, it's fascinating, if a lil extra:
Would it be helpful for me to explain the current Royal scandal w a great deal of personal editorialising?— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) March 30, 2019
April 4, 2019
While the British media remains unusually quiet, American tabloid In Touch freakin' goes there and alleges that Kate and Rose's feud is a direct result of an "affair" between Rose and William. The magazine claims Kate confronted her husband, who "laughed it off, saying there was nothing to it."
April 9, 2019
The Daily Beast publishes an article claiming that the palace has been issuing lawsuit threats to publications covering "details of the rumours." One letter reportedly states "in addition to being false and highly damaging, the publication of false speculation in respect of our clients’ private life also constitutes a breach of his privacy pursuant to Article 8 of the European Convention to Human Rights."
Tabloids are basically just all:
June 3, 2019
Rose attends the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace with her husband, and Kate is definitely also there. The pair don't appear in photographs together and are seated at different tables—but still, this seems like a pretty clear "NOTHING TO SEE HERE, FOLKS" on the part of the palace.
And that brings us up to date on this mess! A very royal goodbye wave. Ta ta!