Last Friday, after weeks of media avoidance on the issue, the Sun in the UK published a sympathetic profile of Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, about how she’s been struggling with all the rumours and speculation, about how she’s kind of been abandoned by friends and maybe even her husband, David Rocksavage, the Marquess of Cholmondeley. Curiously the article was edited to take out the parts about Rose “entertaining William” as it was meant to make a case that she’s been unwittingly caught up in a gossip drama that she wants no part of. 

Yesterday a follow-up in the Daily Mail took a deeper dive into Rose’s family background, in particular her husband’s background. In summary: David was apparently quite the playboy before he met and married Rose. And he spends time with… some shady people. Shady is one thing when you’re a civilian. Shady is a whole different planet when you have money – the “evil billionaire” trope exists for a reason – and David’s friends have a LOT of money. One of David’s friends is highlighted in particular here by the Daily Mail: Francois-Marie Banier is a “controversial convicted criminal”. What’s implied is that Banier’s been involved with a couple of mega money super old heiresses and when they died he was suspected of suspicious dealings. That’s an understatement. My main takeaway from reading about Banier is one question: is this dude some kind of a black widower? 

And another question: what’s the messaging here? Three days ago, we were told that Rose is left alone at home while her husband is always in Paris doing whatever he’s doing. Now we find out that he’s always in Paris, maybe prefers to be in Paris, with a dude who may or may not be out here conning rich old ladies. There’s a STRONG subtext. Several of them, actually. But let’s focus on the one that has to do with House Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine, and what this has to do with Kate not being friends with Rose anymore. 

They’re giving us an alternate explanation. That, maybe, it wasn’t an affair – but something much more complicated. Literally rich people problems. As the future king of England, if David Rocksavage does indeed have these grimy connections, what would it look like if the Cambridges were consorting with him? Would they carry the stink? Are they not friends anymore because they know they might not be able to shake off that stink? 

Here’s where it all gets a lot more interesting than a garden variety aristocrat affair. And you’re naïve if you think that an affair would be a bigger deal than this new angle. These people have affairs all the time – rich people were practically born to cheat on each other. A much more devastating scandal would be the much more sinister kind of scandal. Think about Prince Andrew and his association with Jeffrey Epstein. There have been whispers about that sh-t for years, which Andrew and his supporters have always denied. But also, Andrew is nowhere near the throne. William is practically right on top of it. William doesn’t have a Jeffrey Epstein in his life, but he probably has to be really careful about his own circle and the people who are inside of it. Is it possible that the Cambridges are actively trying to avoid David Rocksavage’s curious friendships and the drama that they might bring? Is that the reason they’re not friends with Rose anymore? Rose was not wearing her wedding ring when she attended the American state banquet a couple of weeks ago during Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. Was she sending a message that she’s sick of her husband’s dirty secrets and how much they’ve cost her personally? 

Because there’s a new villain that’s emerged from this Daily Mail piece. Not a good look for David Rocksavage. 

Attached - Will and Kate at the Order of the Garter Service today at Windsor Castle with other royals.