If you live in the United States, you might not understand how royal gossip takes on a life of its own.
In the UK, however, it’s a completely different phenomenon.
For centuries far before celebrity gossip was a thing, knowing the royal family proved status. Any connection was one that might be boasted about. As a result, any intel gained from those connections was fair fodder in public places. Although those kinds of close connections to the house of Windsor have diminished significantly into the modern-day, there are still people who have astounding access.
The Daily Beast‘s Tom Sykes shared how he’s gotten some of his biggest-ever royal scoops. In doing so, he also may have connected the dots between some subjects. Not only did he touch on getting word of Prince William’s alleged affair last year, he also noted how William and Harry were once bonded in reaction to their dad’s distaste for their emotional behavior. The web of drama around the royal family is connected by many threads. This may be yet another one of them.
One Daily Beast writer recently shared some information about his network of royal sources. In doing so, he made a pretty fascinating revelation about one big story that royal circles have tried to keep pretty quiet. That story involves an alleged affair had by Prince William.
Writer Tom Sykes casually shared how he came to find out about the news. He also shared an interesting tidbit relating to William and Harry’s relationship with Prince Charles.
“It was at a dinner party attended by one of my top sources, the daughter of an earl, that I first heard the shocking rumors that Prince William was having an affair with one of his neighbors and it was over a family lunch that I was told that William and Harry really, really don’t get on with their dad, and he finds their habit of publicly emoting embarrassing and undignified. Both stories were denied by the Palace, of course.”
The allegations that Prince William had an affair happened in a blink, and you were likely to miss it due to the general hysteria around the Sussexes at the time. It was alleged that William had stepped out on Kate with one of their Turnip Toff friends from Norfolk: Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley.
The alleged affair was interesting to those who did know the story on multiple fronts. For one, it drew parallels between William and Charles and brought up a lot of scandalous royal history. It also put the tiniest dent in the illusion of the perfection that has been built up around William and Kate.
The affair was also interesting because of William and Kate’s relationship with the Turnip Toffs. They are allegedly some of the couple’s closest friends, yet there has also been a standoffishness with Kate reported. It’s believed that these individuals, with their aristocratic background and ties to society and royals, find Kate’s humble beginnings beneath them.
Following the alleged affairs, there were rumblings that Kate was trying to phase Rose out of their social circle. Those attempts, if they were made, were unsuccessful. Instead, Rose was seen as part of the Turnip Toff crew who celebrated Kate’s birthday with her in January of this year.
The feud also came up in relation to Kate’s Tatler feature gone wrong in its July/August issue. Rose was mentioned in the original article, though mentions of her seem to have since been removed. This biting commentary on Kate is still part of the article, however.
“Kate is one of us in the sense that all her friends are Sloanes and aristocrats,” a source told the magazine.
“She’s very much decided that that’s her tribe, even though she wasn’t actually born into that background.”
Some argue that Kate could have found a friend in her sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, had the rift between Harry and William not been so vast. There are also some who argue that the alleged affair was a catalyst for the arguments between them. There’s nothing official that confirms any of it, but there are signs it’s a serious possibility.
It’s long been noted that around the time whispers of this affair came to be, media attacks on Meghan significantly increased. No one can confirm the connection for sure, of course. But if William did decide to turn on Meghan, could it have been retaliation for Harry’s feelings about his affair?
Harry has always been more outwardly emotional and open of the two brothers. William could have been concerned that he would say the wrong thing to the wrong person about his disapproval of his brother’s actions. That wouldn’t matter so much necessarily were it not for the other point made by Tom Sykes about the brothers bonding, in part, over their father’s distaste for their emotional behavior.
William and Harry were on the same side of things until they weren’t. Harry has been open about struggling through his parents’ divorce and his mother’s death. He could have worried that William’s kids would now endure the same kinds of pains that William and Harry once did. He could have also told his brother how he felt in a way that suddenly was emotional and distasteful to William.