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Who is Kate Winslet's husband Edward Abel Smith?

The Titanic and Avatar: The Way of Water actress met the man formerly known as Ned Rocknroll in 2011

Edward Abel Smith and Kate Winslet sat at an awards event talking
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
Updated: 23 February 2024
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Kate Winslet chooses to keep the majority of her personal life private, but the Titanic actress has still every-so-often opened up about her happy marriage to her husband Edward Abel Smith.

The Avatar: The Way of Water actress met her husband of over ten years during a dramatic holiday on Richard Branson's Necker Island. Now, the couple share a child together and live a quiet life out of the spotlight in Sussex.

The couple sat clapping while attending the SAG awards in 2016© Getty Images
The couple attending the SAG awards in 2016

Who is Kate Winslet's husband Edward Abel Smith?

Kate's husband Edward is the nephew of Virgin founder Richard Branson. The 46-year-old works for his uncle's company, Virgin Galactic. It was also through Richard Branson – or more accurately thanks to his private island – that the two met in 2011.

At the time and for several years of their marriage, Edward, who also goes by the nickname Ned, went completely by the name Ned Rocknroll. But as Kate explained during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2021, eventually life in the spotlight due to his marriage to an A-list actor led him to change his name back to a slightly less attention-grabbing option.

Kate and Edward chatting together at the races in 2012© Getty Images
Kate and Edward in 2012

"When he changed his name to Rocknroll, I don't think he had anticipated what might happen if he should have a girlfriend whose name was Kate Winslet and who was quite well-known," The Holiday actress joked.

She continued: "I got to the point where I [was] like, you know, I [was] filling in doctors' forms and it [said] 'mother's name' and 'father's name,' and I [was] like, 'Honey ... are we going to keep going?' And he [was] like, 'Yeah, you're right. I'll just change it back.' So, he changed it back."

When did Kate Winslet and her husband Edward Abel Smith meet?

The actress and the travel mogul's nephew met in 2011 while they both happened to be staying at Richard Branson's $70million 'Great House' mansion on Necker Island. But while the couple's first-ever meeting at the location was probably a very casual one, within 24 hours everything became a lot more dramatic.

Both Kate and Edward along with Richard Branson's other guests (including Kate's then-boyfriend Louis Dowler) were caught up in a disastrous house fire caused by lightning during Hurricane Irene. Kate became the hero of the evening when she helped the Virgin founder's 90-year-old mother to safety, and likely seriously endeared herself to Edward at the same time.

Kate and Edward at a balcony smiling and clapping while watching horse racing© Getty Images
The pair met in frightening circumstances

"He was a complete stranger, we met, and then the next day the house burnt down," the 48-year-old actress matter-of-factly told People in 2017 when asked to think back to their first meeting.

"I believe strangers can meet and their lives can change so much that they simply can't go back to being the person they once were," she continued. "[Smith and I] very much went through that together. Even now, I often times find myself looking for an item of clothing or a book or something and I go, 'Where have I put that?' And Ned will look at me and go, 'Did it get burnt in the fire?'"

While the incident must have been traumatic, it's good to see the couple aren't beyond making a comical reference or two to the event.

Are Kate Winslet and Edward Abel Smith married?

Yes, Kate and Edward tied the knot in 2012 at an incredibly secret ceremony in New York.

Black and white photo of Kate and Edward together on a red carpet© Getty Images
Kate and Ned at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2016

Ever since their marriage, the English actress has been full of praise for the balance and inspiration her husband brings to her life. "My creative life in the last few years has been really, really, colorful for me," Kate said in an interview with People in 2015.

"And I've really really enjoyed being able to embrace that," she continued. "I have a wonderful man in my life who is so incredibly supportive that makes it possible for me to have those experiences. It's been a really fun time."

Is Kate Winslet still married to Edward Abel Smith?

Kate and her husband Edward are still happily married. The couple have now been together for over ten years. 

Prior to her marriage with Edward, Kate was previously married twice, firstly to assistant director Jim Threapleton, and then to Skyfall and 1917 director Sam Mendes. Both relationships ended with divorce.

Kate with her ex husband Sam Mendes© Getty Images
Kate with her second husband, director Sam Mendes

Speaking to WSJ. Magazine in 2015 about her past, the uber-talented actress was defiant in the face of gossipers who demanded that all the details of her previous relationships be made public.

"I know lots of people who are not in the public eye who have gone through several marriages I really do," Kate said. "And it's just those are the cards life dealt me. I didn't plan on it being that way…

"No one really knows what has happened in my life. No one really knows why my first marriage didn't last; no one knows why my second didn't", she stated, before saying: "I'm proud of those silences."

Do Kate Winslet and Edward Abel Smith have any children?

Yes, the actress and former Virgin Galactic worker share one child together.

Bear Blaze Winslet was born in 2013 and is now nine years old. Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2014, Kate explained the meaning behind her son's two names.

Kate Winslet on the red carpet pregnant with her son Bear© Getty Images
Kate pregnant with her son Bear in 2013

"We settled on Bear quite early on," Kate explained. "A friend of mine when I was younger was nicknamed Bear, and I just had always really loved it and he was very much a bear -- he was everyone's shoulder to cry on, he was a big bear hug, he was just this great figure in my life -- and I just always remembered him and that's where it came from."

Referring back to her and Edward's dramatic first meeting, she continued: "And then Bear's second name is Blaze because my husband and I met in a house fire basically.

"The house burned down and we survived," the actress told Ellen, "But we wanted something of the fire".

WATCH: Kate Winslet talks about acting with her daughter Mia

Kate also has two children from her previous marriages. She shares 23-year-old Mia Honey Threapleton with her first husband Jim, and 20-year-old Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes with her second husband Sam.

Both of the Oscar-winning actress' older children have chosen to follow their family into creative careers. Mia is an actress, most recently seen acting in Apple TV+'s The Buccaneers and alongside her mother in I Am Ruth. Meanwhile, Joe is interested in music as well as in life treading the boards.

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