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Everything you need to know about Princess Kate's friend Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley

The Marchioness of Cholmondeley has been friends with the Princess of Wales for years

Kate Middleton walking with friend Rose Hanbury
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
Updated: March 15, 2024
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The Princess of Wales has a group of close-knit friends, particularly near her Norfolk home - including Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

It wasn't until Rose had settled down with her husband, David Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, that Rose and Kate first became acquainted. But how much do you know of Rose, her past, and her friendship with the royal mum-of-three? Read on to find out all you need to know... 

Rose's early years

Rose was born on 15 March 1984 as the second daughter of Timothy Hanbury, a web designer, and Emma Longman, an interior designer, and she grew up with two siblings, her older sister Marina, and younger brother, Dave. Rose was also the granddaughter of Lady Elizabeth Lambart, a bridesmaid at the wedding of the late Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

She was educated at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, which charges £38,000 a year, before obtaining a degree from the Open University.

Rose's career

After her graduation, Rose pursued a career in modelling, signing with agency Storm, who has previously signed legendary stars like Kate Moss and Monica Bellucci.

Rose Hanbury in a white mini dress© Dave M. Benett
Rose used to work as a model

During her modelling career, she ended up courting a small political storm when she and her sister were pictured wearing bikinis next to the then prime minister, Tony Blair, at the infamous Villa Cetinale.

Following her stint as a model, Rose embarked on a very different career path, as she found work as a parliamentary researcher for Conservative politician Michael Gove. She resigned from her role ahead of giving birth to her twins.

Her friendship with Kate and Prince William

Rose and Kate are believed to have begun their friendship following the model's marriage to the Marquess of Cholmondeley, as their home, Houghton Hall, is just a 15-minute drive away from Sandringham. Their bond strengthened after William and Kate were gifted Anmer Hall and began spending more time in Norfolk.

Rose and David were guests at Kate and William's royal wedding in 2011, and later in 2016, they also teamed up to host a gala dinner in support of East Anglia's Children's Hospices' nook appeal at Houghton Hall. The couple were also seen among the guests at Sandringham on New Year's Day in 2020, when Kate reportedly hosted a party for her 38th birthday.

Rose Hanbury talking with Kate Middleton and Prince William in the background© PA Images
Kate and Rose used to be neighbours in Norfolk

While there were reports of a fall-out in 2019, Kate was one of the guests at the annual festival hosted by Rose and her husband last summer.

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One of the couple's sons, Oliver, also served as a page of honour at the coronation of King Charles in 2023.

Rose's husband and family life

During her time as a model, Rose met her husband David and the pair embarked on a whirlwind romance, announcing their engagement in June 2009. The next day it was revealed they were expecting twins and just a day later, they tied the knot at a Chelsea registry office. The couple have three children, 14-year-old twins Alexander, Earl of Rocksavage and Oliver, Lord Cholmondeley, and seven-year-old daughter Lady Iris.

Prince George and Lord Oliver Cholmondeley in red robes© Max Mumby/Indigo
Rose and David's son was a page of honour at the coronation

The Marchioness lives with her husband and children at the Palladian Houghton Hall in Norfolk, just over three miles away from Kate and William's country home Anmer Hall. David, 63, inherited an estimated £112million estate in 1990, which includes Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire.

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