Prince William Works to Bury Cheating Rumors as Affair Scandal Threatens to Erupt

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If you've been tracking the royal gossip these past few days, you know that Kensington Palace has been working hard to bury a story that simply refuses to go away.

It all started with reports of a feud between Kate Middleton and her former friend, Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

Kate Middleton Glares at William

This developed into reports that William was having an affair with Hanbury.

And there's no greater indication that a piece of royal gossip has at least some basis in fact than a royal campaign to make sure it never sees the light of day.

In that sense, William shot himself in the foot when he appealed to his journalist friend Richard Kay to print a story denouncing the rumors.

In the week since, he may have made the situation worse by taking legal action against British media outlets who have continued to cover the affair.

Kate and William Laugh

The Daily Beast is reporting today that at least one UK publication has received a sternly-worded letter from William's preferred law firm of Harbottle and Lewis.

"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,” the letter reads, in part.

“The use of a legal letter by William as a future king is very much a move of last resort,” says Duncan Larcombe, former royal editor of the Sun.

Kate Middleton and Her Prince

“If the stories of Kate freezing Rose out are true then whatever caused the falling out must have been very serious."

In his comments to The Daily Beast, Larcombe adds:

"While traditionally, the British royal family would not take specific legal action -- he old saying was ‘never complain and never explain’ -- William and Harry are willing to do it in their own way.”

Kate Middleton and Prince William at the Marathon

Further complicating the situation is the fact that the British tabloid press is apparently in the habit of using coded language so as to convey privileged information to those in the know, while at the same time protecting themselves from a legal standpoint.

“If you’ve been following the latest Kate Middleton hoo-hah but have been at a loss to understand what a ‘rural rivalry’ is, it’s Fleet Street’s way of hinting at the long-standing society rumor that Prince William has been caught [having an affair]," says a writer for Popbitch, which the Beast describes as "a showbiz industry newsletter."

Meanwhile, a report from Grazia claims that Kate is deeply upset to find her personal life the subject of continued gossip. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton Laugh

"Kate doesn’t do arguments. If you upset her she freezes you out," one insider claims.

"There are very few leaks about what really goes on in the Cambridge household or their marriage, other than to say it’s a solid and happy one," the source adds.

"All of the speculation about this alleged falling out between Rose and Kate will have been upsetting for Kate. She won’t like being the subject of gossip, and neither will William, who is a very private person."

Kate Middleton and 2 Princes

The insider adds that Kate and Will were initially able to laugh at the rumors, but are now finding it difficult to do so.

"For the most part, Kate pays no attention to gossip and rumours and while I think they laughed it off at first, the fact this is still being talked about will, I imagine, unsettle them," says the source.

Another tipster adds that Will and Kate selected Norfolk -- home to Rose Hanbury and her much older husband -- as the center of their social circle specifically because it's "a very ungossipy place."

We think it's safe to say that's no longer the case.

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Kate Middleton Biography

Royally Pretty Girl
A celebrity gossip mainstay since at least 2006, Kate Middleton is Prince William's lady friend. These two dated off and on for many... More »
Reading, England
Full Name
Kate Middleton