If you've been following the latest royal gossip, then you're probably aware that there's something unusual about the most recent round of rumors out of Kensington Palace.
It all started with reports of a feud between Kate Middleton and Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley and formerly one of Kate's closest friends.
This developed into a rumor that Prince William had been caught having an affair with Hanbury while Kate was pregnant with her third child.
It sounded too outrageous to be true, but remarkably, William's behavior in the week since the scandal broke has only served to bolster claims that he's in damage control mode after being caught red-handed.
Here's a brief rundown of everything we know about the situation thus far:
Until recently, Will and Kate were close friends with Hanbury and her much-older husband, David Rocksavage, Marquess of Cholmondeley. (Because the Brits enjoy irritating the rest of the world, that word is pronounced "Chumley.")
The Falling Out in Norfolk
Until recently, Cholmondeleys were major figures in the society life of rural Norfolk, England. That changed when Rose suffered a mysterious falling out with Kate that left her persona non grata.
Will's Wandering Eye
The Cambridges seemed very eager to keep this feud quiet, which led to whispers that Will had been caught having an affair with Rose while Kate was pregnant with her third child.
The alleged affair has apparently been the subject of high society gossip for the better part of a year, but fear of the future king among the British tabloid press is such that the media only began reporting on it in March.
It was then that the Sun reported on bad blood between Kate and Rose, a former member of Middleton's "Turnip Toffs" clique in Norfolk.
“It is well known that Kate and Rose have had a terrible falling out," a source told the tabloid. "They used to be close but that is not the case anymore.”
A Minor Controversy
There were murmurs about what might have caused Kate to kick one of her closest friends to the curb, but in all likelihood, the story would have died there -- were it not for Will's attempts at damage control.
Two days after the Sun reported on Kate and Rose's feud, Daily Mail royal correspondent -- and longtime friend of Prince William's -- Richard Kay launched an impassioned defense of the royal couple.
Protesting Too Much?
“For the royals, dealing with such rumours has long been a delicate conundrum,” Kay wrote. “Ignore them and the risk is that they will be amplified, but by speaking out there is danger of somehow giving legitimacy to what, as we shall see, is almost certainly nothing more than scuttlebutt.”
Making Things Worse
Kay suggested that the royals are considering legal action against the Sun for reporting on Kate's feud with Rose, which caused many readers to sit up and take notice.
Putting Out the Fire With Gasoline
The Cambridges are considering suing a mainstream press outlet over reports of a rift between friends? Evan though no one is denying that said feud took place? Surely, there's more going on here than meets the eye.
The First Confirmation?
Enter Giles Coren, a UK food critic known for his edgy commentary on British social life. The day of Kay's report, Coren tweeted and deleted, “Everyone knows about the affair, darling."
Several media figures expanded upon Kay's denial and Coren's confirmation, including writer and popular Twitter personality Nicole Cliffe, who confirmed that Kate appeared to have "flipped out" upon realizing the Norfolk affair had officially become a subject of mainstream press coverage.
An Added Wrinkle
Cliffe was the first to suggest that Will's alleged affair with Rose may have been the true cause of the supposed feud between Kate and Meghan Markle that had been making tabloid headlines for months.
Pieces Falling Into Place
The theory goes that there was never any bad blood between Kate and Meghan, or at least, the feud didn't originate with them. Rather, the distance between the two couples was a result of the worsening rift between William and Harry, which resulted from Will's affair.
A Sensible Theory
“Wills would absolutely have told Harry about the affair, bc of how those two are, and I think that Harry was like ‘this is exactly what ruined our childhoods, this is pulling some Dad sh-t, you have three small children, what the f-ck?” Cliffe speculated.
Reason to Be Outraged
Add to that the fact that Will reportedly cautioned Harry against marrying Meghan early in their relationship, and it's not hard to see why Harry may have been infuriated.
The same bloke doling out sanctimonious relationship advice was stepping out on his pregnant wife with one of her best friends? No one can suffer that sort of hypocrisy.
More to Come
Whatever the case, it seems this is not the last we'll be hearing about this increasingly ugly scandal.
A Major Misstep
Will's efforts to suppress the rumors -- including having his lawyers send cease and desist letters to at least one UK media outlet -- have only served to attract international attention.
The Happy Couple
It's a safe bet that all that media scrutiny will result in some new revelations about Will's latest cheating scandal (bear in mind, it's not the first), and we'll be sure to keep you apprised of all the latest developments.