The Palace Seemingly Used Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Distract From Prince William's Alleged Affair, Omid Scobie Says

The "affair" is pure speculation, Scobie stresses.

Prince William and Kate Middleton in Scotland
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Around 2019, rumors erupted that Prince William had allegedly had an affair with a longtime friend named Rose Hanbury.

There has never been any concrete proof of this, and the Palace has never directly addressed it, but controversial royal author Omid Scobie has now shared some insight into how the Royal Family indirectly dealt with the PR fallout from the rumors.

"Unfortunately, if a rumor's left to kind of do its own thing it can run 20 laps around the world before you even think about what, how you want to kind of address it," Scobie told Entertainment Tonight while promoting his new book Endgame. "They never addressed it, so those rumors will never go away even though there's no truth to suggest that they are true."

Scobie made sure to address the rumors as precisely that—just rumors—in his book.

"I was very careful in the book to really focus on this, as the allegations against William, Kate's and their fallout with Rose Hanbury," he told ET. "For legal reasons there are so many things that one can't go into but I thought it was really important, even if a rumor is a rumor. And I really don't see proof that there is more to this than just a tittle-tattle, you know."

Commonwealth Day Service 2020

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But whether or not there is any truth to the allegations (and I'll remind you that at this time there is no proof at all), the fact of the rumors spreading was undeniable, and the Palace knew it had to do something to curb them. According to Scobie, they used some of the drama around Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the time to divert the focus from the Rose Hanbury affair rumors.

"I thought it was really interesting to analyze how the Palace dealt with that," Scobie said about U.K. media trying everything to prove the rumors right. "The worst case scenarios that they feared would happen, you know, just those rumors themselves were going to have enough impact, negatively, on William's reputation. We still see them [the rumors] trend on Twitter on a regular basis ... that's something that's incredibly damaging, I think, for William. It probably looks even worse, actually, that there was a kind of willingness to throw Harry under the bus simply to make these things disappear."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.