Welp, here we go again! The internet has once again been inundated with (likely false) rumors that Prince William is having an affair and cheating on Kate Middleton. Last time we dealt with this whole thing was in 2019, when tabloids became obsessed with a “falling out” involving Kate, William, and a family friend named Rose Hanbury, who is the Marchioness of Cholmondeley (which is somehow pronounced like “Chumley”). The Cambridges have never commented publicly on the ordeal, but if you’re confused about these rumors, the phrase “rural rival,” and a new @Deuxmoi tip that has #princeofpegging trending on Twitter, we’ve got you.

Okay first thing’s first, some background on the original rumors

American publication In Touch reported back in April 2019 that William may have had an affair with Rose, and that when Kate supposedly confronted him about it, he apparently “laughed it off saying there was nothing to it.” 😬

Again, nothing has been confirmed, and there’s no actual public evidence that William cheated on Kate, so these reports were shaky at best. And according to the Daily Mail’s royal reporter Richard Kay, it’s all fake news. He wrote:

So, who is Rose, Exactly?

She’s a former model and current Marchioness who lives with her husband, film director David Rocksavage, in Norfolk, England. (For the uninitiated, Google says a marchioness is the wife of someone who ranks just below a duke in the British peer system.)

Rose’s home is pretty close to Kate and William’s Anmer Hall country home, and they run in the same social circles. Since Rose lives in the countryside, that’s likely why British tabloid The Sun started referring to her as Kate’s “rural rival” once things turned sour.

So, what went wrong between them? Back in March of 2019, The Sun reported that Kate was upset about a story that claimed she told William to have Rose “phased out” of their circle because she and Rose supposedly had a falling out. Other than that, tbd!

What’s with the @Deuxmoi Tip, You Ask?

Basically, a tipster wrote into the gossip account and alleged (emphasis on alleged, as @deuxmoi is the first to point out, these tips are completely unverifiable and are sometimes baseless) that a member of the British royal family’s extramarital affair is an “open secret,” and that the reason for the affair is the royal’s “love of pegging.” Hence #princeofpegging trending on Twitter.

Obviously, this a) could be completely false, and b) could be about a different member of the royal family. But the internet seems to be focusing on our dude William, likely because he’s been plagued with false affair rumors before.

Tell me more about this legal action…

Okay, this is where things get a little tricky. Even though Richard said there’s no ongoing legal action happening from the royals right now, The Daily Beast claimed otherwise. In a report, the outlet said they “understand that pressure was applied by the palace” to get affair rumor claims removed from staff writer Giles Coren’’s Twitter. If you’re wondering what Giles of The Times of London’s tweet said, it reportedly went a little something like this: “Yes, it is an affair. I haven’t read the piece but I know about the affair. Everyone knows about the affair, darling.” Eek!

Even scarier, The Daily Beast reports that at least one British publication had “been served with legal warnings after publishing details of the rumors by the royals’ lawyers of choice.”

One of the letters from the royals’ lawyers allegedly stated:

So what’s the truth?

Nobody but William, Kate, and Rose really know what actually went down—if anything—but the British tabloids definitely have to be extra cautious (as they should be) when deciding what to report or else they may get served with more papers.

After all, according to The Sun’s royal editor, Duncan Larcombe, “While traditionally, the British royal family would not take specific legal action…William and Harry are willing to do it in their own way.”

That said, when the royals hosted Donald Trump at the palace in June, Rose was there! (She went to an event with her husband because going to events like these is basically his job.) Kate and Rose didn’t sit together, but being in the same room is obviously a good sign that there are no hard feelings between them.

Anyway, a source ended up telling Us Weekly that “The affair rumors turned out to be a good thing for them in the end. Kate finds the rumors hurtful, obviously, and hates the thought that one day her children will be able to read about them online….It forced her and William to sit back and examine their relationship, which they realized they should have been doing more often.”

So yeah, that basically sounds like a denial.

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