The 12 Wildest Rumors Prince William Can't Escape

As the heir to the British throne, Prince William has lived his entire life in the global spotlight. While some of the attention he's received has been positive, William has also been subjected to a smorgasbord of unfounded rumors and conspiracy theories. Despite attempts to deflect the negativity aimed at him and his family, Prince William probably won't ever escape certain rumors, regardless of the truth.

The most recent rumors sprang up around William's wife, Kate Middleton, when she took a break from official royal duties in early 2024. It was later revealed that Kate was receiving treatment following an unexpected cancer diagnosis, but that didn't stop strangers from spreading conspiracy theories online. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight about the situation, royal expert Katie Nicholl said, "I know from the sources that I've spoken to that both William and Kate have been pretty shocked and genuinely surprised by the wild rumors that are circulating on the internet." She continued, "I think there's a sense of frustration, possibly even anger, certainly on William's part."

Still, when it comes to the royal family, there will always be rumors swirling around their appearances and actions. From romantic dalliances to allegations of serious crimes, join us as we explore some of the biggest rumors Prince William can't seem to outrun.

Prince William's alleged affair with Rose Hanbury made headlines

In March 2019, Prince William found himself at the center of a scandalous rumor involving one of his neighbors. The trouble started when The Sun, in a now-deleted article, reported that Kate Middleton was involved in an argument with fellow Norfolk resident Rose Hanbury (via Cosmopolitan). An unnamed source claimed, "It is well known that Kate and Rose have had a terrible falling out." The publication also alleged that William was attempting to mend fences between the pair to no avail.

A few days later, the rumor grew even bigger when columnist Giles Coren suggested that Rose Hanbury was Prince William's mistress. In a since-deleted post on X (formerly Twitter), Coren wrote, "I know about the affair. Everybody knows about the affair, darling." According to The Daily Beast, "pressure was applied by the palace" to get Coren to delete the post and the royal family's legal team attempted to get "at least one British publication" to stop reporting on the rumor. Unfortunately, the damage was already done and the rumors about William and Hanbury seemingly wouldn't cease.

After Kate retreated from public life in early 2024 amid a slew of conspiracy theories, the rumors about William and Hanbury surfaced once again. Stephen Colbert even made a joke about the alleged affair on his late-night show, inciting an attempt by Rose Hanbury to squash affair rumors.

Rumors swirled that Rose Hanbury was pregnant with his child

The rumors alleging Prince William was having an affair with Rose Hanbury were pretty bad, but they were taken to an entirely new level in 2024. Following Kate Middleton's disappearance from the spotlight, social media users started speculating about the Princess of Wales' whereabouts. One particularly wild theory alleged that Hanbury was pregnant with Prince William's child and Kate had found out about it. One X user wrote, "The streets are saying Kate had a nervous breakdown during Xmas bc she found out Will's mistress, Rose Hanbury, is pregnant with his child and she's keeping it. Kate is now refusing to cooperate." 

The unfounded theory that Hanbury was pregnant with Prince William's child took on a life of its own, with a plethora of social media users jumping in to put their own spin on the theory. Some sketched out a series of events whereby the alleged affair led to Kate's disappearance. "So Willy fathered a child with Rose Hanbury (Kate's former best friend) which she has kept, Kate found out and got revenge by sleeping with Thomas Kingston," one person wrote on X

Further rumors alleged that Hanbury's daughter Iris, who arrived in March 2016, had also been fathered by the prince, but her heritage had been kept secret. Credible evidence doesn't exist to confirm any of these rumors about alleged pregnancies or births involving Prince William, but that hasn't stopped a slew of onlookers from pontificating.

#PrinceofPegging caused quite a stir

In July 2022, Prince William found himself at the center of yet another scandalous rumor, this time regarding his sex life. A blind item posted by celebrity gossip Instagram account DeuxMoi alleged that a member of the royal family enjoyed a particular sexual act, and it wasn't long before people on the internet started suggesting that the royal in question was Prince William.

"At a recent media party, I was told the real reason for the affair was the royal's love of pegging, which his wife is far too old-fashioned to engage in," the blind item said (via The Cut). "The wife doesn't mind her and in fact prefers her husband getting his sexual needs met elsewhere, as long as things don't become emotional, which was the case with the last woman." Unsurprisingly, #PrinceOfPegging began trending on X almost immediately.

While the identity of the so-called "prince of pegging" could have been any royal family member (or none), the prior allegations regarding William's love life led many to jump to conclusions. We will sadly never know if Prince William is the royal family member mentioned in DeuxMoi's blind item — or if it's even true — but it seems likely the rumor will continue to persist.

Prince Harry inspired rumors that William has anger problems

On January 10, 2023, Prince Harry shocked the world with the anecdotes and stories he shared in his memoir "Spare," including some allegations about Prince William. Most notably, Harry described a heated altercation with his brother due to a disagreement over Meghan Markle's experience as a royal

Harry wrote (via The Guardian), "He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog's bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out." According to Harry, William suggested that his brother should take revenge and hit him back, but the Duke of Sussex refused to engage in violence with his sibling.

These shocking allegations about Prince William's temper inspired further rumors, particularly about the way he may have been treating his wife, Kate Middleton. After she decided to step out of the royal spotlight for health reasons, suspicion grew over Kate Middleton's months-long disappearance and social media exploded with suggestions about what may have caused it. "Did Prince William assault Princess Kate so badly that she was hospitalized and hidden until she heals," one user wrote on X. "After all he was violent with his brother Harry."

He allegedly thought he 'could do better' than Kate Middleton

Following her wedding to Prince William on April 29, 2011, Kate Middleton quickly became a favorite with royal fans around the world. Reportedly, however, Prince William wasn't always so sure that Kate was marriage material, which some speculate caused their brief break-up in 2007. 

According to an unnamed source in a 2008 Vanity Fair article (via the Express), Prince William thought it was "a good idea to 'sow [his] wild oats'" following the breakup. Another story by the Daily Mail alleged that Prince William left Kate to pursue a socialite named Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe. "I would go so far as to say that William dumped Kate because he thought he had a chance with Isabella and Kate knew that," an unnamed source was quoted as saying.

After a brief two-month split, Kate and William reunited in June 2007. In The Times, royal biographer Andrew Morton quoted a supposed friend of the prince as saying, "He thought he could do better, but realized very quickly what he had given up."

Prince William supposedly has a strained relationship with Queen Camilla

The royal family may attempt to put up a united front, but rumors of discord behind the scenes have continued to plague Prince William over the years. And when it comes to the prince's relationship with his father's second wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, William allegedly isn't as friendly with her as he may appear during public engagements.

In her book "Camilla: From Outcast to Queen Consort," royal watcher Angela Levin claimed there had been a tense conversation between the Prince of Wales and King Charles III's wife about her interactions with his kids. "William has made it clear that Camilla is the wife of his father, but not a step-grandmother to his children," Levin wrote (via the Daily Star).

Levin also suggested that William's three children, Prince George, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte, don't necessarily view Camilla as their grandmother. Instead, the royal expert alleged that William and Kate's kids look to King Charles III as their grandfather and Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, as their grandparents, but that Camilla doesn't sit in the same category. 

Rumors of impropriety followed him after a club outing in 2017

Despite a seemingly strong marriage to Kate Middleton, Prince William has often faced rumors of infidelity. In 2017, Prince William left his wife at home and traveled to Verbier in Switzerland for a ski vacation with a handful of his close male friends. However, the short break wasn't quite as relaxing as it should have been after the prince was filmed in a local nightclub dancing with several random women who weren't Kate. 

Royal expert Katie Nicholl penned an article for Vanity Fair in which an unnamed source dished, "It was William's choice to go away, but make no mistake Kate wears the trousers in their marriage, and she won't be happy with William's antics. She thought his partying days and larking around with the boys was a thing of the past. I imagine she'll find this humiliating."

Meanwhile, onlookers at the club were reportedly shocked to see the prince dancing with women in full view of the general public, with one telling The Sun, "He was dancing so wildly that I did a double take when I first saw him and thought it must be a lookalike." Of course, nothing untoward appeared to occur, besides some enthusiastic dancing, but rumors of impropriety still abounded when it came to William's night out in Switzerland.

Does William take after his 'famously ill-tempered father?'

Prince Harry's account of a violent argument with his brother in "Spare" made readers wonder if Prince William had a hidden dark side. Alongside those rumors, allegations of an angry prince causing conflict in the palace also surfaced, with one royal watcher suggesting that William took after his father. In his 2023 book "Endgame," royal expert Omid Scobie wrote (via The Standard), "...when his temper flares behind closed doors, he more closely resembles his famously ill-tempered father." The author also alleged that, according to someone who works in the palace, "He can definitely be sharp." 

Another source suggested that members of staff never wanted to give the prince bad news, as this would change his mood dramatically, Scobie claimed. The royal expert also alleged that anger problems could influence the prince's ability to successfully take on the role of king in the future. "William's emotional volatility could be one of his greatest challenges," Scobie wrote (via the Mirror). While it's unclear how truthful these accounts of Prince William's temper really are, rumors have continued to paint a picture of the royal that has likely surprised some fans.

One royal writer alleges William is 'power hungry'

As the heir to the British throne, all eyes have been on Prince William, with many wondering if his father King Charles III might step down to allow his son to become monarch. According to Omid Scobie's book "Endgame," William is keen to become king one day, so much so that he covets the position. "[William is a] hotheaded 'company man' — an institutional champion," Scobie wrote (via the Mirror). The author also alleged that William is "comfortable with the Palace's dirty tricks," suggesting he's not fazed by the games the royal family plays with the press and general public.

Scobie's uncomfortable portrayal of the prince also dissected the royal family's response to claims of racism within its ranks when Meghan Markle joined the royal family. While William publicly denied that his family engaged in racism, Scobie suggested that the prince was simply seizing the chance to appear more favorably. As if the accounts of William's behavior in "Endgame" weren't harsh enough, the author also called William "a power-hungry heir to the throne." Whether or not there is any truth to the allegations of William's desire to be king, the rumors are sure to affect the prince's reputation.

Rumors of marriage woes spawned by Kate's public absence

Rumors don't ever seem to stop swirling about Kate Middleton and Prince William, so it makes sense that some of those rumors relate to the state of their marriage. When the Princess of Wales all but disappeared from the public eye in early 2024, reports started appearing suggesting that the couple's relationship was on the rocks. When royal fans couldn't spot Kate's wedding ring in the now-infamous Mother's Day picture she shared on social media, some speculated that the princess' absence from public life may have been related to marital problems. 

Discussing Kate's missing wedding ring, a columnist for the Daily Mail wrote that Kate's "doctoring" of the photo "makes it seem almost deliberate, a statement in its own right. If it's not there, could that be because she doesn't want it there? It doesn't bear thinking about." Meanwhile, The Daily Beast quoted an unnamed source as saying, "It's fair to say we were all completely baffled when the picture came out with the wedding ring missing, especially as it was photoshopped. It just seemed guaranteed to get people asking questions about the state of the marriage."

Since Kate's revelation that she is undergoing treatment for cancer, it seems unlikely that the Prince and Princess of Wales' marriage was ever in any real trouble. However, rumors that a divorce could be on the horizon continue to pervade social media.

A rumor involving murder spiralled out of control

The royal family faced a tragedy when Thomas Kingston died on February 25, 2024, at the age of 45. It was reported that Kingston had been found with a gun and had died due to a head wound. He was married to Lady Gabriella Windsor, the daughter of Prince Michael of Kent (Queen Elizabeth II's cousin), making her 56th in the line of succession to the British throne. Kingston wed Lady Gabriella in 2019, and the couple were often seen together at official royal events such as the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. Prince William attended Kingston's funeral, which took place at St. James' Palace in London in March 2024, but at the same time, the royal found himself at the center of some very distasteful rumors involving his deceased family member.

As conspiracy theories about Kate Middleton's disappearance reached a fever pitch, several social media accounts speculated that Prince William was involved in Kingston's death. One X account alleged that Kingston had been involved in an affair with Kate, which prompted murder. Another suggested that Kate was pregnant with Kingston's baby and that William had found out, leading to a devastating sequence of events. "I wonder if William killed Kate and Thomas Kingston," one X user mused. Since Kate announced a cancer diagnosis, these and other rumors about her disappearance have proven completely baseless. 

Prince Harry suggested William used racist stereotypes

In his memoir "Spare," Prince Harry shared a plethora of his experiences as a member of the royal family, some of which included interactions with his brother Prince William. Having alleged that William attacked him during a violent outburst, Harry also suggested that his brother used racist stereotypes to characterize Meghan Markle. According to Harry's book (via Rolling Stone), William used negative adjectives such as "difficult," "rude," and "abrasive" to describe the Duchess of Sussex, who had already endured an onslaught of racist reporting in the media. Prince Harry writes that his brother's words merely "parrot the press narrative" about Meghan, much of which had a racist undertone.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle expanded on their experiences with alleged racism in the royal family during their interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in March 2021. The couple claimed that some members of the royal family made racist comments when Meghan was pregnant by discussing what skin tone the couple's child would have. Prince William denounced allegations that the royals were racist, telling one reporter at The Guardian, "We're very much not a racist family." Still, Harry's account of his brother's words about Meghan are likely to haunt William for some time.