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Stephen Colbert Seems Somber While Acknowledging Skit That Poked Fun at Kate Middleton

Stephen Colbert Acknowledges Skit That Poked Fun at Kate Middleton
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Stephen Colbert seemed remorseful when acknowledging a past Late Show skit poking fun at rumors of an alleged affair between Prince William and Rose Hanbury after news of Princess Kate Middleton’s cancer diagnosis.

“There’s a standard that I try to hold myself to, and that is I do not make light of somebody else’s tragedy,” he said on Monday, March 25’s episode of the late-night show. “Far too many of us know that any cancer diagnosis of any kind is harrowing for the patient and for their family.”

He added, “Though I’m sure they don’t need it from me, I and everyone here at The Late Show, would like to extend our well wishes and heartfelt hope that her recovery is swift and thorough.”

Rumors about the state of William’s marriage to Princess Kate Middleton ran rampant after she was hospitalized for abdominal surgery in January. As Kate, 42, recovered in private, Kensington Palace confirmed that she would be halting her public duties until after Easter in late March, but her absence prompted a slew of conspiracy theories about her whereabouts.

The speculation reached a fever pitch earlier this month when William, 41, and Kate released a photo of the Princess of Wales with their three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, in honor of U.K. Mother’s Day, which was later discovered to be digitally altered. (Kate later revealed she has been diagnosed with cancer.)

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Amid the drama, Colbert, 59, dredged up rumors that William had been unfaithful with Hanbury, 40.

Stephen Colbert Reacts to Rose Hanbury Legal Notice Over Prince William Affair Joke
Stephen Colbert Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

“Internet sleuths are guessing that Kate’s absence may be related to her husband, and the future king of England, William, having an affair,” Colbert said during the March 12 episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. “I think we all know who the alleged other woman is, say it with me, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. Now there have been rumors of an affair between William and [Rose] since 2019. According to tabloids, back then, when Kate supposedly confronted him about it, he ‘laughed it off, saying there was nothing to it.’ Aha, always a good response when your wife accuses you of cheating.”

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Colbert explained that Hanbury is “an old friend of the royals” who is married to “a close friend of William’s” named David Rocksavage.

“Really? Rocksavage? That sounds less like a British noble and more like a musician from The Flintstones,” he quipped.

Stephen Colbert Reacts to Rose Hanbury Legal Notice Over Prince William Affair Joke
Prince William, Princess Kate and Rose Hanbury. Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Colbert’s joke brought the affair allegations back into the spotlight, leading Hanbury’s lawyers to deny the rumors in a statement to Business Insider. Her attorneys also sent a legal notice to the late-night show.

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“The rumor appears to have entered into the mainstream media recently as a result of another joke made about it on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Hanbury’s lawyers said in a statement. “We have written on our client’s behalf to CBS and various other reputable media organizations to confirm that the allegation is false.”

William and Kate have never addressed the infidelity speculation, but a source told Us Weekly in 2019 that it impacted the couple’s dynamic. “Kate finds the rumors hurtful, obviously, and hates the thought that one day her children will be able to read about them online,” the insider said at the time. “It forced her and William to sit back and examine their relationship, which they realized they should have been doing more often.”

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