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“The Way of Love,” “Don’t Hide Your Love,” “Love and Understanding.” Cher has sung about The Big L throughout her glittering and enduring career. And as Cher has a list of ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends as long as her discography, it’s a subject that she seemingly knows all about. But in 2018 the legendary diva revealed the fascinating story behind her unlikeliest conquest.

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Yet Cher’s eventful love life evidently began in her mid-teens when she left high school for the bright lights of Los Angeles. The youngster then began performing on stage with Sonny Bono – a singer 11 years her senior – with whom Cher admits she was instantly smitten. In 2010 she told Parade magazine, “I swear to God, the moment I saw Sonny, everyone else in the room disappeared. He was the coolest guy.”

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Sonny didn’t exactly feel the same way, though; the singer apparently told Cher that he wasn’t attracted to her at all in their early stages. But that all changed when the pair enjoyed a movie night in which he leaned in for a kiss. And the talented couple made their professional relationship a highly personal one when they walked down the aisle together in 1964. Five years later, they welcomed son Chaz into the world as well.

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Sadly, though, the Sonny-and-Cher love story didn’t get a happy ending. The pair went their separate ways in 1974 – and at times their divorce got pretty ugly. But the former spouses eventually managed to rebuild their friendship, and Cher even helped Sonny with his successful mayoral campaign in Palm Springs. Tragically, however, Sonny lost his life while skiing in early 1998.

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Back in the early 1970s, though, Cher wasted little time in moving on from Sonny. In fact, she was still going through divorce proceedings when she began dating David Geffen. The pair had first met the previous decade when Cher had collaborated with another successful record producer: Phil Spector. Geffen also helped the star with the negotiation side of her messy split from Sonny Bono.

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But in the early 1990s, Geffen revealed that he was gay. But Cher insists that her relationship with the producer was entirely genuine. “I was the first person to share his bed and to share his life,” the star is quoted as saying in 2001 biography The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood. “People don’t believe that, or they don’t want to believe it, or they don’t understand how it could be. But we were really crazy about each other.”

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The pair’s plans for marriage were apparently derailed when Cher fell in love with another music industry name. This time around, then, it was Gregg Allman who became the object of her affections after the pair met at one of the rock star’s shows. And within just five days of her divorce from Sonny Bono being concluded, Cher said “I do” to Allman at a ceremony in Las Vegas.

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Yet the ink on that marriage certificate was still drying when Cher decided to file for divorce. Yes, just nine days after walking down the aisle, the singer allegedly felt that she could no longer put up with her new husband’s substance abuse problems. But the pair managed to get their lives back on track, and in 1976 Cher gave birth to their son, Elijah Blue.

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The couple even ventured into the studio together to record the duets collection Two the Hard Way. But the album failed to connect with audiences, and shortly after Cher and Allman also realized that they were better off apart. And unsurprisingly, Cher once again moved on with another musician soon after.

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In 1979 Cher settled down with one of the rock scene’s wildest names: Gene Simmons. But their relationship wasn’t a conventional one. In 1979, for instance, Cher told People, “I’m going through a very liberated phase right now. I think I have a very masculine attitude to dating. Gene might spend time with another woman and stay the night, but he wants her to leave in the morning, so he can get on with his day.”

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Unfortunately for Cher, Simmons seemingly took advantage of her relaxed attitude to dating. You see, Cher informed Simmons that her friend Diana Ross was the ideal person to advise about possible Christmas presents, and the rocker and the Motown legend subsequently went shopping together. But Simmons evidently got more than he bargained for, and shortly after he dumped Cher for her BFF.

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But Cher didn’t spend much time crying over this betrayal. After all, in 1980 she began stepping out with Les Dudek – a session guitarist six years her junior – who also performed in her short-lived backing band, Black Rose. In 1982, however, both their personal and professional relationship came to an end.

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Cher then moved on to a playboy dubbed the Romeo of the Rink. Yes, in 1982 the diva began seeing Ron Duguay, an ice hockey player with the New York Rangers. But despite singing his praises while speaking to Andy Warhol for Interview magazine, Cher only managed to tame the sportsman for a month.

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Then in 1984 People magazine reported that Cher had started dating Eric Stoltz, the actor who portrayed her son in acclaimed drama Mask. However, the singer furiously denied these claims in a letter published in the national magazine. People later acknowledged that it had gotten it wrong and offered a sincere apology.

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Despite this beef with People, though, Cher was still more than happy to open up to the magazine about her next celebrity lover: Val Kilmer. In 1984 she said, “Val is terrific, but sometimes it’s just too intense and hot. It’s come the closest to working.” Cher also complimented the Top Gun star on his kissing abilities as well as his sensitivity, artistic streak and sense of humor.

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But after splitting with Kilmer, Cher then made matters more awkward by entering into a relationship with the actor’s agent, Joshua Donen. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, though; the pair found each other difficult to get on with while Cher was dating Kilmer. They eventually found a kinship, however, and the singer later claimed to People that Donen had “the best strengths of all the men [she’s] been with.”

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But despite all this gushing, Cher and Donen were done and dusted two years later. The former then made headlines when she began stepping out with a man 18 years younger than herself: Rob Camilletti. And Camilletti – dubbed the Bagel Boy due to his bakery profession – managed to do what very few of Cher’s previous lovers had achieved.

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Yes, against all the odds, Cher and her previously unknown boyfriend managed to stay together for an impressive three years. The singer later admitted to Parade that media intrusion had harmed their relationship – but that they had stayed very good friends. She even cited Camilletti as the true love of her life during an appearance on The Marc & Myra Show.

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But there’s more. Having previously been less than discreet about her past loves, Cher chose to stay schtum about her relationship with Richie Sambora. The diva even refused to discuss life with the Bon Jovi guitarist in a 1991 interview with People. Yet she did imply that matters weren’t hunky-dory, admitting, “It would be very difficult to be Mr. Cher. For the last couple of years, I haven’t had much time for a private life.”

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And shortly after, Cher and Sambora parted company – reportedly over the latter’s wild rock star lifestyle. But the guitarist later told Arsenio Hall on his hit talk show that the pair’s busy work commitments were to blame. He also claimed, “We still have fun together… We still always have a good relationship, although it didn’t work out in that particular aspect.”

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News about Cher’s love life then became surprisingly scarce until 2008 – when she began dating a surprise new beau. It seems that Tim Medvetz, a member of notorious motorcycle gang Hells Angels, had captured the singer’s heart as the pair developed a bond over their passion for Harley-Davidsons. And after several years of Cher and Medvetz reportedly being on/off, rumors surfaced that the unlikely couple were about to get hitched.

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But such gossip proved to be untrue, and the pair separated for good in 2013. In an interview with Notebook that same year, Cher revealed, “I just broke up with someone, but I need a little bit of a break. I don’t believe in going from one [relationship] to another. I have girlfriends that won’t leave someone they’re with until they have someone to move on to, and you just can’t do that.”

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Cher also stepped out with Ron Zimmerman during one of her several breaks with Medvetz. And the screenwriter appeared to be the polar opposite of her on/off beau. She told Parade in 2010, “Ron is short, a bit scraggly, like an absent-minded professor. He’s the funniest person I have ever met, and the most eccentric – so bizarre and kind and very special.”

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In the same interview, Cher denied that she had any regrets about her eventful love life. She said, “I never felt I chose badly, and I was always happy when the next man came along. I can usually last about two years with a man, and that’s it. The moment the relationship goes into the phase of more commitment, it changes.”

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Cher has also happily discussed several one-night stands with high-profile names she’s had over the years. At the age of 16, she’s said, she hooked up with Warren Beatty – but was left disappointed. Cher told Playboy, “Not that he wasn’t technically good, or could be good, but I didn’t feel anything. So, for me, I felt, there’s no reason for you to do that again.”

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And in 2010 Cher told talk show legend David Letterman about another celebrity notch on her bedpost. This time around, it was guitar legend Eric Clapton whose ears were no doubt left burning. According to the report in the Daily Mail, the pair hooked up after working together on “Love Can Build a Bridge” – a charity single released in 1995.

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And then there were the ones who got away. In the same David Letterman interview, Cher confessed that she had become too nervous when Elvis Presley had asked her out and subsequently had turned the King down. She also said no to Marlon Brando when he propositioned her – a decision that she also regrets.

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Of course, there’s one name in Cher’s long list of past loves that sticks out like a sore thumb. And that’s Hollywood’s ultimate sofa-jumping Scientologist Tom Cruise. Yes, Cher and the diminutive box office star briefly dated in the mid-1980s after meeting at the Malibu wedding of Madonna and Sean Penn.

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A 22-year-old Cruise and a 38-year-old Cher didn’t hook up straight away, though. The pair got to know each other first as they continued to rub shoulders at high-profile and star-studded events. And one such occasion was at the epicenter of American politics: the White House.

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There was a very specific reason why both Cher and Tom Cruise were in attendance. In 2018 the former told the Daily Mail, “A bunch of people who were dyslexic were invited to the White House, and Tom and I are both dyslexic.” That same year, Cher was honored by The Lab School of Washington as an “outstanding learning disabled achiever.”

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Cher told the Associated Press in 1985, “I’m a terrible reader. I don’t write letters. Numbers and I have absolutely no relationship. I can dial a phone okay, as long as it’s not long distance. I write the first letter of the word, and my mind races to the last letter. I see words and jumble them together. I see great billboards, billboards no one has ever invented.”

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So it’s fair to say that Cher probably wasn’t afraid of drawing attention to herself at the White House event. A report in The Washington Post noted that the star was even “draped in black and gray gabardine with a sculpted hairstyle best described as haute punk goddess.” The same newspaper also described Cruise as sporting a “1920s-chic gangster suit” with his “hair glooped in grease.”

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Unusually, though, Cher kept quiet about her romance with Cruise until a couple of decades later. Then in a 2008 chat with Entertainment Tonight, she said, “It was a long, long time ago and neither one of us ever talked about it, and I don’t know why. When we were together, he was such a private person. He always has been until lately.”

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So it seemed that Cher felt she was able to speak about their dalliance after witnessing Cruise’s change in personality. She continued, “He didn’t mention it, and I didn’t mention it. I loved him though; he was amazing. Now it’s hard for me to look at this person and this press. How many times can I watch him jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch?”

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Cher also noted, while speaking to Oprah Winfrey, just how much Cruise’s character had changed since they dated in the mid-1980s. In 2008 she told the talk show icon, “I was so crazy about him. He was so wonderful… And he was so, like, different. He was a shy boy.” Cher then revealed that she’d lived with Cruise in his apartment during their short-lived romance.

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So why did the unlikely pair call it a day? Well, Cher told Entertainment Tonight in 2008 that their hectic work schedules played a major part. She said, “It was after Risky Business and right before The Color of Money. I couldn’t go to Chicago and that was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

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And that wasn’t the last that we heard about the Cher/Cruise relationship. In 2013 the singer named the Mission: Impossible star as one of her top five lovers during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. She told the host, “It was pretty hot and heavy for a little minute. The person that I knew was a great, lovable guy.”

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Cher also revealed, in a 2018 interview with the Daily Mail, that the pair were still on good terms. However, the singer was keen to distance herself from Cruise’s religious beliefs. She said, “I don’t get what he does, that whole Scientology thing. I can’t understand it so I just… don’t.”

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In the same interview, Cher claimed that she now finds it harder to maintain a relationship than ever before. She said, “I’m still on the lookout. The problem I have with all the boyfriends lately is that I don’t want to go anyplace with them because you can’t keep a relationship going in this kind of goldfish bowl, where everything you do and every picture you have taken will be on Instagram.”

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“There’s no way to keep something… special,” Cher added. The star also explained how the likes of Instagram and Twitter have made her think twice about being so candid with her relationships. She said, “I think I’m much more guarded now because of social media and because everyone has a camera. You can’t get any privacy now.”

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That’s true for all celebrities, too. For instance, Prince William and Kate Middleton usually appear to have the perfect relationship. Along with their wealth and prestige, they also have three healthy children. But in 2019 an unpleasant rumor followed them around after the magazine In Touch alleged that William had cheated on Kate with another woman. So, what happened in the royal household after that?

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We’ll discover the roots of the affair claim later, but let’s first learn more about William and Kate themselves. The couple married in 2011 and it was a truly spectacular royal affair; millions of people worldwide tuned in to watch the soon-to-be Duchess walk down the aisle. Later, William and Kate stood on the palace balcony and kissed for the cheering crowds.

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But the road that led William and Kate to marriage hadn’t always been an easy one. Indeed, the early days of their relationship were marked with strife. The pair first met at the University of St. Andrews – where they happened to share the same halls of residence. And the shy, pretty Kate immediately caught the eye of the young prince.

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William got along very well with Kate, but she wasn’t the only woman getting his attention at the time. There was also Carley Massy-Birch, a creative writing and English language student. Although Kate had been crowned the prettiest girl in her dorm, Carley had the honor of winning a “finest first-year bottom” competition at St. Andrews. William liked her very much, and his friends knew, although the tabloids didn’t.

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Yet the William-Carley relationship came to an end, allegedly, when it transpired William still had feelings for an ex, Arabella Musgrave. She is a woman of high social standing and is the daughter of Major Nicholas Musgrave. William had known her when they were children, but they had met again as young adults.

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William and Arabella had dated before the prince left for university, but they had then decided to take a break. The feeling between them, reportedly, was that Arabella didn’t expect him to wait around for her while they were apart. William missed her, though it seems he wasn’t at all averse to meeting and romancing other women.

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And in the middle of all these complicated romantic emotions, William suddenly began seeing Kate in an entirely different light. As the oft-repeated story goes, she was modeling in a fashion show, and the prince happened to be there. Apparently, he was awestruck after seeing her walking the catwalk in a sheer dress and underwear.

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Right after the show, William began to romance Kate. At the afterparty, the two sat together and chatted for a long time while the alcohol flowed. Then, suddenly, William went to kiss her. She pulled away in surprise; Kate herself was taken at the time, as she was dating another university student named Rupert Finch.

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Obviously, things between Kate and Rupert didn’t last, and the future Duchess of Cambridge began properly dating William. The pair moved into new accommodation, the romantically named 13a Hope Street. They kept their relationship as quiet as possible – even leaving the house at separate times – so that the tabloids wouldn’t get wind of it.

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And yet, William didn’t exactly seem ready to commit. Come the prince’s 21st birthday in 2003, many noted that he seemed to be getting close to a woman called Jecca Craig – despite Kate apparently still being his girlfriend. And this relationship the newspapers very much did pick up on.

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The media reported that William and Jecca had performed an engagement ceremony of sorts, where they declared their love for each other. And despite the royal family very rarely commenting regarding news stories about them, William got his people to deny such an event had ever taken place.

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William also spoke to the Press Association to mark his 21st birthday, and unsurprisingly he was asked about romance. Despite Kate being in his life, the prince said at the time, “I don’t have a steady girlfriend. If I fancy a girl and I really like her and she fancies me back, which is rare, I ask her out.”

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“But, at the same time, I don’t want to put [prospective girlfriends] in an awkward situation because a lot of people don’t quite understand what comes with knowing me,” William continued. “There’s been a lot of speculation about every single girl I’m with, and it actually does quite irritate me after a while, more so because it’s a complete pain for the girls.”

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Yet Kate seemed to be being shunted aside in favor of Jecca, attendees of William’s 21st birthday party noticed. Both women were present, but while the latter woman sat at the main table with William, Kate did not. Furthermore, the celebration’s theme was “Out of Africa” – an appropriate choice, given William had first met Jecca in Kenya.

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Yet despite that unfortunate blip, Kate and William stayed together – for a little longer at least. They were still keen to maintain their privacy, but news of their relationship got out in the end. In April 2004, after Kate had been spotted with William on a skiing trip, The Sun ran the headline “Finally… Wills gets a girl.”

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But William didn’t have Kate for much longer. By the summer of that year allegedly the duchess had tired of William’s immature behavior, which may have included flirting and worse with other women. She had also apparently noticed him getting close with yet another female friend – this time it was Anna Sloan, a rich American girl.

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Kate was apparently very upset when William went on holiday with Anna and her friends, but that wasn’t the end of it. There was also his friendship with heiress Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe to consider. Reportedly, neither woman had been interested in William romantically, though that didn’t change Kate’s feelings.

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Kate apparently banned William from seeing Isabella again, but things still weren’t looking great. The pair decided to do a trial separation, although once again they tried to keep their business out of the tabloids. Reportedly, William’s plans to go and see Jecca in Kenya didn’t remotely help matters.

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The trial separation ended with the pair getting back together, and in 2005 Kate went on holiday with William, Harry and Charles. After that, more holidays and parties followed, plus the pair both graduated from St. Andrews University. But then, as William joined the British Army, things started to go wrong again.

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Although the media constantly speculated that William was about to pop the question to Kate, it seemed that the prince himself wasn’t so sure. The pressure for the two to announce an engagement mounted until neither could take it anymore. That was one problem; William being photographed with other women was another.

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By 2007 William was increasingly being seen out with other ladies. At one point, the prince was spotted dancing at a nightclub with a blonde girl, Tess Shepherd. At another nightclub in Bournemouth, he was seen with his arm around a pretty young woman and reportedly took another one out for a drink. For Kate, this was the final straw; she apparently told William that she would leave him if he refused to commit fully to her.

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During Easter of that year Kate and William split up, and at the time it appeared to be for good. As a result, the former donned a revenge dress and hit the party circuit. She was determined to show the media that she wasn’t missing her former royal boyfriend; but in reality, Kate was deeply hurt.

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The British media subsequently made plenty of the sudden split, and in April 2007 an unnamed “friend of the prince” told The Evening Standard that marriage was “never on the cards.” They added, “Kate did everything she could to make him stay – playing a waiting game one minute and then hard-to-get the next.”

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The royal insider also said, notably, “Just the other week, she said she intended to be photographed at as many places as she could without William to punish him for all those pictures that appeared of him clubbing with other girls. But William’s heart just wasn’t in it anymore. As she was planning the wedding, he was working out how to extricate himself.”

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Other alleged insiders had worse things to say about William’s behavior. Another source told the Evening Standard, “He has always had a roving eye, far more so than Harry, who is meant to be the family playboy. That’s something Kate has always known and accepted – it was part of the deal, if you like.”

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The source continued, “What has changed in recent months, however, is the way in which the public was starting to view Kate as a future princess. William’s visit to that nightclub in Bournemouth the other week was all rather harmless but he knew it made him look a cad.” Elsewhere, the paper also noted that the palace was not commenting on the situation.

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Of course, as we all know, Kate and William ended up getting back together. And in 2010 they finally did the thing so many people had asked them about in the years prior; they got engaged. But there were a few naysayers, and some magazines claimed that it was pretty common for a royal man to cheat on his wife.

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There was a grain of truth to the claim of infidelity among royal men, perhaps, because William’s father had famously strayed from his mother. Charles was married to Diana when he had romanced his ex-girlfriend and future wife Camilla Parker Bowles. And there have long been rumors that Prince Philip, William’s grandfather, allegedly cheated on the Queen.

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Certainly, the first years of William and Kate’s marriage appeared to go by without incident. In 2013 the pair had their first child, George, who is third in line to the British throne. And by all accounts, William seems to be a good and attentive father.

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However, in March 2017 the prince was spotted and videotaped in a comprising position at – once again – a nightclub. While on a skiing holiday with friends in Switzerland, he was observed dancing with a young woman there. Vanity Fair, meanwhile, reported that Kate was “less than pleased” to hear about it.

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And in 2019 another apparent – but unconfirmed – issue with William made it to the media. This one was quite shocking; allegedly, the prince had cheated on Kate while she was pregnant with Louis. And the other woman was supposedly their neighbor Rose Hanbury, Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

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At first, the story began with tabloid reports that Kate and Rose, once friends, had fallen out. Richard Eden of the Daily Mail claimed that Kate “seems to see Rose as a rival.” Following that, The Sun quoted a source who said, “Things are tense between them… Over the years, Rose and Kate’s lives have been entwined in many ways.”

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In April the magazine In Touch then published an infidelity claim – complete with quotes from alleged insiders. Apparently, Kate had confronted William upon hearing rumors, but according to the source he “just laughed it off saying there was nothing to it.” Yet she reportedly ordered him to stop seeing Rose immediately, as she “[saw] their friendship in an entirely different light now.”

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To make matters worse, journalist Giles Coren of The Times tweeted out a post seemingly “confirming” that William had indeed cheated on Kate. It was removed, reportedly due to pressure from the palace. And other publications who passed along the rumors were apparently handed legal warnings.

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Cosmopolitan magazine, for its part, revealed one of the letters from lawyers representing the royals. It stated, “In addition to being false and highly damaging, the publication of false speculation in respect of our clients’ private life also constitutes a breach of his privacy pursuant to Article 8 of the European Convention to Human Rights.” Of course, having legal letters sent out this way was quite an unusual move for the royals.

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Unfortunately, the best way to get everyone talking about an incident is to try and stop them from talking about it. The rumors grew, but the palace unsurprisingly refused to comment. However, in April some anonymous courtiers told The Daily Beast that the affair story was “totally wrong and false.” Furthermore, they questioned the reliability of In Touch as a source, adding that it had in the past claimed that “[Barack] Obama was having an affair and Britney [Spears] was having triplets.”

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Then, come June Kate and Rose were seen in a room together. They were both present and on diplomatic duty when U.S. President Donald Trump came to visit the palace early that month. Rose was with her husband, director David Rocksavage, and there didn’t appear to be any bad blood between the two women.

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That same month, Us Weekly published an article about the whole incident – complete with quotes from more insiders. One of them said, “Kate finds the rumors hurtful, obviously, and hates the thought that one day her children will be able to read about them online.”

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However, there was apparently a silver lining to the affair allegations. The insider claimed that Kate hearing the rumors “forced her and William to sit back and examine their relationship, which they realized they should have been doing more often.” A second source who spoke to Us was less positive, however, and they argued that the headlines “didn’t go down well with Kate.” Nevertheless, the source added that the couple were “determined to pull through it and are doing a great job at getting their marriage back on track again.”

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The anonymous person informed Us, “It’s not unusual to have a few hiccups in a marriage, especially after eight years, and Kate and William are no different. They’re still going strong. Regardless of their ups and downs, they love each other dearly and their kids are the most important thing in their lives.” And that would appear to be that, at least for now.

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