The ‘Turnip Toffs’ Royal Drama Explained—Including Those Affair Rumours!

Named for their collective ownership of a lot of arable English farmland, their queen bee is none other than the Duchess of Cambridge.

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Prince William, Kate Middleton, Rose Hanbury and other fellow Turnip Toffs attend gala dinner

Photo, Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Getting the inside scoop on the lives of the super rich and super famous is fun. That’s because: beautiful clothes, fancy vacations and, of course, drama. And there’s a new group of rich and famous peeps on our radar: the Turnip Toffs, named for their collective ownership of a lot of arable English farmland, and whose queen bee is none other than future actual queen, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Besides the Duke and Duchess, you’ve got Viscounts, Earls, Lords and Countesses who have been shooting partridges, throwing extravagant parties and dating each other for generations. But this is not a city society, ruled by Kate from Kensington Palace. Instead, it all revolves around everyone’s more-rural estates, particularly Kate and Will’s Anmer Hall in Norfolk, which is about a three-hour drive from London. The estate sits on 20,000 acres, has 10 bedrooms and a tennis court, and was Will’s 30th birthday gift from the Queen. Casual, right? And pretty much all their fancy pals have similar pads in Norfolk, too.

Now, if that doesn’t already sound like the backdrop for your new fave TV show, allow us to fill you in on the latest Turnip Toff drama. Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley (btw, that’s pronounced “Chumley,” because Olde English has too many vowels) and allegedly a former girlfriend of Will’s, is at the centre of it all. She and Kate also used to be friends, but according to several British media outlets, Hanbury was in the process of being cancelled.

Turnip Toffs Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Rose Hanbury
Photo, Stephen Pond/Getty Images

It’s hard to say exactly what caused her rumoured impending excommunication from the Toffs—it is a semi-secret clique, after all. But rumours point to a falling out with Kate, possibly caused by an affair with Will. These rumours are unsubstantiated so far, but when the Daily Mail rolled up to Houghton Hall, Hanbury’s family home and rang the intercom (imagine?!), they got a “no comment.” But, according to the Sun, the rest of the Turnip Toffs have agreed that Hanbury can’t sit with them.

Of course, it could all just be a rumour. Another story in the Daily Mail cites a bunch of sources close to the Toffs stating that Kate and Hanbury were never that tight and that it’s just a weird lie blown way out of proportion, possibly to damage Kate’s reputation. Someone even told the site that the royal family is pursuing legal action.

Regardless of whether or not this particular story is true, we bet there’s lots of other drama going on amongst the Toffs that would make excellent fodder for a soap-y series. And if someone isn’t already adapting this for TV, we implore any producer who might be reading this to do. it. now.