Rose Hanbury linked to artifacts scandal amidst William affair rumours - Hindustan Times
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Rose Hanbury linked to artifacts scandal amidst William affair rumours

Mar 21, 2024 08:58 PM IST

Calls for repatriation of plundered artifacts reignite amid Rose Hanbury decor scrutiny

The mysterious absence of Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has sparked a flurry of conspiracy theories, with speculations resurfacing about her husband Prince William's alleged affair with British noblewoman Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. Despite denials from Hanbury's lawyers regarding the affair rumors, heightened public interest in the royal family has led to intensified scrutiny of her background.

Social Media posts in China suggest Rose Hanbury's royal decor may have been pillaged from China during the late Qing Dynasty, toward the end of the 19th century.
Social Media posts in China suggest Rose Hanbury's royal decor may have been pillaged from China during the late Qing Dynasty, toward the end of the 19th century.

Recent attention has focused also on Hanbury's association with Houghton Hall, the historic estate where she resides with her husband, David Rocksavage, the Marquess of Cholmondeley, and their children. Social media users, particularly on Chinese platforms like Xiaohongshu and Weibo, have drawn attention to the origins of Hanbury's opulent furniture, suggesting possible links to looting during China's late Qing Dynasty.

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“The Sassoons started to accumulate their wealth by looting late Qing China,” a social media post claims

A post on Xiaohongshu alleges that Hanbury's husband inherited the furniture from the Sassoon family, known as "the Rothschilds of the East," who amassed wealth through a 19th-century trading empire, including dealings in commodities like opium. While the Sassoons were prominent figures in British society, their legacy is tainted by allegations of profiting from China's tumultuous history, including the looting of artifacts during the country's "century of humiliation."

The scrutiny surrounding Hanbury's decor has reignited calls for the repatriation of potentially misappropriated foreign artifacts in the UK. Museums, including the British Museum, which received donations from the Sassoon family, have faced criticism for housing plundered Chinese artifacts. The ongoing debate reflects broader tensions over cultural heritage and restitution in a globalized world.

Ellie Hall, a former royals reporter, remarked on the unexpected twist in the royal saga, highlighting the public's fascination with uncovering every detail related to Princess Kate's absence. As the speculation continues, the mystery surrounding Middleton's whereabouts adds another layer of intrigue to the ever-evolving narrative of the British royal family.

All about the Sassoon family

Originating from a Jewish Baghdadi background, the Sassoons established a vast trading empire that spanned continents, dealing in commodities ranging from textiles to tea. However, their most notorious trade was in opium, a lucrative enterprise that contributed significantly to their immense wealth.

As the Sassoon dynasty flourished, they transitioned from successful merchants to influential members of the British aristocracy. Knighted in 1872, Sir Albert Sassoon paved the way for the family's entry into British high society, solidifying their position among the elite. The legacy of the Sassoon family is not without controversy. Their involvement in the opium trade, particularly during a period of colonial expansion and exploitation, has drawn criticism and condemnation. Questions have also arisen regarding the acquisition of certain artifacts, prompting debates about restitution and historical accountability.

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