Who is Prince William’s Norfolk neighbour and friend, the Marquess of Cholmondeley?
David, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley and his wife Rose, the Marquess of Cholmondeley reportedly encouraged their neighbour, , to slip off to a techno music festival held in the grounds of their stately Houghton Hall. According to the , the couple suggested Kate make an under-the-radar appearance following a dinner over the weekend. It was an unusual proposal but it could hardly have come from a more trusted source. Not only are the Cholmondeleys longtime neighbours of the Waleses, but the marquess holds an important royal role and their son, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley had a starring role alongside at the coronation of and Queen Camilla. As a permanent Lord-in-Waiting, the Marquess of Cholmondeley attends important state and royal occasions. He will also represent His Majesty at royal events. For example, one of his predecessors, Viscount Brookeborough, was called upon to welcome President and Mrs Trump to the UK on behalf of the late Queen Elizabeth II. There are two kinds of Lord-in-Waiting: political (those who have been appointed by the government) and non-political (appointments by the the monarch). The Marquess of Cholmondeley is a permanent Lord-in-Waiting, meaning that he is a retired senior official of the Royal Household. Titled Viscount Malpas at birth until he became the Earl of Rocksavage in 1968 and then the Marquess of Cholmondeley in 1990, David Rocksavage is married to ex-fashion model , 39, now the 7th Marchioness of Cholmondeley. They wed at Chelsea Town Hall in 2009 having met on holiday in Italy in 2003; she is 23 years his junior. The couple live at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, which is just four miles from Anmer Hall, the Prince and Princess of Wales’s country retreat. Convenient, then, that the four are good friends. Like the Prince and Princess of Wales, they have two boys, Alexander, Earl of Rocksavage and Oliver, Lord Cholmondeley (who are twins), and a daughter, Lady Iris. Houghton Hall was built for the first Prime Minister of the UK and the marquess’s ancestor, Sir Robert Walpole. It has hosted a number of sculptures in its grounds thanks to the marquess’s love for art, including one by Tony Cragg in 2021. The family also owns Cholmondeley Castle in . The Marquess of Cholmondeley had the official position of Lord Great Chamberlain until the death of the late Queen, a role which involved carrying her crown at the State opening of Parliament, as well as wearing a distinctive scarlet court uniform that bears a gold key and a white stave as the insignia of his office. The role was passed on to Lord Rupert Carington, 7th Baron Carrington, following the death of the monarch. His duties will include dressing the King on coronation day, investing the monarch with the insignia of rule, as well as serving the monarch water before and after the coronation banquet. Most recently, the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley looked on with pride as their son Lord Oliver Cholmondeley played an important role as one of the eight pages of honour at the coronation.