Ned Rocknroll: Things to Know About Kate Winslet’s Husband

Ned Rocknroll Facts

Other Name:- Edward Abel Smith

Born On:- 1978-00-00

His Age:- 46

Famous As:- Third Husband of Actress Kate Winslet

Born Country:- United States

Wife/Husband/Ex:- Kate Winslet (m. 2012), Eliza Pearson

Mother:- Lindy Branson

Father:- Robert Abel Smith

Children:- Bear Blaze Winslet

Ned Rocknroll, who belongs to the famed Abel Smith lineage of the U.K., is now known as the third husband of ‘Academy Award’-winning English actor Kate Winslet. Ned was previously known as Edward Abel Smith. However, owing to his eccentric and jovial nature, he changed his name to “Ned Rocknroll.” Apparently, he found his previous name boring. Ned is also the nephew of British business tycoon Richard Branson. Ned and Kate met at Branson’s private island, Necker Island, in the Caribbean. It is believed, a lightning struck Branson’s house there and Kate then saved Branson’s aged mother singlehandedly. Floored by Kate’s heroic act, Ned fell for her. He divorced his first wife, heiress Eliza Pearson Cowdray, and got married to Kate in a private ceremony in 2012. They had a son, Bear Blaze Winslet, in 2013, after which Ned reportedly left his cushy job at his uncle’s space travel company and started raising Bear and Kate’s other kids at home. Ned later changed his surname back to “Smith,” as Bear was embarrassed by his father’s surname “Rocknroll.”

Early Life

Ned Rocknroll was born Edward (Lyulph) Abel Smith, on June 24, 1978, to Linette “Lindy” Branson and Robert Abel Smith. He is a descendant of the famed Abel Smith family of Woodhall, U.K. He is also the nephew of British business tycoon Richard Branson of the ‘Virgin Group.’

Ned’s parents separated when he was quite young, and he was mostly raised by his mother and stepfather, Robin Brockway. He grew up in his family home in Parson Green, South-West London, and was one of five brothers.

Ned changed his name from “Edward Abel Smith” to “Ned Rocknroll” in the year 2008. He later said that he had done so to showcase his jovial and fun-loving nature. Ned said he believed that people took themselves too seriously and he did not.

Meeting Kate Winslet

Ned met ‘Academy Award’-winning English actor Kate Winslet (of ‘Titanic’ and ‘The Reader’ fame) back in August 2011, while attending a party hosted by Richard Branson at Branson’s private luxury island, Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands of the Caribbean. Apparently, Kate’s then-boyfriend, model Louis Dowler, and her two children were there with her, attending the same party.

Unfortunately, the house where they were staying caught fire on August 22. Kate is reported to have saved Richard Branson’s 90-year-old mother, Eve, from the fire. Apparently, after a lightning struck the house and set it on fire, Kate carried Eve down the stairs.

This tragedy brought Ned Rocknroll and Kate closer. They started to date after returning from the island. They dated for 2 years, before getting married in 2012.

Ned’s Marriage to Kate

Ned’s marriage to Kate was Kate’s third and Ned’s second. Kate had previously been married to director Jim Threapleton from 1998 to 2001 and to director Sam Mendes from 2003 to 2011. She was also a mother of two by then, with the birth of her daughter (with Jim), Mia, in 2000, and her son (with Sam), Joe, in 2003.

Ned Rocknroll, on the other hand, was married to Eliza Pearson Cowdray, an heiress and the eldest daughter of a millionaire viscount, for 2 years. Ned and Eliza had separated in April 2011 and had applied for a divorce in June. In September that year, Ned revealed to Eliza that he had been dating Kate.

Ned Rocknroll reportedly worked at his uncle Richard Branson’s space travel company, ‘Virgin Galactic,’ as the head of marketing promotion and astronaut experience, a title which his ex-wife, Eliza, claimed was made up.

Ned and Kate got married in 2012, a private ceremony at a barn in Catskill mountains, New York, attended by close friends and family. Kate’s close friend and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio walked her down the aisle and gave her away.

The couple exchanged platinum and diamond wedding bands, customized for them in Hong Kong. While they had planned the wedding well in advance, neither Ned nor Kate had told anyone about it.

Ned’s brother Jack, a professional sailor, was his best man. Kate’s children, Mia and Jack, were also present at the venue. The entire place was decorated with wild flowers and colourful lanterns.

Where Is Ned Rocknroll Now?

Ned and Kate had a son, Bear Blaze Winslet, on December 7, 2013. Following this, Ned reportedly left his job at Branson’s space company to become a stay-at-home dad and took care of Bear and Kate’s other children. He also assisted in renovating their £3.5 million mansion.

The couple now lives in New York City. Ned enjoys cycling and camping and is quite a family man.

In early 2019, it was reported that Ned had apparently changed his surname from “Rocknroll” back to “Smith.” It was stated that Ned wished to “set an example” for his son by changing his name to his previous (and more serious) name. It is also believed that the decision was taken since his son was embarrassed by his father’s surname. Apparently, Ned wished not to have a surname at all, but since that was not feasible for legal reasons, he decided to change it back to “Smith.”