All About Kate Winslet’s Husband, Edward Abel Smith


Kate Winslet and Edward Abel Smith have been together since 2011, having met and married in just over a year. They keep the day-to-day of their life with their one son fairly private, but Smith has apparently been a huge support to Winslet in her successful career over the last 13 years.

Here’s everything to know about Edward Abel Smith, Kate Winslet’s dream man.

Who is Edward Abel Smith?

Smith is the nephew of well-known billionaire and amateur space traveler Richard Branson, who is the owner and founder of the Virgin Group. Before he married Winslet, Smith worked for Virgin Galactic, the space arm of the company. Time reports he worked under the title of head of marketing promotion and astronaut experience. Early in their dating, the couple was seen holding hands during the launch of Spaceport America in New Mexico.

He also had the title of Ned Rocknroll. While he was born as Abel Smith, at some point he legally changed it to the irreverent moniker. In January 2021, Winslet explained the situation on Jimmy Kimmel Live, saying, “So his birth name is Abel Smith. And as time went by, and Ned became Ned—who is quite an original personality—he just decided at one point in his life to just change his name to Rocknroll. Ned Rocknroll. So when I met him, his name was Ned Rocknroll. This is completely true.”

She went on, “When he changed his name to Rocknroll, I don’t think he had anticipated what might happen if he should have a girlfriend whose name was Kate Winslet and who was quite well-known and therefore the press might kind of not react so well to the fact that she had this boyfriend named Rocknroll. So, it was a little tricky.”

He decided to change it back as explaining it to other people got more complicated for them both.

“I got to the point where I’m like, you know, I’m filling in doctors’ forms and it says ‘mother’s name’ and ‘father’s name,’ and I’m like, ‘Honey… are we going to keep going?’” she continued. “And he’s like, ‘Yeah, you’re right. I’ll just change it back.’ So, he changed it back.”

In an interview with the The Telegraph, Winslet admitted she had no intention of becoming Mrs. Rocknroll nor Mrs. Smith.

“I was never going to change my name to Rocknroll,” said the Oscar winner. “I’ve never changed my name to anything, so I didn’t see a reason to start now. I quite like Kate Winslet…In fact, I think it’s very flashy.”

Winslet has been married twice before, to directors Jim Threapleton and Sam Mendes and stayed Winslet the whole time. In fact, Smith eventually adopted her name as a part of his. She told The New York Times, “He added ‘Winslet’ as one of his middle names, just simply because the children have Winslet. When we’re all traveling together, to all have that name on the passport makes life easier.”

She also shared some more details about his personality, saying, “He didn’t particularly plan on meeting and marrying a woman who is in the public eye and therefore having been so judged…He’s vegan, does yoga, breath work and cold water swims.”

Smith apparently has dyslexia, but he runs lines with his wife often.

“I’m so, so, so lucky,” she said. “For a man who is severely dyslexic, as he is, he’s great at testing me on lines. It’s so hard for him to read out loud, but he still does it.”

Smith now takes care of their son, Bear Blaze, setting aside space travel administration.

What else has Winslet said about her husband?

She told WSJ Magazine in 2015, “Thank God for Ned—really. He’s just so incredibly supportive, and he’s so much fun. He’s absolutely everything to me. And to all of us.”

That same year, she attributed many of her personal successes to her supportive husband.

“My creative life in the last few years has been really, really, colorful for me,” she told People. “And I’ve really, really enjoyed being able to embrace that. I have a wonderful man in my life who is so incredibly supportive that makes it possible for me to have those experiences. It’s been a really fun time.”

“He looks after us, especially me,” Winslet told The NYT. “I said to him earlier, like, ‘Neddy, could you do something for me?’ He just went, ‘Anything.’ He is an absolutely extraordinary life partner.”

In 2021, Winslet won an Emmy for outstanding actress in a limited series or movie for her role in the hit show Mare of Easttown. She told reporters in the press room after her win that when she was there 10 years earlier, she’d just connected with Smith.

“When I was here 10 years ago with Mildred Pierce, we had actually just met,” Winslet recalled. “I knew that I was going to spend my life with this man…We’re getting to the Emmys, and I was just so in a whirlwind of having just met him that I couldn’t even concentrate. And I vividly remember making an absolutely appalling speech because I was not on planet Earth because I had fallen head over heels in love with this person who I just met. So to have him here, it’s really quite special.”

How did the couple meet?

The pair had a very dramatic first encounter in August 2011 while vacationing on Branson’s Necker Island in the Caribbean, where she was one of 20 guests. A huge fire broke out in the “Great House,” supposedly from a strike of lightning during Hurricane Irene. Winslet reportedly helped Branson’s 90-year-old mother out of the main house, and Smith headed to a neighboring home.

Branson told The Telegraph, “My mum is 90 and can walk, but it was more just to speed the process up than anything else. But anyway, she was great. She swept her up into her arms and got them out of the house as fast as possible.”

While promoting her film with Idris Elba, The Mountain Between Us, Winslet compared the story of people lost in the wilderness to the extreme circumstances that brought her and Smith together.

“Exactly the same thing happened to me when I met my husband,” she People. “He was a complete stranger, we met, and then the next day the house burnt down.”

She continued, “I believe strangers can meet, and their lives can change so much that they simply can’t go back to being the person they once were. [Smith and I] very much went through that together. Even now, I often times find myself looking for an item of clothing or a book or something and I go, ‘Where have I put that?’ And Ned will look at me and go, ‘Did it get burnt in the fire?’”

How long have Winslet and Smith been together?

Soon after that hot connection, the pair got engaged, though they made no announcement. They were married in December 2012 in upstate New York. Her Titanic costar Leonardo DiCaprio was there to walk her down the aisle.

A rep for Winslet People at the time, “I can confirm that Kate Winslet married Ned Rock’nRoll in NY earlier this month in a private ceremony attended by her two children and a very few friends and family. The couple had been engaged since the summer.”

Do they have any children?

They share one son, Bear Blaze Winslet, whose middle name is supposedly a nod to the Necker Island incident. Winslet has two other children, one with each of her ex-husbands, Mia Threapleton and Joe Mendes.

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