Ned “Rocknroll” Smith was born Abel Smith but legally changed his name to Ned Rocknroll. He is the nephew of British billionaire business magnate Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, for whom Rocknroll works as part of the Virgin Galactic space tourism company. It was also on Branson’s private island in the British Virgin Islands where Rocknroll and future wife Kate Winslet first met in 2011.
Winslet – most famous for her role in Titanic – arrived on the island with her two children from previous marriages, and her then-boyfriend Louis Dowler, not knowing that it was more than a new romance which would be ignited on this vacation. In the early hours of August 22nd, 2011, the residence in which Winslet and 19 other guests were staying suddenly burst into flames, likely due to lightning from a tropical storm. Nobody was injured, although the building was totally destroyed. It is not known what else went on during the vacation, yet Winslet arrived on the island with Dowler but left with Rocknroll.
Romance clearly blossomed for the pair, and their engagement was announced a year later. The couple have three previous marriages between them, with Winslet having been married to film directors Jim Threaplton and Sam Mendes, and Rocknroll being married for two years to socialite Eliza Pearson, daughter of a British Viscount. Nevertheless, the pair were joined in happy holy matrimony in a private New York ceremony, shortly after the couple had relocated to live in Sussex, England.
In December 2013, the couple’s first child was born. In typical Hollywood fashion, the youngster was given the unique name of Bear Blaze Winslet, note how the middle name reflects the circumstances in which the couple met. Interestingly the child was spared the less-than-traditional “Rocknroll” as a last name, because Winslet wanted all her children to have the same surname.