The 25-year-old son of the late Duke of Westminster is likely to become one of Britain’s most eligible bachelors after inheriting his father’s entire £9billion estate.
Hugh Richard Louis Grosvenor, who was asked to be Prince George’s godfather by Prince William in 2013, will also receive the family seat in Cheshire, Eaton Hall following the death of his father.
Billionaire duke, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor died at Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire on Tuesday at the age of 64. He is believed to have suffered a heart attack at his grouse shooting estate, Abbeystead House in Lancashire.
Because of the custom of primogeniture Hugh will receive the title, house, lands and largest share of the family fortune, while his three sisters, Tamara, 36, Edwina, 34, and Viola, 23, are set to inherit considerable trust funds.
It is not known if Hugh has a girlfriend, but his vast inheritance is likely to make him one of Britain’s most eligible bachelors.
Unusually for the children of hereditary peers, Hugh and his three sisters, Tamara, 36, Edwina, 34, and Viola, 23, were educated at a state primary school on The Wirral, near their home, before attending a private day school, Mostyn House.
Hugh Grosevnor, 25, (pictured in 2013) is set to inherit his father’s entire £9billion estate
He and his siblings were later pupils at co-educational Ellesmere College in Shropshire, rather than a more prestigious school such as Harrow – where his father had been miserable.
The school costs up to £10,296-a-term to attend, with alumnae including rugby player Bill Beaumont and Michael Chapman, the former Archdeacon of Northampton.
He went on to study countryside management at Newcastle University, and later was a student at the University of Oxford.
After graduating, Hugh worked in estate management for the Grosvenor Group before becoming an accounts manager at coffee recycling firm bio-bean, which collects waste coffee grounds and converts them into biofuels and biomass pellets.
Speaking of his then infant son in 1992, the Duke had told The Independent: ‘My main object will be to teach him self- discipline and a sense of duty. He’s been born with the longest silver spoon anyone can have, but he can’t go through life sucking on it. He has to put back what he has been given.’
Hugh is the 6th Duke of Westminster’s only son and although the young man has led a quiet life, he did celebrate his 21st birthday in style.
It was reported that his landmark bash cost £5million and featured an A-list guest list including Prince Harry.
The Prince, 31, was among 800 guests who enjoyed entertainment from world-famous comedian Michael McIntyre and British hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks.
The Duchess of Westminster (second from left) with her children Lady Edwina (left), Hugh (third from right), Lady Tamara (second from right), and Lady Viola (right). Lady Edwina’s husband, Dan Snow is pictured next to the Duchess
Hugh will receive the family seat in Cheshire, Eaton Hall (pictured), which sits on a 10,872-acre estate, and is where the new Duke and his sisters grew up
Hugh as a young boy with his mother Natalia, and sisters Lady Edwina and Lady Tamara as they listen to a speech made by their father in 1992
The extravagant celebration was held in a marquee in the garden of the family’s 10,872-acre estate in Cheshire, and photographers and the media were barred from the occasion.
At the time Hugh, who was then a student at Newcastle University, told The Chester Chronicle: ‘The party was simply amazing – a birthday and a party I will never forget.
‘It is the beginning of a new era in my life and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.’
Lady Tamara is married to one of Prince William’s best friends, Ed Van Cutsem. They are pictured on their wedding day with The Duke (next to the bride), the Duchess (second from right), Hugh (between his parents) and bridesmaid Lady Viola (front row, second left)
THE ARISTOCRAT, THE PRISON REFORMER AND THE CHARITY WORKER: HUGH’S THREE SISTERS… AND THEIR RATHER FAMILIAR HUSBANDS
Hugh’s eldest sister, Lady Tamara, 36, spent her gap year working on a farm in New Zealand, as their father had done, before studying religion at Newcastle University.
She married one of Prince William’s closest friends Edward van Cutsem, at Chester Cathedral in 2004.
City banker Edward is Prince Charles’s godson, and the brother of George’s fellow godparent William van Cutsem. William’s eldest daughter Grace was a flowergirl at Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.
Lady Tamara with her husband, Ed Van Cutsem emerge from Chester Cathedral following their wedding. Lady Edwina married television presenter, Dan Snow – the son of veteran broadcaster Peter Snow – in 2010
Edward’s father was Hugh Van Cutsem, a wealthy banker and landowner, who befriended Prince Charles at Cambridge University. When he died in 2013, Prince Charles and his sons attended the funeral, and the Van Cutsem family has been credited with helping Princes William and Harry to enjoy something resembling a normal childhood following the break-down of their parents’ relationship, and the subsequent death of Princess Diana.
At aged six, Edward had been a pageboy at Charles and Diana’s wedding, and his own nuptials to Lady Tamara were attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, with both William and Harry acting as ushers during the ceremony.
However, Prince Charles did not attend, reportedly after learning that Camilla Parker-Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall, had been assigned a seat several rows back. This is thought to have been one of the driving factors in Charles’s decision to propose to Camilla, and they married in 2005.
Tamara and Edward have two sons, Jake, born in 2009, and Louis, who was born in 2012.
Lady Tamara and her husband at the wedding of his younger brother Nicholas and Alice Hadden-Paton in 2009
The most outspoken of the Grosvenor children, Hugh’s second eldest sister, Lady Edwina, 34, married television presenter Dan Snow, the son on veteran broadcaster Peter Snow, in 2010, a far more low-key affair than Tamara’s.
Only immediate family and close friends were present for the ceremony at Bishop’s Lodge in Woolton, Liverpool, which was conducted by the Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones.
The couple met in 2008 at the wedding of her cousin, Rosie Innes-Ker, and have a daughter, Zia, born in 2011, and a son, Wolf, who was born in 2014.
Lady Edwina, whose godmother was Princess Diana, is a passionate prison reform campaigner, and helped set up The Clink chain of restaurants
Lady Edwina, whose godmother was Princess Diana, is a passionate prison reform campaigner, and helped set up The Clink chain of restaurants, which are located within prisons and staffed by inmates with a view to help them prepare for life after their release with a view to gaining employment.
As well as being a trustee of The Clink Charity, Lady Edwina is an Ambassador of the ‘No Way Trust’ and sits on the Women’s Advisory Board advising Government on reforms to the female prison estate.
She studied sociology and criminology at Northumbria University and very nearly became a prison officer.
She has said her interest in helping prisoners began at a young age, and has spoken about her father taking her to meet recovering addicts at a drug rehabilitation centre in her early teens.
Hugh’s father and his younger sister, Lady Viola, 23, at the funeral of Hugh Van Cutsem in Brentwood in 2013
‘That visit did exactly what my father was hoping for,’ she said in 2013. ‘When anyone I met tried to glamorise drugs, I kept well away from them. It also made me want to see more of what I call society’s hidden people.’
Lady Edwina has also spent millions of her own money on helping offenders, and her husband has said that the couple may give away their fortune to charity because they don’t want their children’s inheritance to be a burden.
‘There’s a great quote from the Scottish entrepreneur Tom Hunter. He thinks it’s a good idea to leave kids an amount of money that means they can do something but not so much that they can do nothing,’ Snow said in 2014.
‘You can raise them above subsistence and you can allow them to think about a career that isn’t hugely financially rewarding’.
The couple live on the edge of the New Forest in a house purchased from former notorious mercenary Simon Mann.
Hugh also has a younger sister, Lady Viola, 23, who is an ambassador for the anti-bullying charity Kidscape, which described her as ‘extremely passionate about taking a hands-on approach to supporting vulnerable young people’.
Named after her grandmother, the wife of Robert Grosvenor, 5th Duke of Westminster, Lady Viola also works for the St Vincent’s Family Project in Westminster and is a keen netball and hockey player.
She is not yet married, and has said she wants to train as an art therapist in the hope of setting up her own charity for children and young people.
The dress code for his birthday party was ‘black tie and neon’ and it was reported that the security was so tight that the doors of vehicles taking guests to the party had been sealed with tape to prevent gate-crashers.
He gave a speech in which he joked about growing up with his three sisters and thanked his parents for their unconditional love.
Vanity Fair described him as ‘baby-faced’ and ‘absurdly rich’, while the Tatler List declared: ‘Hughie’s a Newcastle graduate with his own wine collection who goes wild for girls in neon.’ A friend told Tatler: ‘Hugh never really had a gang of mates in London – despite owning most of it. He would come down in the holidays and be slightly at a loss.
‘He had plenty of cousins and sisters around but not so many people of his own age.’
The eldest of the Grosvenor siblings, Lady Tamara, 36, pictured left with her husband Edward Van Cutsem, and Lady Edwina, 34, (right) who is a keen campaigner for prison reform
Hugh, 25, pictured at Prince George’s christening in 2013, and the youngest of the four siblings, Lady Viola, 23
Hugh is believed to have made a ‘huge circle of friends’ once he started at Newcastle, with many of them moving back to London alongside him.
Lady Tamara is married to Edward van Cutsem, whose brother William van Cutsem is also a godparent of Prince George. Another sister Lady Edwina is married to historian and television presenter Dan Snow.
Hugh is likely to have to take on responsibility for the Westminster Foundation, the charitable body which manages the philanthropic activities of the Grosvenor family. It was set up in the 1970s and since then has awarded over £40 million in grants.
Hugh’s mother Natalia, the Duchess of Westminster, is Prince William’s godmother and his father was extremely protective of his four children.
He reportedly refused to send them to boarding school and enrolled them at a state primary before taking them to a private day school near the family home.
Despite the fact Hugh will take the largest share of the family fortune, his sisters are also set to inherit considerable trust funds.
WHY HUGH WILL INHERIT THE LOT, DESPITE HAVING TWO OLDER SISTERS
Primogeniture was also applied to the British monarchy until 2013 when the law was amended. As a result, Princess Charlotte will retain her place in the line of succession if her parents have another son
Although Hugh is the third of his father’s four children, he will inherit the Duke of Westminster’s title and his entire £9billion estate.
This is because of primogeniture, the right of the firstborn male child to inherit the family estate, even if he has older sisters – as is the case
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