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Hugh Grosvenor in a suit with his mother Natalia© Alan Davidson/Shutterstock

The Duke of Westminster's mother's pearl-encrusted sheer wedding dress and twisted tiara to inspire bride Olivia Henson?

Hugh Grosvenor's parents got married in Luton in 1978

Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
June 4, 2024
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Hugh Grosvenor, also known as the Duke of Westminster, is likely just as curious about Olivia Henson's wedding dress as the rest of the country.

In keeping with tradition, the groom will only catch sight of his bride on the morning of their wedding the moment she walks down the aisle. While we wait with anticipation to see what bridal style the senior account manager chooses, we're casting our minds back to over 40 years ago when Hugh's parents got married. Could his mother Natalia's wedding dress be any indication of what his bride will wear?

Hugh's parents' wedding

Hugh Grosvenor's mother Natalia wore the tiara when she married Gerald Grosvenor, The Earl of Grosvenor, at St Mary's Church on October 7 1978.© Wesley
Hugh Grosvenor's mother Natalia wore a ruffled dress and tiara when she married Gerald Grosvenor in 1978.

On 7 October 1978, the Earl of Grosvenor married Hugh's mother at St Mary's Church in Luton, one year after meeting at a ball at Blenheim Palace. Although very few photos document the wedding, one unearthed snap shared a glimpse at Natalia's feminine gown. 

She was pictured smiling in an ivory dress with a ruffled neckline and sheer balloon sleeves dotted with delicate pearls. Her bob had been blow-dried with a slight wave while the edges of her full fringe had been flicked out and topped with an antique diamond and pink spinel tiara with a twisted base.

Hugh Grosvenor, Prince George's godfather, in a grey three-piece suit in the sunshine© Max Mumby/Indigo
Hugh became the Duke of Westminster after his father died in 2016

Meanwhile, Gerald wore a pale suit with a patterned tie. He sadly passed away in August 2016 from a heart attack and the Duke of Westminster title passed to Hugh.

After their ceremony, attended by the likes of Princess Alice, Lord Mountbatten and India Hicks, the celebrations moved to the bride's family estate, Luton Hoo.

Borrowed wedding dresses

While no details have been released about Hugh's bride Olivia's wedding dress or designer, it's not unheard of for royals or celebrities to borrow their wedding dresses. The Princess of Wales' mother Carole Middleton lent her boho ruffled dress to her son James' wife Alizee Thevenet for their wedding in France in September 2021.

"My something borrowed was in fact my dress from my mother-in-law Carole who last wore it 41 years ago on her wedding day in June, 1980," financial analyst Alizée explained to HELLO!.

She tried on her future mother-in-law's wedding dress when she and James were residing with the Middletons in Bucklebury, Berkshire during lockdown. "While talking about dresses with Carole and sharing ideas during lockdown for inspiration, I tried on her wedding dress and fell in love with it.

"It fitted me perfectly and was exactly what I wanted. It always troubled me that wedding dresses are only worn once so it was amazing to give such a beautiful dress a second lease of life," she said.

Princess Beatrice's dress © Alamy
Princess Beatrice borrowed Queen Elizabeth's dress on her wedding day

Meanwhile, Princess Beatrice famously chose a sustainable wedding dress by tweaking her grandmother the late Queen Elizabeth's embellished Norman Hartnell ballgown for her intimate nuptials with Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July 2020.

Hugh and Olivia's wedding

Only time will tell what Olivia will choose! Olivia and Hugh are set to tie the knot on Friday 7 June at Chester Cathedral, which was also Hugh's older sister Lady Tamara's chosen venue when she married Prince William's good friend Edward van Cutsem in 2004. 

Hugh Grosvenor, 7th Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson
The couple got engaged in April 2023

It is located just a few miles away from his family's ancestral seat Eaton Hall, where they got engaged and where they will host the wedding reception.

During a visit to the cathedral last month, Hugh joked: "I think next time we're in here will be slightly more nerve-wracking. But I'm unbelievably excited."

Eaton Hall surrounded by woodland© Alamy
The couple will host their wedding reception at Eaton Hall

He added: "We've obviously got a long association with the cathedral as a family so we were here for my father's memorial, my sister's wedding, and every Remembrance Sunday that I can attend is here."

DISCOVER: Meet the Duke of Westminster's sisters - including Princess Diana's goddaughter

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