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Olivia Henson arrives for her wedding to Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral© Getty

Olivia Henson is spellbinding in backless wedding dress and flyaway veil at Duke of Westminster wedding

Prince William was among the guests who witnessed the wedding at Chester Cathedral

Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
June 7, 2024
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All eyes were on Olivia Henson as she arrived at Chester Cathedral for her much-anticipated wedding with the Duke of Westminster on 7 June.

Not only were 400 guests – including close friend Prince William – invited to witness the ceremony, but even more gathered on the streets outside to catch a glimpse of one of the UK's most eligible bachelors wed his long-term love.

Bride Olivia Henson arrived at the cathedral wearing a dress and veil designed by Emma Victoria Payne© Getty
Bride Olivia Henson showed off her backless Emma Victoria Payne wedding dress as she arrived at the cathedral

With an estimated fortune of £10.127 billion, Hugh's high society wedding was predicted to be filled with pomp and circumstance with no expense spared. This extended to his bride Olivia, who was swathed in ivory silk crepe satin and silk organza in her ethereal embroidered wedding dress by British designer Emma Victoria Payne, also known as EVP.

Olivia wore the Faberge Myrtle Leaf Tiara made for Grosvenor brides to wear on their wedding day, which has been in the family since 1906.

Her bouquet was made of flowers picked from the gardens of the duke’s family home, Eaton Hall.© OLI SCARFF
The Duke of Westminster's wife looked striking in a Faberge Myrtle Leaf Tiara

Features included a bias-cut skirt, a pleated waistband, gathered sleeves, a dropped waist, a keyhole back and a detachable two-metre train. Most notably, the scalloped edge neckline with hand appliquéd embroidery had a special link to the bride's family. "The bespoke embroidery design was hand drawn and reimagined by EVP incorporating floral motifs and edgings from Olivia’s great-great-grandmother's veil circa 1880."

The bride surprised with her choice of footwear© Getty
The bride surprised with her choice of footwear

Walking arm-in-arm with her father Rupert, the senior account manager completed her effortless bridal look with a bespoke scalloped, waterfall veil that got caught in a gust of wind. Take a look in the video below...

WATCH: The Duke of Westminster's bride Olivia Henson styles out gusty winds with billowing veil

Explaining the sentimental hidden meanings, the designer added: "Each original antique motif from Olivia’s family veil was hand drawn and reimagined into a new repeat pattern of graduating scalloped edges and oval shapes to reflect Olivia’s engagement ring setting. Personalised initials and wedding date complete the design in the centre back."

Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster was cheered upon his arrival© Getty
Hugh Grosvenor was all smiles as he arrived for the ceremony

Beauty-wise, Olivia styled her long brunette hair in a chic intricate updo, topped with the Grosvenor family headpiece, the Faberge Myrtle Leaf Tiara, and chose a subtle beauty blend that emphasised her features.

Tiara speculation

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 spinel tiara when she got married in 1978

Ahead of the wedding, the rumour mill went wild over whether Olivia would wear one of Hugh's family heirloom tiaras. The most iconic is the Bagration Spinel Tiara and Parure, which Olivia's mother-in-law Natalia Phillips wore on her own wedding day in 1978.

Alongside her ruffled wedding dress, Natalia was pictured in the antique diamond and pink spinel tiara with a twisted base. It was part of a set including a necklace, earrings, and a comb that traces back to Princess Catherine Bagration, niece of the legendary Prince Potemkin. 

Other possible headpieces that fans thought Olivia might choose included the peal and diamond Rosebery Tiara and the one she chose, the Myrtle Wreath Tiara, designed to emulate a wreath or laurel of leaves.

Special wedding venue

The Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson sat inside Chester Cathedral© Grosvenor 2024
The Duke and Olivia discussed their close association with Chester Cathedral

Olivia and Hugh chose Chester Cathedral as their wedding venue, following in the footsteps of Hugh's older sister Lady Tamara who married Prince William's good friend Edward van Cutsem there in 2004. 


The Duke of Westminster and his bride-to-be, Miss Olivia Henson
The Duke of Westminster and his bride-to-be, Miss Olivia Henson

Meet the bride

  • Miss Olivia Henson, 31, was educated at Marlborough College, whose alumni include Kate and Pippa Middleton.
  • She gained a a degree from Trinity in Ireland. 
  • Olivia is now Senior Account Manager at Belazu, a B-corp ingredient company.

The wedding venue

  • The Duke and future Duchess of Westminster will tie the knot at the breathtaking Chester Cathedral
  • The space is where his late father's memorial was held, and is set in the city where he grew up.
  • Olivia revealed to Town & Country that Chester is "the place where we will live, where we will be building our lives together."

The wedding guests

  • The Grosvenors are a family with a long-standing connection to the royal family; Hugh is a lifelong friend of Princes William and Harry. 
  • The Prince of Wales has been confirmed to be one of the Duke's ushers.

Which royal guests declined their invitation?

  • Despite having a close relationship with the Duke, Prince Harry and Meghan reportedly declined their invitation
  • It has yet not been confirmed if King Charles, who is Hugh's godfather, will attend with Queen Camilla. 
  • The Princess of Wales is not expected to attend, amid her ongoing break from the spotlight as she undergoes treatmet for cancer. 
  • It is likely Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will not be in attendance. 

In honour of the occasion, which is considered the wedding of the year, 100,000 flowers have been planted in displays across the Chester, all paid for by the billionaire Duke himself, the Daily Mail reported. 

Olivia Henson was chauffeured in the Bentley Motors 1930 8-Litre © Getty
The floral arrangements were visible as Olivia arrived in her Bentley

The Cathedral has also been decked out with beautiful roses, lavender and baby's breath, and a white flower arch outside the cathedral doors. The couple plans to donate their wedding flowers to local charities and organisations.

Hugh explained why the area holds a special place in his heart during a visit to the cathedral last month. "I think next time we're in here will be slightly more nerve-wracking. But I'm unbelievably excited," Hugh said.

Nave of Chester Cathedral© Getty
400 guests were invited to the ceremony at Chester Cathedral

"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."

Despite the fact that the Duke owns 300 acres of land in Mayfair and Belgravia, Olivia added that the pair will be making Chester a more permanent base following their wedding.

"It's obviously a place where we will live, where we'll be building our lives together," she said. "And we're slowly transitioning to move up from London and be much more permanent here and really putting roots down."

Private reception

Eaton Hall surrounded by woodland© Alamy
Eaton Hall is surrounded by woodland

Chester Cathedral is located just a few miles from his family's ancestral seat Eaton Hall, where they got engaged in April 2023. Their engagement photos were taken on the grounds, with the couple smiling in low-key outfits against the backdrop of colourful blooms.

They will return there for their private wedding reception, which will only be for the eyes of their chosen friends and family, including Prince William and Princess Eugenie.

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

Situated on the outskirts of the city, the estate has been home to the Grosvenor family since the 1400s and is surrounded by formal gardens, parkland, farmland and woodland covering over 10,000 acres. 

It provides tenancies for more than 500 residential and commercial properties and is also home to Grosvenor Farms, which produces over 32 million litres of fresh milk a year.

The Prince of Wales attends the wedding of The Duke of Westminster and Miss Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral © Getty
The Prince of Wales was an usher at the wedding

It has been reported that guests will do an outfit change for the evening celebrations, which will include cutting their lemon wedding cake. thought to be inspired by the Duke's "close friend" Prince Harry who wed Meghan Markle in 2018.

HELLO! discovered the flavour while reporting in Chester, chatting to local business, Krum Gelato, who has been helped out financially by the Grosvenor Organisation to hand out free gelato to customers in the City Centre in celebration of the big day.

Princess Eugenie looked gorgeous in an olive green dress as she arrived at the cathedral© James Whatling
Princess Eugenie looked gorgeous in an olive green wedding guest dress

In an exclusive interview, the owner, Fabrizio, told us that he was informed of the couple's cake flavour so that he could use it for inspiration to create a bespoke sorbet as a symbol and special nod to the couple's big day. "To give an homage to the couple, I personally asked if the detail of the wedding reception could be disclosed," Fabrizio told us. "And we have been told that there is a lemon theme with the wedding cake. So, we are making a very special lemon sorbet made with special Italian lemons that will be served tomorrow."

DON'T MISS: Meet the Duke of Westminster's sisters - including Princess Diana's goddaughter

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