The 11th Duke of Marlborough has sadly passed away. The Duke was 88-years-old, and was a cousin of Winston Churchill, who was his godfather, and was distantly related to the late Princess Diana.
A spokesperson for Blenheim Palace released a statement which read: "With great sadness, we announce that the 11th Duke of Marlborough passed away peacefully this morning.
"As per his wishes, the palace will be open as normal today."
Prime Minister David Cameron led the tributes to the late Duke, saying: "I am greatly saddened to hear of the death of the Duke of Marlborough.
"To me, he was not only the vice-president of my association but also a good man and friend. His Grace will be deeply missed by all those he worked alongside at Blenheim and by the town of Woodstock where he played such a positive and active role in the community he loved."
He added: "My thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends at this sad time."
John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill was the Duke's full name, and the estate will now be passed to his son, Jamie Spencer-Churchill, also known as the Marquess of Blandford.
The Blenheim Palace estate, situated at Woodstock in Oxfordshire, is one of the country's most notable tourist attractions. The Duke had made it his life's work to preserve the estate - which built in the 18th Century and was the birthplace of Winston Churchill - for future generations.
When once asked about the palace the Duke said: "Although the Battle of Blenheim was won in 1704, the Battle for Blenheim continues in the unceasing struggle to maintain the structure of the building and to obtain the finance for the future."
It will close on Friday out of a mark of respect.
The Duke has four children, two from his first marriage, and two from his third. In 2008 he married Iranian-born Lily Mahtani.