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Hugh Grosvenor, Prince George's godfather, in a grey three-piece suit in the sunshine© Max Mumby/Indigo

The Duke of Westminster's staggering £10 billion fortune and property portfolio explored

Hugh Grosvenor was once dubbed Britain's most eligible bachelor

Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
June 3, 2024
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All eyes will be on the Duke of Westminster later this week when he marries his fiancée Olivia Henson in a spectacularly grand wedding at Chester Cathedral. 

The Duke, also known as Hugh Grosvenor, was once dubbed Britain's most eligible bachelor for his boyishly good looks, his aristocratic pedigree, his royal connections, and his billionaire status. 

Hugh Grosvenor with a serious expression© Getty
Hugh topped this year's The Sunday Times 40 Under 40 Rich List

Just last month, Hugh, 33, topped The Sunday Times 40 Under 40 Rich List, boasting a fortune of £10.1 billion, making him far wealthier than his good friend Prince William, who is acting as one of his ushers at his wedding on Friday, or his godfather King Charles, whose personal wealth stands at £610 million.

So how did Hugh amass his billions?

Olivia Henson and the Duke of Westminster laughing with a group of young people© Grosvenor 2024
Olivia and Hugh pictured on a visit to Chester last month

Hugh's inherited wealth

Hughie, as he is known among friends, was born into privilege and wealth, although the philanthropic Duke is said to be humble, modest, and very low-key. 

He inherited his title, the family's ancestral seat Eaton Hall near Chester, and control of the historic Grosvenor Estate aged 25, when his father Gerald Grosvenor, the 6th Duke of Westminster, died unexpectedly in August 2016 from a heart attack. 

Gerald was 64 at the time and fell ill while out walking on his Abbeystead Estate in Lancashire. He was airlifted to hospital where he was later sadly pronounced dead.

Following the death, Gerald's only son Hugh, his third child with wife Natalia, became the new 7th Duke of Westminster and overnight, an instant billionaire. 

Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster© Shutterstock
Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, sadly passed away in 2016

His education and employment

Gerald was adamant that his four children would be educated locally after he was a victim of bullying at Harrow boarding school. As a result, Hugh attended the private school Ellesmere College in Shropshire, before enrolling on a Countryside Management course at Newcastle University.

He previously worked as an account manager at Bio-bean, a sustainability company that turns coffee waste into bioproducts, such as logs and biofuel.

But nowadays Hugh oversees the family's Westminster Foundation, a charitable organisation that focuses on helping vulnerable youth. 

He is also Chair of the Grosvenor Group, his family's property company that owns about 300 acres of land in London's most affluent areas, Mayfair and Belgravia, as well as major city centre developments such as Liverpool's ONE shopping centre.

Following the wedding, Hugh and Olivia plan to relocate from London up north, where the nature-loving Duke will reportedly go into full-time farming.

Hugh Grosvenor at Prince George's christening in 2013© Getty
Hugh at his godson Prince George's christening in 2013

Hugh's property portfolio

Known as the man who owns half of Mayfair, the Duke's connection with the lavish central London postcode harks back to the 1720s, when his family developed swamps, pastures, and orchards into a new district called Mayfair. The area was named after the annual fair held there every May.

A century later, his ancestors developed the area now known as Belgravia, the open land between Hyde Park and the River Thames.

Apart from their London portfolio, the Grosvenor Group also owns 23,500 acres in Lancashire and nearly 100,000 acres in Scotland at the Reay Forest estate.

The property empire also has buildings in more than 40 cities around the world.

LISTEN: Why Prince George won't attend his godfather Duke of Westminster's wedding

Eaton Hall

When Hugh became the 7th Duke of Westminster, he inherited his family's ancestral seat, Eaton Hall, in Cheshire. 

This Friday, wedding guests will celebrate the reception at Eaton Hall following the church wedding at Chester Cathedral, much like Hugh's older sister Lady Tamara did in 2004 when she married Edward van Cutsem.

Aerial view of Eaton Hall, Cheshire© Getty
An aerial view of Eaton Hall, Cheshire

It's not known whether Hugh and Olivia will reside at Eaton Hall when they relocate north, but if they do, it will certainly be an idyllic spot to start the next chapter of their lives. 

The French chateau-style property, which has belonged to the Grosvenor family since the 15th century, encompasses a deer park, formal gardens, parkland, farmland, and woodland covering over 10,000 acres.

Hugh Grosvenor, 7th Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson
Hugh proposed to Olivia at Eaton Hall in April 2023

Olivia's wealth

While Hugh's bride Olivia is marrying into staggering wealth, she herself also has noble blood. 

Olivia, 31, is descended from the Marquesses of Bristol and the Dukes of Rutland, as well as the Hoare banking family. Her father Rupert Henson is a stockbroker.

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