The Duke of Westminster, 31, 27 times richer than the Windsors

Hugh Grosvenor, seventh Duke of Westminster. (Leeds, September 22, 2018.) Getty Images

He is one of England’s most coveted bachelors. His name: Hugh Grosvenor. Close to the Windsors, the 31-year-old Briton is at the head of a colossal real estate empire and an estate estimated at 11.6 billion dollars.

In 2020, the Times introduced him as ‘England’s hottest bachelor’. His name may not mean anything to you and yet Hugh Grosvenor is one of the best parties in the kingdom. Coming from one of the largest fortunes in Europe, this 31-year-old Briton is close to the Windsors and owns a heritage estimated at 11.6 billion dollars27 times more than the personal wealth of the royal family…

Only son of the Duke of Westminster

Gerald Grosvenor, his wife Natalia and their son Hugh. (London, February 6, 1991.) Getty Images

Born on January 29, 1991 in London, the one nicknamed “Hughie” is the only son and third child (out of four) of Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster, and Natalia Phillips, known as Tally, descendant of the Russian poet Pushkin and godmother to Prince William. Historically, the Westminsters have rubbed shoulders with the Windsors for centuries. In 1874, Queen Victoria granted the title of Duke of Westminster to Hugh Grosvenor (the ancestor of the current Duke), then Marquess from Cheshire. When he died in 1899, the man was (already) considered the richest in Great Britain.

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But back to our modern Hugh Grosvenor. Despite their colossal fortune, his parents do everything to provide him with the most normal education possible, underlines the British newspaper The Telegraph. They do not hesitate to send their son to the public primary school located near the family mansion of Eaton Hall, in Cheshire. But like any good “aristo” british who respects himself, Hugh Grosvenor will subsequently only attend private establishments.

In 2013, the very freshly graduated from the University of Newcastle first launched into property management at Wheatsheaf Investment, a branch of the Grosvenor group. Then joined three years later Bio-Bean: a start-up that recycles waste from industrial coffee production to turn it into biofuel.

A fortune overnight

Hugh Grosvenor and his mother, Natalia. (Leeds, September 22, 2018.) Getty Images

This same year of 2016, his life changes. His father died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 64. Under an old feudal rule of male primogeniture, Hugh inherited the title “Duke of Westminster”, and the real estate empire managed by the Grosvenor Group. And this, without having to share it with his three sisters Lady Tamara, Lady Edwina and Lady Viola. The bequest then amounts to 9.35 billion pounds. Composed of residential towers in Tokyo, shopping centers on several continents or even a private island in the Pacific, this heritage – more important than that of the Queen Elizabeth II – is placed in the hands of a trust. So that the young duke could not squander the inheritance. The fortune has since grown into several billions.

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A birthday at 6 million euros

Of his intimate life, we do not know much. The tabloids nevertheless remember a few drunken pajama parties in Newcastle, and especially a birthday party which brought together more than 800 guests and cost nearly 6 million euros. It was 2012, Hugh Grosvenor was celebrating his 21st birthday, and he had gathered all the London elite in his Eaton mansion. “A house that we know is decorated with masterpieces, including paintings by Rembrandt and Gainsborough of inestimable value”, underlines Vanity Fair in an article from 2020.

Among the many VIPs present at the event: presenter Michael McIntyre, hip-hop group Rizzle Kicks and a certain… Harry Mountbatten-Windsor. Because yes, the heir is also very close to the two sons of Charles III. And for good reason, the latter was a very good friend of Gerald Grosvenor and his wife Natasha. The couple would also have been greatly involved in the life of William and Harry at the death of Lady Diana. In doing so, in 2013 no one was surprised to learn that Hugh Grosvenor was one of the godfathers of the prince george (who has seven godparents in all), now second in line to the throne.

John Peace, Hugh Grosvenor, General Timothy Granville-Chapman and Prince William. (Nottinghamshire, June 21, 2018.) Oli Scarff / AFP

Among the London elite, one question remains: is Hugh Grosvenor still a heart to take? In the press across the Channel, he is said to be sometimes single, sometimes in a relationship with a certain Harriet Tomlinson, whom he met in high school.

£10 million donation

Discreet, “Hughie” hardly ever gives an interview, is conspicuous by his absence on social networks, and does not blaze in all of London. “You would never have guessed that his father was a billionaire,” confides one of his university friends, can we read in the Daily Star . The heir – with the false air of another Hugh (Grant) – also knows how to be generous. During the first wave of Covid-19, he donated £10million to support healthcare workers. A sum that has greatly relieved British hospitals. On paper, the best party of the kingdom has everything of the ideal son-in-law.

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