After the death of the Duke of Westminster on Tuesday, his 25-year-old son is likely to become one of Britain’s most eligible bachelors. He will inherit the £8.3bn estate.
Hugh Grosvenor is the only son of Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, who died after being transferred from his Abbeystead Estate to the Royal Preston Hospital, in Lancashire.
A spokeswoman for the family said the cause of death is not yet known, but police said the duke became ill while walking in the Trough of Bowland, a local beauty spot, and there are no suspicious circumstances.
The 64-year-old father-of-four was worth around £8.3bn, according to Forbes, making him the 68th richest person in the world, and the third in the UK.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, whose son, Prince George, is godson to Hugh Grosvenor, were “very sad” to hear of the death, Kensington Palace said.
It added: “Their thoughts are very much with his family this morning.”
Grosvenor’s close friends, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, were “deeply shocked and greatly saddened” by his sudden death, a Clarence House spokeswoman said.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will also send a private message of condolence to the family.
Sir Gerald owned 190 acres in Belgravia, adjacent to Buckingham Palace and one of London’s most expensive areas, as well as thousands of acres in Scotland and Spain.
The title and the land will pass to Hugh Grosvenor — who is two years younger than his father was when he took on the fortune, at the age of 27, as the sixth duke.
A staunch supporter of a number of charities and good causes, the duke credited himself with using his vast wealth responsibly.
This included making a £500,000 donation to farmers during the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak, as well as fighting a legal case against Westminster City Council in 1990, centred on a number of social housing flats built on the family’s land in Pimlico, London.
The buildings were designed by architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, and built between 1928 and 1930. Assigning the lease of the flats to the council for 999 years, in 1937, the second duke stipulated they must be used as housing for the working classes.
When the council wanted to sell the properties below the market value to those working in the borough, the duke refused.
In court, the authority argued that the working classes no longer existed, but the judge ruled in the duke’s favour, backing the clause and his bid to keep low-cost accommodation.
Hugh is the 6th Duke of Westminster’s only son and although the young man has led a quiet life, he did celebrate his 21st birthday in style.
It was reported that his landmark bash cost £5m and featured an A-list guest list that included Prince Harry.
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