Duke of Westminster: Aristocrat Hugh Grosvenor, announces engagement to girlfriend, Olivia Henson
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Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor has announced his engagement to his girlfriend of two years, Olivia Henson. The aristocrat, who is Prince George’s godfather, became one of the richest 20 somethings in the world when inherited the family’s estimated £8.3 billion fortune on his father’s death in 2016.
He proposed to Henson, who works for an ethical food company, at his family’s ancestral seat, Eaton Hall, in Cheshire. In a statement published in The Times, it said: “Members of both their families are absolutely delighted with the news.”
The 32-year-old duke reportedly owns more land than the King, who is his godfather. The origins of his family’s vast fortune can be traced back to 1677, when one of his ancestors, Sir Thomas Grosvenor, acquired the marshes and meadows west of the City of London as part of the dowry paid by the family of his young bride, Mary Davies.
That boggy farmland became Mayfair and Belgravia, the jewel in the crown of a vast property portfolio that has passed down the male line of the family over the centuries. Today, the Grosvenor Group owns about 300 acres of land in the wealthiest postcodes of central London.
It also owns major city centre developments such as the Liverpool One shopping centre and rural estates in Oxfordshire, Scotland and Spain. Grosvenor was chosen to inherit the billion-pound fortune instead of his two elder sisters, due to the ancient rule of primogeniture. The rule remains in place despite efforts by campaigners to reform the system, which bypasses daughters entirely.
Unless the inheritance rules are overturned, the duke’s fortune will pass to a distant male relative should he and his new fiancee not go on to have a son. The duke has three sisters, Lady Tamara, 42, who is married to Edward van Cutsem, one of the Duke of Cambridge’s closest friends; Lady Edwina, 41, a prison reform campaigner who is married to the TV presenter and historian Dan Snow; and 29-year-old Lady Viola.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Henson has worked for the past three years as an account manager for Belazu, a London-based company that provides “loved and trusted ingredients for chefs, food lovers and friends.” She will become the Duchess of Westminster upon marriage. It is understood the couple met through mutual friends in London.