Britain’s most eligible bachelor is officially off the market after the Duke of Westminster announced his engagement.
Hugh Grosvenor, 32, proposed to Olivia Henson, 30, at his family seat in Cheshire this weekend.
The Duke is one of the youngest billionaires in Britain, with an estimated net worth of almost £10 billion. At the heart of his inherited fortune is a property portfolio that includes 300 acres in two of London’s most expensive neighbourhoods, Mayfair and Belgravia.
Known as “Hughie”, the Duke is a close friend of the Prince and Princess of Wales and a godfather to Prince George.
He met Miss Henson, an account manager at a food company, through friends. They have been together for two years.
“The Duke of Westminster and Miss Olivia Henson are delighted to announce they are engaged to be married,” a spokesman for the Grosvenor family said in a statement on Sunday.
“Members of both their families are absolutely delighted with the news.”
The proposal took place at Eaton Hall in Cheshire, an 11,000-acre estate that has been the Grosvenor family home since the 15th century.
Miss Henson works for Belazu, a London-based business specialising in products from around the Mediterranean, such as Spanish olive oil stocked in Waitrose.
Her early school years were spent at Dragon School, a preparatory school in Oxford. She was later educated at Marlborough College, a £43,000-a-year co-educational boarding school in Wiltshire, where Princess Eugenie was a contemporary.
The school’s alumni also include the Princess of Wales, who attended Marlborough College before meeting Prince William at St Andrew’s University.
Miss Henson studied Hispanic studies and Italian at Trinity College, Dublin, where she earned a 2:1 degree.
After graduating in 2016, she worked as head of business development for Daily Dose, a cold-pressed juice start-up company.
She later worked briefly for No 1 Rosemary Water Still, a supplier of bottled water with fresh rosemary extract sold in supermarkets. Miss Henson joined Belazu as an account manager in 2019 and has been a senior account manager for the last year.
Inherited family fortune
The Duke inherited his family’s fortune when his father, Gerald Grosvenor, died unexpectedly from a heart attack aged 64 in 2016.
His parents are said to have tried to endow him with as normal a childhood as possible.
He was educated at a state primary school on The Wirral, close to their family home, before attending a private day school, Mostyn House.
He later attended the co-educational Ellesmere College, a private school in Shropshire, whose former pupils include rugby player Bill Beaumont and Michael Chapman, former archdeacon of Northampton.
The Duke, whose previous title was Earl Grosvenor, went on to study countryside management at Newcastle University.
After graduating, he worked in estate management for Grosvenor Group, before becoming an accounts manager at Bio-Bean, a green-energy firm.
Donated to Covid relief effort
Following the death of his father, the Duke became chairman of Grosvenor and took over leadership of the charitable interests of the Duke and Grosvenor businesses.
During the pandemic, he donated £12.5 million of his personal fortune to the national Covid-19 relief effort.
The Duke’s inherited fortune places him as the 159th wealthiest person in the world, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
As well as property and land holdings in London, the Duke inherited huge tracts of land across the British Isles, including in Oxford, Cheshire and Scotland.
The business develops, manages and invests in property in cities around the world, from Vancouver to Tokyo. It also invests in food and agricultural businesses, including dairy farms, woodlands and producers of meat alternatives.
The Duke represents Team GB at Olympic skeet-shooting competitions overseas and in the UK.
He was previously in a relationship with Harriet Tomlinson, whom he met when they were both pupils at Ellesmere College.
Romantic holiday in 2017
Photographs emerged of the pair enjoying a romantic holiday in 2017, and a source told The Mirror that Miss Tomlinson, a consultant at recruitment firm Deverell Smith, was “a really lovely girl and very much the love of his life”. However, the couple later split.
Despite having two older sisters, the Duke has inherited the family fortune by virtue of being male. His sisters benefit from substantial trust funds.
It is understood that no immediate plans have been made for the Duke’s wedding to Miss Henson.
His eldest sister, Lady Tamara, 43, married Edward van Cutsem, a friend of Prince William, at Chester Cathedral in 2004, in a grand ceremony attended by 650 guests, including the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
However, Lady Edwina, his other elder sister, 41, opted for a small ceremony attended by only immediate family and close friends when she married television presenter Dan Snow at Bishop’s Lodge in Liverpool in 2010.
Lady Viola, 30, the Duke’s younger sister, also married in a secret family ceremony last year. Her husband is Angus Roberts, a Dragoon Guards officer, and their wedding was celebrated with a party in Kenya.
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