Duke of Westminster leads Britain’s young rich list with £10bn fortune weeks before he is set to marry

Duke of Westminster leads Britain’s young rich list with £10bn fortune weeks before he is set to marry

The seventh Duke of Westminster – once dubbed one of Britain’s most eligible bachelors – is officially the richest man in the UK under 40.

According to the 2024 Sunday Times Rich List, Hugh Grosvenor, 33, has a net worth of £10.127 billion – a substantial increase from the £9.878 billion he had in 2023.

However, he is soon set to lose his bachelor status when he ties the knot in the society wedding of the year next month.

Despite owning roughly half of Mayfair, Grosvenor will opt for leafier surrounds when he marries Olivia Grace Henson at Chester Cathedral in Cheshire on 7 June.

The Duke also has plans to quit London – and the hundreds of properties at his disposal, spread liberally across all the most desirable parts of London’s real-life Monopoly board.

Explaining his reasons for eschewing the capital in favour of his Cheshire acreage, he said it was a “really easy decision” to leave and hopes to put down roots in the area with his soon-to-be new wife.

“It’s obviously a place where we will live.

“We’ll be building our lives together and we’re slowly transitioning to move up from London and be much more permanent here and really putting roots down.

“So yes, it was a really easy decision in the end.”

The soon-to-be Duke and Duchess of Westminster (PA)
The soon-to-be Duke and Duchess of Westminster (PA)

Hugh’s network and net worth

Grosvenor is one of the richest men in the UK with an estimated net worth of £10.127 billion.

While Grosvenor generally prefers to keep a low profile, he is reported to be extremely close to the royal family with the King, Queen and the Prince of Wales all likely to attend his nuptials next month.

King Charles is Hugh’s godfather and was present at his Christening in 1991.

Prince William, meanwhile, holds the Duke in such high regard that he made him Prince George’s godfather in 2013.

Grosvenor is also close friends with Prince Harry, who made the Duke Archie’s godfather.

However, the Sussexes were reportedly not invited to the wedding to avoid overshadowing Grosvenor’s big day following increased tensions within the royal family.

The Duke inherited his title and the Grosvenor Estate in 2016 upon the death of his father, Gerald Grosvenor, at the age of 64. At the time, the then-sixth Duke of Westminster was the UK’s wealthiest landowner.

Now his son owns the 300-plus acre Grosvenor estate, made up of some of London’s most desirable neighbourhoods including Mayfair and Belgravia.

Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster, is the third richest man in the UK (PA)
Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster, is the third richest man in the UK (PA)

Education

Grosvenor studied Countryside Management at Newcastle University before working for a business owned by the Grosvenor Group – Wheatsheaf Group, a food and agriculture investment business.

After this, he moved into work at Bio-bean, a company that turns coffee waste into sustainable products like biofuel.

He has previously spoken about his commitment to environmental causes and seems determined to protect them.

“The key thing – and this is as true in London as in any of these huge new Chinese cities that are springing up every year – is that it imposes duties on planners to protect the green spaces, the environmental sustainability and the essential character of the places. There will be tremendous pressure to cut back on those, and they must be resisted,” he said.

A view of the magnificent Chester Cathedral, in the historic city of Chester in Cheshire, UK (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A view of the magnificent Chester Cathedral, in the historic city of Chester in Cheshire, UK (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The bride-to-be

The Duke of Westminster’s new wife Olivia Henson also has royal connections, despite the pair meeting through friends.

Henson studied at Marlborough College alongside Princess Eugenie.

Upon her marriage to Grosvenor, she will become the Duchess of Westminster and seems to share her partner’s passion for the environment.

She studied Hispanic Studies and Italian at Trinity College Dublin and currently works as a senior account manager at Belazu, an environmentally friendly food production company.

The Duke’s fortune was not subject to inheritance tax because it is in a trust fund (Getty Images)
The Duke’s fortune was not subject to inheritance tax because it is in a trust fund (Getty Images)

The Duke’s considerable wealth has been subject to much scrutiny since it came into his possession in 2016 because it is held in a trust fund.

As reported by the Guardian at the time, it could have been subject to an inheritance tax of as much as 40 percent, but this did not happen because of how the money was held.

Explaining how it worked, financial advisor Ian Dyall said: “The benefits of trusts are that they don’t form part of somebody’s estate.

“In a discretionary trust, you have a whole pick list of potential beneficiaries which the trustees can choose to appoint benefits to.

“Because of that, you can’t point a finger to any potential beneficiary and say that’s your money. Money can stay in the trust and cascade down from generation to generation and nobody pays inheritance tax on it.”

Hugh Grosvenor plans to leave London despite reportedly owning half of Mayfair (PA Archive/PA Images)
Hugh Grosvenor plans to leave London despite reportedly owning half of Mayfair (PA Archive/PA Images)

Leaving London

But despite having such immense wealth, Grosvenor reportedly prefers a “low-key” life, which could explain his decision to leave London.

“Hugh is quite low-key,” a friend reportedly told The Times. “He takes his roles very seriously but when he’s not working he’s relaxed.”

While little is known about the wedding beyond its high-profile guest list and location, Grosvenor reportedly had a staggering £5m spent on his 21st birthday.

This money was spent on a party that entertained 800 guests, including Prince Harry, and featured Michael McIntyre and Rizzle Kick as entertainment.