Meet the UK's Richest Millennial, the Duke of Westminster, Who's Worth More Than $12 Billion Despite his extraordinary wealth and royal connections — he's the godson of King Charles III and a godfather to Prince George — the duke enjoys a relatively under-the-radar existence.
- Hugh Grosvenor is worth $12.5 billion and was just named the richest person under 35 in the UK.
- King Charles III is his godfather, and he is a godfather to Prince William's son, Prince George.
- Grosvenor recently got engaged to his girlfriend of two years, Olivia Henson.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
You might never have heard of Hugh Grosvenor, nor seen his photo.
But at just 25, Grosvenor inherited the title of the Duke of Westminster and an extensive, international real-estate portfolio. Now 32, he is the richest person under 35 in the UK, worth £9.878 billion, or approximately $12.5 billion, The Times of London reported in May.
Despite his extraordinary wealth and royal connections — he's the godson of King Charles III and a godfather to Prince George — the duke enjoys a relatively under-the-radar existence, overseeing his family's estate and charitable work, competing in skeet-shooting competitions, and planning his upcoming wedding.
Here's a closer look at Britain's richest millennial.
The 7th Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, was recently named the UK's richest person under 35 by The Times of London. He is worth £9.878 billion.
Grosvenor. STRMX2 / Ap Images via Business Insider
Grosvenor is the 11th richest person in the UK, according to the Times' 2023 Rich List, which was released in May. It also named him the country's richest person under 35.
In 2022, he was ranked 12th on the Times' Rich List. In the year since, his wealth has increased to £9.878 billion from £9.726 billion, according to the Times.
He was just 25 when he inherited his wealth and title from his father, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, who died suddenly in 2016.
Gerald Grosvenor pictured in May 2016, just a few months before his death, with Prince Philip. - Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images via Business Insider
Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the 6th Duke and a close friend of the Queen and then-Prince Charles, was 64 when he died of a heart attack on August 9, 2016. At the time, he was the 114th wealthiest person in the world, with a fortune of around £9 billion, according to Forbes.
Hugh Grosvenor inherited his father's billions, as well as his estates in the wealthy London neighborhoods of Belgravia and Mayfair, and the ancestral home in Cheshire, Eaton Hall. As much of the wealth was passed down through family trusts, he did not have to pay billions in inheritance taxes, The Guardian reported.
The Grosvenor family's website says, "As Grosvenor family members, who are the beneficiaries of the trusts, are all UK residents – as their predecessors have been for nearly 1,000 years – they pay UK taxes in the same way as the rest of the UK population, while being entitled to the same exemptions."
Their title goes back to 1874. The 1st Duke of Westminster, Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, was friends with Queen Victoria.
The 1st Duke of Westminster, circa 1870. - W. & D. Downey/Hulton Archive/Getty Images via Business Insider
The family can trace its lineage back almost 1,000 years. Much of the family's fortune comes from a 17th-century dowry given to a Sir Thomas Grosvenor, which included 500 acres of land just outside of London, Bloomberg reported.
The 1st Duke of Westminster was born at Eaton Hall — which remains the family seat — and served as a member of parliament before joining the House of Lords. His wife was a friend of Queen Victoria's, according to Westminster Abbey, and Prime Minister William Gladstone honored him with the title in 1874.
The duke's oldest son preceded him in death, and the title passed to his grandson, Hugh Richard Arthur Grosvenor. Throughout history, the title has passed on to male heirs, including cousins, brothers, and in the case of Hugh Grosvenor, father to son.
Grosvenor was born on January 29, 1991, to Gerald Grosvenor and his wife, Natalia. He was known as Earl Grosvenor.
The Duke and Duchess of Westminster with their new baby boy, Hugh, leaving St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, in 1991. - API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images via Business Insider
Grosvenor's mother, Natalia, is a direct descendant of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and King George II, the London Evening Standard reported.
Although he has two older sisters, Grosvenor inherited the title of duke and the family estates thanks to an 11th-century tradition that names the first-born son as heir.
The Duke of Westminster, circled right, and his sisters at Ed Van Cutsem and Lady Tamara Grosvenor's wedding in 2004. - Marc Stanes/Grosvenor Estates via Getty Images via Business Insider
Primogeniture was established in the 11th century in England and determines that the first-born son inherits power and wealth. So, despite having two older sisters, Grosvenor inherited the Westminster title and estate on his father's death — his sisters, however, did receive trust funds.
The photograph taken at his oldest sister Lady Tamara Grosvenor's wedding to Edward van Cutsem in 2004 indicates the four Grosvenor siblings.
Circled left is his younger sister, Lady Viola, who is now 30. She runs an art-therapy business, according to the Times of London. She is also married to the Dragoon Guards officer Angus Roberts, Tatler reported.
Second from left is Lady Edwina, who is now 41 and a prison-reform campaigner. She is married to the British TV presenter Dan Snow.
Lady Tamara, 42, remains married to van Cutsem, a close friend of Prince William.
Grosvenor is circled right. He was 13 at the time of his sister's 2004 wedding.
Despite the family's extraordinary wealth, Grosvenor's parents reportedly wanted him to have an upbringing that was as normal as possible, and he attended local schools.
Hugh Grosvenor and Prince William at the wedding of Edward van Cutsem and Lady Tamara Grosvenor at Chester Cathedral on November 6, 2004. - Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images via Business Insider
Grosvenor attended a local state primary school before going to a private school, Ellesmere College in Shropshire, for high school.
"His mum, Tally, was keen on the children having a more normal upbringing, so almost consciously didn't want them to go to all those Eton, Harrow sort of places and risk turning into that arrogant, entitled type of person," a friend told The Telegraph in April.
His father said in an interview with the Independent in 1992, "He's a lucky boy to be given all the material things in life, but he'll need to be robust mentally to survive. There are many pitfalls when one inherits such an enormous amount of money, especially in adolescence.
"He's been born with the longest silver spoon anyone can have, but he can't go through life sucking on it. He has to put back what he has been given."
He attended Newcastle University and mostly kept a low profile until his 21st birthday, which reportedly cost $6.3 million and was attended by Prince Harry.
Hugh Grosvenor in 2013. - John Stillwell - WPA Pool /Getty Images via Business Insider
Grosvenor studied countryside management at Newcastle University, according to the Times.
In 2012, he celebrated his 21st birthday with a "black tie and neon"party for 800 guests — including Prince Harry — at the family estate, Eaton Hall, in Cheshire. According to attendees, there were fireworks, champagne, and performances from the English comedian Michael McIntyre and the hip-hop band Rizzle Kicks.
In a speech at the party, his father said Grosvenor was the first heir for 133 years to be both born at Eaton Hall and to celebrate their 21st birthday there, Cheshire Live reported. The last person before him was the second duke, who was born in 1879.
Grosvenor is closely connected to the royal family. In fact, King Charles is his godfather, and he is a godfather to Prince George.
Hugh Grosvenor with Prince William during the handover of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in 2018. - Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images via Business Insider
The Grosvenors have remained closely tied to the royal family. Then-Prince Charles, now King Charles, asked Grosvenor's father, Gerald, to be a mentor to Prince William when he was young.
In turn, William asked Hugh Grosvenor to be a godfather to his own son, Prince George. Grosvenor was 22 when Prince George was christened at St. James's Palace in London in 2013. He was one of seven godparents: Among the others are King Charles' niece — and Prince William's cousin — Zara Tindall, and Edward van Cutsem, the brother to Grosvenor's brother-in-law William van Cutsem.
Prince William and Prince Harry have also reportedly spent time at Grosvenor's hunting estate in Spain.
And in June 2018, the duke handed over the then-newly built Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in Leeds to the nation in an event also attended by Prince William.
As the chair of the Grosvenor Group, he now oversees the family's real-estate portfolio, which has properties in 43 cities across 10 countries, according to the Times.
Eaton Square in Belgravia, London. - Chrispictures/Shutterstock via Business Insider
The estate includes the exclusive London neighborhoods of Mayfair and Belgravia. The centerpiece is Eaton Square, an elongated square of elegant townhouses overlooking private gardens and close to Buckingham Palace.
The Grosvenor Group's property empire also includes buildings in cities across the world, such as San Francisco and Washington, DC, in the US, and Stockholm, Tokyo, and Beijing. The buildings include luxury retail spaces, shopping districts, offices, and residences.
He also oversees the family investment office, which manages rural estates across the UK and abroad, and employs 450 people. The Grosvenor Group also invests in other industries, such as food and agricultural technology.
He is also the chair of the family's charitable foundation, which focuses on vulnerable children, and he donated millions to help fight COVID-19.
Grosvenor with then-Prime Minister Theresa May and Prince William during the handover of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in 2018. - Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images via Business Insider
He oversees the Grosvenor Group's charity work and "is firmly committed to using his position and the resources in his care to make a positive contribution to society, just as previous generations of his family have done before him," according to the Grosvenor website.
The duke also serves as chair of trustees for the Westminster Group, his family's charitable foundation, which provides grants to organizations supporting and working with at-risk children.
"We want young people to thrive, we want to give them the opportunities," he said in a video for the foundation. "So many of us are lucky enough to have opportunities in life which we often take for granted, but so many aren't."
The Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in Leeds, a rehabilitation center for injured troops that opened in 2018, was an initiative led by Grosvenor's father, according to a press release. The family has personally gifted £105 million to the project, according to the Grosvenor website.
In 2020, the duke also made headlines for donating more than $15.6 million to charities to help the United Kingdom fight the coronavirus. Among the donations, he pledged $6.2 million to the NHS to help healthcare workers and their families, as well as $3.8 million for medical research, CNN reported.
He inherited the family's home in Cheshire, Eaton Hall, which sits on approximately 11,000 acres owned by the Grosvenors.
Eaton Hall in Cheshire. - David Goddard/Getty Images via Business Insider
But at the center of the estate is Eaton Hall, the family's home on the banks of the River Dee, just south of Chester. The property is surrounded by expansive, well-manicured gardens and has undergone various iterations, including demolitions and rebuilds. The current main home was built in 1967, and now has a French-châteaux-style façade.
In nearby Chester is the Grosvenor Museum, which houses some of the family's collection of art, which was mostly collected during the late 18th and early 19th century. Their collection includes pieces by Velázquez, Rembrandt, and Lucian Freud.
He represents Great Britain in skeet shooting.
Hugh Grosvenor in 2016. - Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images) via Business Insider
According to the Times, "a substantial amount of his time" goes towards skeet shooting, in which participants shoot clay targets that move through the air. He represents the national team at competitions, according to his website.
"Outside of his business and philanthropic work, the Duke represents Team GB at Olympic Skeet Shooting competitions overseas and in the UK and continues to pursue his ambitions as an elite sportsman," the Grosvenor website says.
He competes under the name Hugh Westminster, according to his ISSF Sports profile, and competed internationally in Doha and Cairo earlier this year. In April, he placed third at an event at the National Clay Shooting Centre, British Shooting shared on Instagram, with a photo of him on the podium.
He's known to his friends as "Hughie."
Grosvenor, Charlie van Straubenzee, and Arthur Landon attending Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in 2018. - Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images via Business Insider
A friend who spoke to the Telegraph called Grosvenor "a stable pair of hands."
Grosvenor recently proposed to his girlfriend of two years, Olivia Henson.
Hugh Grosvenor, with his fiancée, Olivia Henson. - Courtesy Grosvenor via Business Insider
He proposed to Henson, 30, at Eaton Hall, People reported in April.
"Members of both their families are absolutely delighted with the news," according to a press release.
They met through friends two years ago, The Times of London reported. She works as a senior account manager at Belazu, which imports responsibly sourced olive oil and other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ingredients.