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Inside the Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson’s wedding with royals in key roles – The Independent

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The society wedding of the year between the Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson is taking place at Chester Cathedral on Friday.

Hugh Grosvenor, 33, is one of the richest men in the UK with a net worth of £10.127bn, according to the 2024 Sunday Times Rich List and was once considered the country’s most eligible bachelor.

But he will officially be off the market on 7 June when he ties the knot with Henson, 31, in a lavish ceremony where Prince William and Prince George are set to play key roles.

But, crucially, Prince Harry will not be there due to the ongoing estrangement with William.

Following the ceremony, Henson, who attended Marlborough College alongside Princess Eugenie, will become the Duchess of Westminster.

This role is currently occupied by Grosvenor’s widowed mother, Natalia, 65, who will obtain a new title and become known as Her Grace Natalia, Duchess of Westminster, or Her Grace The Dowager Duchess of Westminster.

The title of the Duke of Westminster is historically significant as it is the most recent title given to a person who is not a direct descendant of the royal family – although it is worth noting that Grosvenor’s mother is a direct descendent of George II.

The dukedom was given to Hugh Grosvenor, the third Marquess of Westminster, by Queen Victoria in 1847, making the current Hugh Grosvenor the seventh Duke of Westminster.

This is everything we know about his wedding so far

The couple announced their engagement at Eaton Hall in Cheshire in April last year (Grosvenor2023/PA) (PA Media)

While the specifics of how the venue will be decorated and features like music remain under wraps, it has been confirmed to take place at Chester Cathedral.

The happy couple recently paid the historic building a visit, with Grosvenor joking that his next visit will be “slightly more nerve-wracking.”

The 33-year-old, who famously owns “half of Mayfair”, opened up to the Chester Standard about why it was the perfect venue to marry Henson, an account manager at the environmentally friendly b-corp Belazu, who he met through friends.

Chester Cathedral will play host to the hotly-anticipated wedding and has close links with the Grosvenor family (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Grosvenor, now the third richest man in the UK, inherited his wealth and property empire upon his father’s death in 2016. He has previously worked for environmental causes and runs the Grosvenor Group Limited with sustainability in mind.

“We’ve obviously got a long association with the cathedral as a family so we were here for my father’s memorial, my sister’s wedding and every Remembrance Sunday that I can attend is here,” he said.

“But I’m unbelievably excited and I also wanted to make it very clear how unbelievably helpful people have been, how supportive they’ve been so far, which I’m unbelievably grateful for because I do realise that it’s going to be a big, big thing for the city.

“It’s going to be certainly a huge thing for us and we’re grateful for all the help really.”

The Duke’s sister Lady Tamara Grosvenor also tied the knot in the city, prompting crowds to line the streets to catch a glimpse of her nuptials to Edward van Cutsem in 2004.

This resulted in a heavy police presence, which is expected to also be the case this weekend.

Prince Harry and William were both in attendance at the event, with the Crewe Chronicle reporting that their arrival sent the crowd “wild”.

A large police presence is expected in Chester for the wedding (Getty )

The Guestlist

There will reportedly be around 400 guests at the wedding including big names like Prince William and Prince George.

As the Princess of Wales has been out of the spotlight since January, she is not expected to make an appearance, and it is speculated that neither will her younger children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

While Grosvenor is also close to Prince Harry, the Sussexes were reportedly snubbed from the guestlist because of ongoing tensions within the royal family out of fear that it could cause a distraction.

However, other reports have claimed that Harry was invited but chose not to attend to avoid overshadowing his friend’s big day.

A friend of Grosvenor told The Sunday Times: “He wishes they could put their heads together and patch things up, but realises it’s unlikely to happen before the wedding. He wanted to avoid anything overshadowing the day, especially for Olivia, and doesn’t want any awkwardness.”

Harry and Meghan will not be making an appearance at the lavish event next weekend because of ongoing family tensions (Getty Images)

Other notable names set to appear include TV historian Dan Snow, who has been married to Lady Edwina Grosvenor since 2010.

While King Charles and Camilla have been invited, it is not known whether they will attend.

Prince William

The Duke is close to the royal family and is Prince George and Prince Archie’s godfather.

Prince William, who was tipped to be the best man, is set to be Grosvenor usher on the big day and his starring role in the ceremony reportedly prompted Harry to miss the event.

“William was asked to have a prominent role in the wedding and that’s what triggered Harry to decline an invitation,” an insider told The Mail on Sunday.

“Apparently he [Harry] was put out by the request when he thought it should have been him.”

As the Duke’s godson, Prince George is also rumoured to have a role in the ceremony, although the specifics of it remain unknown.

Prince William and Prince George will reportedly play key roles in the upcoming ceremony (EPA)

A Low-Key Future

Despite having immense wealth, Grosvenor has been described by his friends as “low-key” and even though he has some of London’s most desirable postcodes at his fingertips, he plans to relocate with his new wife after their wedding.

“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.”

The couple will relocate to Cheshire where the 33-year-old grew up at Eaton Hall before he left to study Countryside Management at Newcastle University.

Grosvenor has been described as a “low key” person despite his immense wealth, which recently tipped the £10 billion mark in 2024 (Getty Images)

He said the decision to leave the capital was “really easy”.

“It’s obviously a place where we will live,” he said.

“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.”

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