Prince William arrives at Duke of Westminster’s society wedding – Daily Mail

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  • Hugh Grosvenor, 33, will wed Olivia Henson, 31, at Chester Cathedral today 

Prince William has arrived at the Duke of Westminster’s society wedding of the year to Olivia Henson.

The Prince was cheered on by onlookers as he appeared near Chester Cathedral for the nuptials of his old friend Hugh Grosvenor. 

The 7th Duke, 33, universally known as ‘Hughie’ to aristocratic friends, is estimated to be worth £10.42billion, making him the richest man under 40 in Britain. 

He is the godfather to Prince William’s son Prince George and Prince Harry‘s son Archie. William will be an usher at the service among 400 or so expected guests – while Harry will stay in California. 

Hugh will wed Olivia, 31, at the 11th Century Cathedral in Cheshire at midday, with guests jetting in from around the world. 

Princess Eugenie is also among the many guests to arrive at the event, while the Princess of Wales – who has been out the spotlight as she undergoes preventative chemotherapy – is not expected to attend. 

Prince William arriving at the Duke of Westminster's society wedding to Olivia

Princess Eugenie (pictured) arriving at the cathedral for the wedding of Hugh and Olivia

The Duke 33, will wed Olivia Henson, 31, (pictured) in Cheshire today

Hugh smiles and waves as he arrives at the cathedral in Cheshire to wed Olivia

Charles van Straubenzee and his wife Daisy Jenks arrive at Chester Cathedral ahead of the wedding

Thomas Van Straubenzee and wife arrive for the ceremony today

Guests have started arriving at the cathedral for the society wedding of the year today

Guests arriving at Chester Cathedral in Cheshire for the wedding

Guests arrive for the wedding of Hugh Grosvenor to Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral

More guests arriving at the society wedding of the year between Hugh and Olivia

Princess Eugenie walking to the cathedral in Cheshire today before the ceremony

A vehicle pulls up outside the cathedral ahead of the ceremony

Crowds gather outside Chester Cathedral for the Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson's wedding today

A woman dresses up in wedding attire and a Union Jack scarf outside the cathedral

Shortly before 11am, coachloads and minibuses of excited guests began arriving and filing into the side door of the Cathedral.

As they rounded the corner, many smiled and waved back to the crowds lining the streets, who were cheering their arrival.

William, dressed like others in morning suit, smiled as he exited a black minibus to head towards the building. 

Guests joined the long queue snaking into the Cathedral, waiting to be shown to their seats by Prince William and the other ushers.

Harry, who would have been expected to attend today’s service, has chosen instead to stay in California

Miss Henson will arrive at the Cathedral just before noon in a vintage 1930 8-litre Bentley owned by the Grosvenor estate. 

After the ceremony finishes around 1pm guests will enjoy a lavish reception with a lemon wedding cake at the Grosvenor family seat, Eaton Hall, just outside Chester. 

The Duke will pay for free ice cream, gelato and sorbet for Cheshire locals from three local independent cafes so they can join in the celebration. 

Photos from this morning show excited royal fans forming a crowd outside the cathedral ahead of the Church of England ceremony starting at midday. 

The fans have been gathering since 6am this morning, hours before the ceremony is due to start. 

Maths tutor Catherina Rhodes, 59, of Chester, said: ‘It’s an exciting day. I have always loved the royal family especially the Queen.

‘I was taken down to Buckingham Palace when I was aged six.

‘My uncle worked at the stables and helped teach the Queen to ride. Since then I was entranced by the royal family.’ 

She added: ‘It’s great for the city.’

Pharmaceutical trainer Helen Jackson, 55, said: ‘I went for a drink in the Grosvenor hotel last night and saw Princess Eugenie having a drink.

‘So I know she’s going to be here today.

‘It’s fabulous for […] Chester.

‘I came to see the royals when the Queen and Megan Markle came here just before.’

Pensioner Ann Beck arrived at 8am. She said: ‘I wanted to come to support the family as they are from Chester and of course the royals.’

A staggering 100,000 flowers have been planted throughout the city – all paid for by the Duke – which will be donated to charity following the ceremony. 

Prince William (right) and Hugh Grosvenor (left) attending the 2004 wedding of Edward van Cutsem and Lady Tamara Grosvenor at Chester Cathedral

Hugh is godfather to Prince Williams's son Prince George and Prince Harry's son Archie. Harry will not attend the wedding

Crowds gather outside Chester Cathedral for the wedding today

A general view of police and well-wishers as they line the street near the cathedral

Police outside Chester Cathedral before the wedding this afternoon

Well-wishers line the street ahead of the wedding today

Police officers outside the cathedral in Cheshire today ahead of the ceremony

Crowds gather outside Chester Cathedral for the society wedding starting at midday

A general view of Chester Cathedral ahead of the wedding of The Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson

Police vans in Chester Cathedral, where the wedding ceremony will take place

The Duke will pay for free ice cream for locals from three local businesses. Pictured left to right: Craig Fermor from Diddy Donuts, Valentina Aviotti from Krum Gelato and Stephen Young from Cheshire Farm Ice Cream

Scores of boxes of flowers were delivered to the cathedral by a fleet of vans

A large security cordon will be erected around the cathedral due to the presence of so many high profile guests. Pictured: Sniffer dogs in Chester

A workman carries a bundle of chairs through the garden at Chester Cathedral

Temporary scaffolding was also erected near the cathedral as workers trim plants

This week a floral arch was constructed around the huge West Door of the 1,000-year-old Cathedral in the heart of the city. 

On a road into the city near the entrance to the Grosvenor Hospital, staff dressed a pair of mannequins in suit and wedding dress with photos of Hugh and Olivia’s faces attached. 

Given the presence of the heir to the throne at the event, security precautions have also been in evidence, with detectives seen chatting with local Cheshire Police officers outside the Cathedral this week. 

Police sniffer dogs were seen checking drains around the precincts of the building for any traces of explosives.

Eaton Hall, a mock French chateau set in 10,872 acres of Cheshire (50 acres of which is elaborate formal gardens) is where the couple intend to live after they are married, and is the perfect place for a party. 

Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, based in the heart of Chester Market, will be offering a range of Cheshire Farm single-scoop ice-creams or slices of a new lemon-sponge flavoured arctic roll.

The lemon-flavoured arctic roll has been specially created in acknowledgement of The Duke and Olivia’s lemon-flavoured wedding cake that guests will be served at the wedding reception.

Ed Warrington, owner of Cheshire Farm Ice Cream outlets, said: ‘As a local business we’re delighted to be part of The Duke and Olivia’s initiative to provide free ice cream to the public in celebration of their wedding.

‘All at Cheshire Farm Ice Cream wish them the very best for their wedding day.’

The couple have been scrupulous about not giving away details of the reception and ‘we have also been asked not to do any social media posting when we get there’, said a guest.

It is likely to be a green event as both Hugh and Olivia are eco minded, and it is understood that flowers used at the ceremony and reception will be pressed and made into sustainable artworks afterwards, rather than simply being thrown away.

Olivia, who went to Marlborough College, like the Princess of Wales and Princess Eugenie, is senior account manager at Belazu, an environmentally friendly company which imports chef-quality, sustainably-sourced ingredients.

Hugh has increasingly started to initiate various eco-friendly practices, including renewable energy projects, green building codes and biodiversity conservation efforts.

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