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Prince William as usher & 100,000 flowers…Lavish wedding of £10bill Duke of Westminster & why pal Harry sn… – The US Sun

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WITH an estimated £10billion fortune, the Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, is undoubtedly the country’s most eligible bachelor.

That’s until tomorrow, when he is set to marry his fiance, Olivia Henson, in a lavish ceremony in the city of Chester.

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The Duke of Westminster is set to marry Olivia HensonCredit: PA
Prince William, seen here with a young Hugh, is set to play a pivotal role in the wedding

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Prince William, seen here with a young Hugh, is set to play a pivotal role in the weddingCredit: Getty
The pair have been making huge plans for their wedding on Friday

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The pair have been making huge plans for their wedding on FridayCredit: SWNS
100,000 flowers have been planted for the big day

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100,000 flowers have been planted for the big dayCredit: Twitter/ChesterBID

The nuptials have already been touted as the society wedding of the year, with a star-studded guest list.

With royals and famous dignitaries set to attend, the powerful Duke has blocked off multiple streets to the public.

The 33-year-old groom-to-be has pulled out all the stops and spared no expense to ensure it will be an unforgettable day.

Here, we reveal everything we know about the glitzy ceremony.

100,000 flowers

Although the wedding cost has been kept under wraps, it has been reported that the Duke will privately fund it.

For the big day, 100,000 flowers have been planted throughout the city, all paid for by the Duke. After the ceremony, they will be donated to charity.

High-profile guests will gather at the historic Chester Cathedral for the service

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High-profile guests will gather at the historic Chester Cathedral for the serviceCredit: Getty
The church holds sentimental value to the Duke as his father's memorial was held there

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The church holds sentimental value to the Duke as his father’s memorial was held thereCredit: Getty

The wedding, in the historic Chester Cathedral, will be attended by 400 guests.

Speaking about why he chose to marry at the venue, the Duke said: “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.

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The Duke of Westminster Hugh Grosvenor is seen with Prince William and Theresa May

“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.”

Three talented schoolchildren have been asked to belt out selected songs as the Duke and his bride walk down the aisle.

Grace Crook, Isla Mills and Cassie Lounds, who all attend The Queen’s School in Chester, have even appeared on video to gush about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Year 12 student Grace, Head Chorister of the Chester Cathedral Choir, said she was ‘thrilled’ to be involved in such a big occasion.  

The reception will be held at Eaton Hall, Hugh's family seat

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The reception will be held at Eaton Hall, Hugh’s family seatCredit: Getty
Grace Crook is leading the singers

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Grace Crook is leading the singersCredit: The Queen’s School, Chester
An arch is taken into the church to be mounted with flowers ahead of the wedding

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An arch is taken into the church to be mounted with flowers ahead of the weddingCredit: CHRIS NEILL

“It is an absolute honour to now be the Head Chorister and I am really looking forward to the big day. It is a lot of pressure but it is such an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait,” she says

After the wedding, guests will be entertained at the reception at Eaton Hall, the Duke’s country home.

A second day of celebrations is also thought to be taking place on Saturday at the sprawling 10,872 acre estate in Cheshire. The incredible house was designed to showcase the wealth of the first Duke of Westminster.

The choice of venue will mark a full circle moment as it was on the estate where the Duke proposed to Olivia in November 2023.

Free ice cream for well-wishers

Police were securing the area earlier today

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Police were securing the area earlier todayCredit: CHRIS NEILL
Flowers for the wedding are brought out from a local florist

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Flowers for the wedding are brought out from a local floristCredit: James Whatling
Phone boxes in the area have been spruced up

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Phone boxes in the area have been spruced upCredit: CHRIS NEILL

Hundreds of well-wishers are set to line the streets to get a glimpse of the young couple.

Earlier today, the couple announced the crowds would be given free ice-cream, gelato and sorbet from three independent shops in the city centre, who will also offer donuts, water and coffee.

The city was a hive of activity today, with police planning security operations and making sure the area was safe and florists transporting floral arrangements.

Even the phone boxes were getting a spruce up – with a painter seen touching up the gold crowns at the top with strict attention to detail.

The council has chosen to close off several roads around the Cathedral.

It advised people who wish to travel on the day: “Please rethink journeys into the city centre on that day, avoiding travelling in by car if possible.”

The Duke has also hinted that he will compensate those businesses which will shut down or lose trade during the road closures, promising to offer “financial support.”

£5 million parties

The wedding will be nothing short of extravagant if the Duke’s previous parties are nothing to go by.

For his 21st birthday in 2012, Hugh’s father splashed a whopping £5million on a lavish bash with high-profile guests including Prince Harry.

The do was held in Eaton Hall’s gardens and featured performances from comedian Michael McIntyre and hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks.

His 800 guests enjoyed complimentary champagne and a light show at midnight.

Michael Mcintyre also performed a set there

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Michael Mcintyre also performed a set thereCredit: Rex
Rizzle Kicks performed at the Duke's 21st birthday

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Rizzle Kicks performed at the Duke’s 21st birthdayCredit: Mikael Buck – The Sun

A-list Guests

Several members of England’s high society scene are expected to troop into Cheshire to help celebrate the nuptials.

The Duke is close friends with high-ranking royals such as Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry.

His family has an extensive history with the Royal Family.

Hugh’s father was the late Queen‘s 14th cousin once removed and a mentor to William at the request of Her Majesty, according to reports.

In 2013, Hugh became the godfather to the Prince of Wales’s eldest child, Prince George.

Prince William is set to serve as an usher during the lavish ceremony

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Prince William is set to serve as an usher during the lavish ceremonyCredit: AFP
Prince George is set to play a significant role in the ceremony

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Prince George is set to play a significant role in the ceremonyCredit: Millie Pilkington
Prince Harry is said to have pulled out to avoid any awkward moments with his brother

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Prince Harry is said to have pulled out to avoid any awkward moments with his brotherCredit: Getty
Dan Snow and wife Edwina, who is the Duke's sister, will be there

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Dan Snow and wife Edwina, who is the Duke’s sister, will be thereCredit: Rex

The extensive properties of Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster

THE Grosvenor family originally made their fortune from mining before turning their eye to the property world.

Hugh inherited an impressive property portfolio when his father passed away in 2016.

The Duke owns the entirety of London’s Park Lane and half of Mayfair.

As well as this, the properties Hugh owns include:

  • Eaton Estate – the 11,500-acre Grosvenor family home in Cheshire.
  • Abbeystead – the 23,500-acre shooting estate in Lancashire.
  • Finca La Garganta estate – the 37,000-acre plot in rural Cordoba near Seville, Spain.
  • Reay Forest in Sutherland, Scotland.

Prince William and his son, Prince George, are expected to play critical roles on the big day. While the Prince of Wales is set to be an usher, it is unknown what role George will play.

It has been reported that Prince Harry, who was also invited, turned down the invitation as he did not want the day’s focus to be on his feud with his brother and other family members.

A source told The Times: “It is understood that a civilised understanding was reached between the Duke [of Westminster] and Harry over the phone. It’s a long way to come from California, after all.”

They added: “Harry was invited but then agreed to stay away.

“The Duke’s diplomacy then cleared the way for William to perform the role of usher during Friday’s ceremony — a job that would have been beyond awkward if he was obliged to show Harry to his pew, even though he might enjoy telling him where to go.”

The King and the Princess of Wales, who are both dealing with cancer diagnosis, are not expected to attend.

Other guests include the Duke’s sisters Lady Tamara, Lady Viola and Lady Edwina, along with her husband, TV historian Dan Snow.

Eye-watering wealth

The Duke inherited his wealth at just 25 when his father died

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The Duke inherited his wealth at just 25 when his father diedCredit: Rex Features
He once had a party-boy reputation due to his wild partying days

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He once had a party-boy reputation due to his wild partying daysCredit: BackGrid
Hugh with his mother, Lady Natalia Grosvenor, and friends on holiday in Portofino

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Hugh with his mother, Lady Natalia Grosvenor, and friends on holiday in PortofinoCredit: Mega

The Duke of Westminster became a billionaire at the age of 25 when his father died, and he inherited his family’s eye-watering wealth.

According to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List, the clan is now the 12th richest family in the country.

Regarding property portfolios, very few can compete with the Duke’s, including the 23,500 acre Abbeystead shooting estate in Lancashire.

In addition, he owns Reay Forest in Sutherland, Scotland, which is home to a range of beautiful mountains and thousands of wild deer.

Whenever he feels like getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, he can retreat to his 37,000-acre plot, the Finca La Garganta estate, in rural Cordoba near Seville, Spain.

William and Harry are known to be occasional visitors at the sprawling Spanish estate, passing the time by hunting for wild boar and deer.

The Duke, who had a party-boy reputation before his inheritance, has also been snapped on luxurious holidays with his family and friends.

Olivia has hinted that she and her husband-to-be will leave London after their wedding.

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“It’s [Eaton Hall] obviously a place where we will live, where we’ll be building our lives together,” she told Town and Country.

“And we’re slowly transitioning to move up from London and be much more permanent here, really putting roots down. So actually, yes it was a really easy decision in the end.”

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