Why Duke of Westminster’s Wedding Is Like a Modern-Day Bridgerton – PEOPLE

4 minutes, 26 seconds Read
  • Hugh Grosvenor, the 7th Duke of Westminster, is getting married this week, and the summer nuptials might look straight out of a Bridgerton scene
  • Prince William will serve as an usher at the wedding ceremony of his friend, who is a godfather to Prince George
  • PEOPLE confirms that Prince Harry will not attend the event on June 7

Dearest gentle reader, the Duke of Westminster has found his diamond and the U.K. wedding of the year is almost here!

Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster who is one of Britain’s most eligible bachelors and wealthiest men, is set to wed Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral in northern England on June 7, and the royal connections are straight out of a Bridgerton bash. 

The Duke of Westminster, 33, and Olivia, 31, announced their engagement in April 2023 after two years of dating, and the groom has tapped Prince William to act as an usher for the service at the Gothic cathedral near his family’s 11,000-acre ancestral seat, Eaton Hall, where he proposed. 

Olivia will become the new Duchess of Westminster on the big day that The Times described as “the most royal non-royal wedding of the year,” and for good reason. The 7th Duke of Westminster was long considered to be one of Britain’s most eligible bachelors before getting engaged, with his family’s estimated net worth of $12.8 billion making him the richest person in the U.K. under age 40 and the 14th wealthiest overall, according to The Sunday Times’ Rich List 2024.

Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, and his mother Natalia at a Consecration Service at Bramham Park on September 22, 2018 in Leeds, England.

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Hugh chairs the Grosvenor Trustees and charitable Westminster Foundation, and his family’s real estate portfolio includes 300 acres across London neighborhoods Mayfair and Belgravia as well as buildings in more than 40 cities worldwide. 

Beyond his business and philanthropic interests with the Westminster Foundation (a grant-giving organization dedicated to helping vulnerable young people in Westminster and Chester, where his family’s roots run deep), Hugh has a posh hobby: skeet shooting! The Duke of Westminster has represented Team Great Britain at Olympic competitions overseas and around the U.K.

Hugh Grosvenor (second from left) and Prince William (far right) at the official handover of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre on the Stanford Hall Estate in Nottinghamshire on June 21, 2018.

OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

The Duke of Westminster inherited his title at age 25 when his father, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, died in 2016 at age 64, and the memorial service was attended by many members of the royal family. The Grosvenor family’s ties to the British royals trace back generations, and the groom’s mother, Natalia, is a godmother to Prince William, 41.

The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry also served as ushers at the wedding of Hugh’s sister Lady Tamara to Edward van Cutsem in 2004, and the celebration at Chester Cathedral was attended by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Prine William, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Prince Philip at the wedding of Lady Tamara Grosvenor and Edward van Cutsem at Chester Cathedral on November 6, 2004 in Chester, England.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Hugh is also a godson of King Charles and a godfather to both Prince George, 10, and Prince Archie, 5. It’s understood that the Duke of Westminster has remained close to both Prince William and Prince Harry amid the rift between the royal brothers, and PEOPLE confirms that the Duke of Sussex, 39, declined an invite to the summer nuptials. 

There was an acknowledgment on both sides that it would be difficult for Harry to attend, as he has been based in California with Meghan Markle since 2020 and no longer uses his former Frogmore Cottage home during U.K. stays. 

Prince Harry’s decision not to attend the wedding was an “understanding between the two friends,” one source describes the conversation. An insider close to the bride and groom tells PEOPLE that Prince Harry and the Duke of Westminster mutually agreed on the decision.

The Duke of Sussex sends “his love and support and admiration for the couple” for their wedding day, the source tells PEOPLE.

Prince Harry arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on March 28, 2023.

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A month ahead of the wedding, Hugh and Olivia visited Chester Cathedral to highlight some of the causes the Westminster Foundation works with around the city.

A local business group also revealed on May 30 that the couple paid for the traditional display of 100,000 flowers that will be planted across the city in the coming weeks as part of their wedding festivities. 

“The floral displays are a wonderful addition to the vibrancy of the city each summer, making the town center awash with color from locally grown flowers. While ordinarily the Summer Flowers project is funded by the Chester BID [Business Improvement District], The Duke of Westminster and Miss Olivia Henson have sponsored this year’s displays as part of local celebrations of their marriage at the Cathedral on 7 June,” a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement.

“They are very grateful for all the support and kind wishes they have received from people and organizations ahead of their wedding,” the spokesperson said. 

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