Billionaire Duke of Westminster dies ages 64

Billionaire landowner and philanthropist the Duke of Westminster has died aged 64, his family said.

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor died at the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire on Tuesday after suddenly becoming ill on his Abbeystead Estate. The duke’s fortune was estimated at $10.8bn (£8.3bn) by Forbes magazine, making him the world’s 68th richest person and the UK’s third.

A friend of the Royal Family, he became the sixth Duke of Westminster in 1979.


He had four children including his only son, Hugh Grosvenor, 25, who is heir to the dukedom and also Prince George’s youngest godfather. Giving news of the duke’s death, a spokeswoman said: “His family are all aware and they ask for privacy and understanding at this very difficult time.

“No further comment will be made for the time being but further information will follow in due course.” A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said officers were called at about 17:00 BST on Tuesday and made aware of the death of a 64-year-old man at Royal Preston Hospital.

“He was airlifted to hospital after he had been taken ill whilst walking in the Trough of Bowland. There are no suspicious circumstances and a file will be passed to the coroner,” she added. Among properties across the UK, he owned 190 acres in Belgravia, an area near to Buckingham Palace, and one of London’s most expensive districts.

The sudden death of billionaire landowner and philanthropist the Duke of Westminster means his 25-year-old son Hugh has now inherited an estate worth £9bn.

Hugh Richard Louis Grosvenor, previously known by the honorary title Earl Grosvenor, works as an account manager for Bio-bean, a green technology company.

In January 2012 the duke threw a lavish 21st birthday party for 800 guests – dress code “black tie and neon” – which has been estimated at costing £5m.

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