Duke of Westminster has died at age 64

Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, has died today, August 9, at the age of 64. His wife Natalia Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminster, is Prince William‘s godmother. Prince Charles is godfather to his son Hugh Grosvenor, now 7th Duke of Westminster, who is Prince George‘s godfather.

The 6th Duke of Westminster died at the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire having suddenly become ill on his Abbeystead Estate.

A spokeswoman for the Grosvenors 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 Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that Her Majesty the Queen is aware of the news about the Duke of Westminster. A message of condolence is being sent by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.”

A Clarence House spokeswoman said The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are “deeply shocked and greatly saddened” by the sudden death of their friend the Duke of Westminster.

Link: BBC

Among properties across the UK Grosvenor owned 190 acres in Belgravia in London with a fortune estimated at $10.8bn (£8.3bn). Among his many Orders he was a Knight of the Order of the Garter (the highest Order in the UK).

Between the high profile deaths, the mass shootings, and the craziness in the political sphere this year has been a roller coaster, and we’ve still got a little less than five months to go.

My condolences to the Grosvenors. Gerald Grosvenor was only 64. His son Hugh, now Duke of Westminster, is only 25 (younger than the Queen when she ascended). In comparison, The Queen is 90, Charles is 67, and William is 34.

41 Comments on Duke of Westminster has died at age 64

  1. rhiannon
    August 9, 2016 at 9:25 pm (10 months ago)

    He was so young. This is a good reminder that life is so short. What a bittersweet passage for his son to inherit this title so suddenly. My condolences and comfort to his family. May he rest in peace.

    Thank you for providing the background on him, KMR.

  2. Oz Shan
    August 9, 2016 at 9:30 pm (10 months ago)

    Very sad – a lot of responsibility for his son at such a young age

  3. Lisa
    August 9, 2016 at 9:35 pm (10 months ago)

    Shocking and sad. Prayers and thoughts to his family. I’m sure they are reeling from this.

  4. Ellie
    August 9, 2016 at 10:29 pm (10 months ago)

    RIP.

    That is a big burden to take on so young for Hugh. Not on the level of HM at 25, but.

    My thoughts and prayers to his family. 64 is too young. I read a bit about him and he was a major philanthropist.

    • Dolittle
      August 10, 2016 at 12:50 pm (10 months ago)

      RIP

      +1
      With the young Duke responsibilities. And no disrespet, but seem a good match for Princess Bea or Eugene!,

      (Scorol will encourage pimp to change partner).

  5. Fifi
    August 9, 2016 at 10:37 pm (10 months ago)

    I remember seeing an interview with him years ago when he spoke of preparing for the next generation right from the start. So sad that the preparation must take effect so suddenly, while his son is so young.

  6. Mel
    August 9, 2016 at 11:03 pm (10 months ago)

    This is so horrible and sudden. He was still young. Condolences to the family.

  7. Ray
    August 9, 2016 at 11:23 pm (10 months ago)

    Healthy and active her entire life, my dearly loved mother in law died suddenly just before her 63rd birthday. That was 21/2 years ago, we are still trying to come to terms with it. This poor young man not only has to grieve a dear parent but assume massive responsibility without having his father’s guiding hand. I feel immensely for him. It will be a tough road.

  8. Cathy
    August 10, 2016 at 1:19 am (10 months ago)

    RIP

    I do feel for the son and his sister who has lost his father at such an early age.

  9. Herazeus
    August 10, 2016 at 2:57 am (10 months ago)

    He never looked healthy in the past 2yrs. The weightloss was a red flag to me.

    It’s always sad when someone loses a parent, but i generally do not think this was as sudden as it’s being reported ie i think given his appearance in the past 2yrs that there was an u derlying issue.

    Condolensces to the family.

  10. IDA
    August 10, 2016 at 3:20 am (10 months ago)

    This should be a wake-up call for William. He just borrowed the family’s jet for his holidays & Charles is only 4 years’ older than the late Duke. He must learn to appreciate the people around him before they’re gone. If it had been Charles who passed away will William be ready to step into his father’s shoes? Or will he say there’s still granny & she’s so healthy….
    Death comes without an appointment whether you’re ready or not.

    • Herazeus
      August 10, 2016 at 3:33 am (10 months ago)

      What strikes me about William’s level of unpreparedness is that it’s not limited to royal duties. It’s all the private responsibilities too.

      Charles has taken over managament of Balmoral and Sandrigham and other family portfolios from Philip. That was added to his portfolio of duchy responsibilities and any properties he inherited from the Queen Mother.

      If HM and Charles die suddenly, you can add the duchy of Lancaster to the portfolios he would be managing.

      And he hasn’t got a clue about any of it despite all the courses and work placements he has been given over the years.

      He rans away to be a co-pilot yet there is this huge private estate he will have to manage even if he has managers in place to help him.

      All he does is attend the pleasantries like the various shoots organised at Balmoral or Sandrigham. And he never participates in organising even that. He shows up on the first day like other guests and leaves at the end of each organised party just like other guests.

      It’s little things like that he obstinately refuses to do yet gets maximum enjoyment. And whilst he has married people who are enterpreneurial, they also know nothing about estate management and aren’t showing any interest in how it’s managed except the social cache of being invited to socialise with his family.

      When he inherits from Charles, it’s not just the royal duties that will hit him like a tonne of bricks, it’s the family estates and portfolio too.

      • IDA
        August 10, 2016 at 3:52 am (10 months ago)

        William should have a Father like Prince Philip who will always be barking at him & telling him off. He needs an advisor who is not afraid of him or be bullied into listening to him instead of the other way round.

      • Jen
        August 10, 2016 at 5:26 am (10 months ago)

        Vale.
        I applaud the Duke of Westminster for his philanthropy; that’s how to use wealth and position with good purpose. His son, while he has a huge responsibility ahead of him, will have observed and been taught and prepared by his father. Particularly so if the Duke’s health had been deteriorating for some two years or so. But the loss of love is always shocking. It is immeasurably sad.

        As for William, the more that is revealed, the more unfit he appears to be for pretty much anything. He seems disinterested in all but his own enjoyment. Nor does he seem to be intelligent either. No doubt he has been enabled all his life to the point where it is his ‘normal’.

        • Sleepy
          August 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm (10 months ago)

          Harry is learning the portfolio, he went to work on Cornwall property a while ago, so he will probably have to do that too.

      • HyacinthBucket
        August 11, 2016 at 10:35 am (10 months ago)

        “But, but, but…I know a lot, because …..Downton Abbey!” Wails Will.

    • Ellie
      August 10, 2016 at 3:50 am (10 months ago)

      But he’s such a nice guy, he’ll do such a good job, he’s the only decent guy in the family! (Parsing comments I saw on Reddit today about how William should take over, and not Charles. Good Lord the PR machine works well, doesn’t it.)

      Wasn’t that unfinished course at Cambridge meant to teach him about land management and the like? I recall reading when William was university aged he had tutors and meetings to learn about that sort of thing but it of course fell by the wayside, so he can do whatever he wants, and nobody reeled him in.

      • Herazeus
        August 10, 2016 at 4:02 am (10 months ago)

        He also spent time at Chatsworth, had banking internships etc.

        The man is both uninterested and has no foresight about his future. Everyone, including him, is so focused on the royal duties part and ignore the private estates part.

        There is no person in the world, with possible exception of Saudi royals, who doesn’t show any interest in that part of their life that requires effort and maintenance.

        We quibble about the taxpayer funds, but that could be cut off some day. Yet, even if it’s not, there is no guarantee that the duchy of cornwall will continue to bring in the huge profits it does. Charles has grown it to it’s current all time high, William hasn’t shown any inclination or ability that will keep it at that level.

        His disinterest does him no favours.

        • Ellie
          August 10, 2016 at 4:29 am (10 months ago)

          William will just bleed it dry and shrug his shoulders and find something else to ruin, I’m sure, when his time comes as Prince of Wales.

          I find it weird out of Eton they tried to make him do things to teach him about his future. Wasn’t there chatter about a FCO internship or something? I wonder why it all went to pot. William stopped cooperating?

          I really enjoy your posts, Herazeus 🙂

          • Herazeus
            August 10, 2016 at 5:15 am (10 months ago)

            Thank you.😊

            The FO was supposed to be his new job after his gap year, but he sprang EAAA on everyone and the FO was quietly shelved.

            Despite his tactics, William has no follow through. He is easily bored and no one forces him to stick to something beyond his boredom threshold.

            Ironically, only Carol has succeeded in making him stick to something….his relationship and eventual marriage to Kate.

            Beyond that, he can’t seem to commit to anything, even stuff he claims to love.

          • Jen
            August 10, 2016 at 5:49 am (10 months ago)

            William can’t follow through; that pattern is well established and can be traced at least from university days. I have wondered if there is an issue of cognitive development or functioning, manifesting in boredom as a face saving mechanism. I may be over-reaching, of course and the guy is just lazy.

            I suspect Carole is so all-controlling (read as nurturing by William) that he can’t see outside the cage created. While no-one can really see into or understand others’ relationships, William often treated Kate as just a sexual commodity on demand, to which she readily acquiesced. That doesn’t seem like much of a partnership. However, they both share qualities of greed and entitlement so maybe that’s enough to constitute a happy marriage, at least for them?

          • Laura
            August 11, 2016 at 9:11 am (10 months ago)

            If Kate slept with William on demand I am surprised that Kate did not become pregnant.

          • Jen
            August 11, 2016 at 9:32 am (10 months ago)

            She may well have.

          • Kimothy
            August 11, 2016 at 10:21 am (10 months ago)

            First: my sincere condolences to the Grosvenor family at the loss of their patriarch. Losing a loved one is never easy and in the public eye must make it even much more difficult. My thoughts and prayers go out to them at this time.

            Jen,

            I’ve heard the same thing via Lola’s blog….

            I remember during William’s time at Eton it was always reported that he’d meet with HM weekly for tea and for him to start “learning the ropes”, so to speak via reading old correspondence from Queen Victoria and whatnot.

            Was that just a cover-up or did it really happen? If so, how did all of that wealth of knowledge leave his brain? If not, why the extravagant lie? Things that make you go ‘hmmm….’

          • Jen
            August 11, 2016 at 10:41 am (10 months ago)

            Hi Kimothy, yes I read it on LolaLoveHeart too. If the Middleton’s have any hold over William/BRF, that is it.

            I’d imagine that William has been tutored on an on-going basis about his future role. I mean, wasn’t Charles? So it would figure that William would be inducted as well in much the same fashion. I think in his case, he has manipulated the BRF’s sense of guilt re. Diana to buy himself time.

            I do wonder, as I said, whether there is some cognitive problem in there as William seems unable to perform/loses interest in a whole bunch of things. It is unusual not to be able to do anything reasonably well, or lose interest so quickly.

          • Herazeus
            August 11, 2016 at 10:56 am (10 months ago)

            I think the difference with William and Charles is that Charles possesses intellectual curiosity and is always reading to improve his knowledge.

            His education didn’t stop in high school. He went to university in England, Wales and Australia.

            Heck Andrew spent a term in Canada and he was the spare.

            I think that we only know about William being lazy at university because they couldn’t control that environment. Or control it enough….

            We don’t know whether he was a diligent student at Eton. Unlike Harry whose school life was leaked, even as a 10/11 year old when the world was informed that he had been held back a year at prep school unlike his peers who had advanced to secondary school.

            The interpretation was that he wasn’t smart and that’s why he had been held back.

            If William’s inherent laziness and low boredom threshold has continued into adulthood, i can imagine it was always there, but since no one discouraged it, in the same way he wasn’t disciplined in general ways, it took root and is now a part of him.

            He could have started those afternoons at Windsor with the Queen in good faith, but as with all things, let it slide and no one chased him up.

            That i blame HM. She should have made those study afternoons mandatory no matter how bored he was.

            Charles and Eton could do their bit, but she also should have done her bit.

            That is assuming the tale of these visits was true and my hypothesis is also possibly true.

          • Jen
            August 11, 2016 at 11:21 am (10 months ago)

            Wasn’t there also a brouhaha over Harry’s final art exams? His teacher accused him of plagiarism or something similar? I’ve forgotten the details; the teacher was pilloried and dismissed though the claim appeared valid.

            You have probably caught all the notes re.William. HM clearly knew he was not being disciplined well enough by his parents. If he was not course-corrected at home there is little likelihood that his school, university, RAF, Cambridge and EAAA would do so. It’s far too late now.

            Though I am curious to hear that the Duke of Westminster was William’s mentor. If the claim is true, what has William taken from that relationship I wonder?

          • katemiddletonreview
            August 11, 2016 at 11:59 am (10 months ago)

            “what has William taken from that relationship I wonder?”

            The Duke’s private plane.

          • Herazeus
            August 11, 2016 at 12:24 pm (10 months ago)

            Apart from material things, i’m equally curious what mentoring the duke did to William because it doesn’t appear to have taken.

            I say this because all the duke’s children have turned out fantastically and with a strong sense of duty.

            Perhaps it’s down to personality and heir raising because Harry turned out with a strong sense of duty. Not simply because of joining the army, but starting Sentebale when he was 19yrs old and before he joined the army. Not only starting it, but sticking with it as he grew up and found other interests/ distractions.

            There was is a photo circulating of William and the duke at the washington conference on conservation, so perhaps with time, William might have been mentored into proper focus on this. Sadly that’s not to be.

            Every time people mention William’s boar hunting as a form of conservation, they leave off the reports that he only goes boar hunting at the point where it’s a pleasure visit. Others do the work. He has as much involvement as you or i would have if we were invited to go boar hunting. The same thing he does at Sandrigham/Balmoral during the shooting season.

          • Jen
            August 11, 2016 at 12:57 pm (10 months ago)

            Good one, KMR! Ba-boom.

            Maybe calling the DoW William’s mentor was gilding-of-the-lily PR? But if true, nothing much has stuck.

  11. Kristin
    August 10, 2016 at 4:03 am (10 months ago)

    Such sad news! 64 is dar too young… my condolences to the family

  12. EL
    August 10, 2016 at 4:17 am (10 months ago)

    RIP.
    I feel for Hugh. Such a huge responsibility at such a young age.
    I never thought about the private responsibilities William (and Kate) will have to take on. It’s shocking how lax the royal family has been in letting him get away with doing nothing to prepare for his future roles. For a family whose role involves duty and history, it’s amazing William is allowed to shun both.

  13. Mrs BBV
    August 10, 2016 at 10:25 am (10 months ago)

    Indispersed between the usual hate on the Daily Mail comments section there are some really moving and beautiful tributes to Gerald Grosvenor from ordinary people who worked with him through charity and via his property empire. I didn’t know very much about him but he does seem to have been a very kind man who was much liked by many people from all walks of life. He also seems to have been a sad, troubled soul who had periods of clinical depression in his life too. I just hope his son is able to cope with the enormous legacy he now has in his hands. Following his father’s approach to philanthropy seems a good place to start. I feel oddly moved by his passing. Looking at pictures of him, his eyes radiate kindness but sadness too.

    • jenny
      August 10, 2016 at 2:46 pm (10 months ago)

      How very sad for this family and what a tragedy that he suffered from clinical depression. When I looked at the photo, Mrs. BBV, I saw what you did in his eyes. Kindness was so evident, but a certain sadness, too. May he rest in peace and be remembered with love by his family and all who benefited from his philanthropy. I am sure his children will find the loss very difficult. He was a fine man and took his position in life seriously. To help others is something that everyone should do. He did it with grace and great care, it seems. I hope those who loved him will be comforted by all the wonderful ways his life touched others.

  14. Halia
    August 10, 2016 at 1:11 pm (10 months ago)

    What does this family have to do wit the royals?

    • Ellie
      August 10, 2016 at 1:30 pm (10 months ago)

      His family has been close with them for generations.

    • Mrs BBV
      August 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm (10 months ago)

      They have been one of the Royals closest friends since circa 1700’s, are often Godparents to Royal children and share their financial might with them. For example Gerald Grosvenor was Patron of 150 charities most of which are closely aligned with Royal charity interests. Also a lot of inter marriage in these circles and the family would ensure their close proximity to the Crown by financial generosity ie. putting their private plane / yachts at the Royals disposal for private travel. GG’s wife Natalia is William’s Godmother. Their son Hugh is George’s Godfather. They are as close as Royals have as non Royal friends.

    • katemiddletonreview
      August 10, 2016 at 4:21 pm (10 months ago)

      As I said in my opening paragraph, they are godparents to each other.

  15. Michael McGrath
    August 11, 2016 at 7:28 am (10 months ago)

    When will the queen die?

    • Mrs BBV
      August 11, 2016 at 10:31 am (10 months ago)

      I can’t even bring myself to think about it. On the rare occasions I do my eyes fill up straight away. I love my Queen and I don’t even want to imagine this country without her at the helm. I think it will be the biggest event in world history to date when it happens.

  16. Laura
    August 11, 2016 at 9:15 am (10 months ago)

    I am sad that the Duke of Westminster has passed away. Hugh is an adult so hopefully the responsibility will not be too much of a burden. I don’t know much about either person but for William to lose a trusted confident that is a blow.

    I was on a course once and a story that a peer told was that at a dinner she was talking away and the subject of property and the cost of property in London came up. The girl said to the man next to her it would be a good idea to invest in property. The man’s name – the Duke of Westminster.

    The Duke does look gaunt in that photo. Rest in Peace.