Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster, normally shuns the spotlight. However, the 29-year-old aristocrat has recently made headlines by donating a staggering £12.5 million to Britain’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
The extraordinary gift will be divided among several good causes:
- £5 million will benefit doctors, nurses and other NHS heroes, as well as their loved ones. NHS Charities Together (a group of over 140 UK charities) is using the money to create a ‘family fund’ for food supplies, respite, rehabilitation and mental health support.
- £3 million will fund vital medical research.
- £2.5 million will go to projects aimed at helping vulnerable people, such as those distributing food to young families.
- £2 million will enable charities and other organisations to support people who experience financial hardship or social problems caused by the pandemic.
In a statement about the donation, the duke expressed his gratitude to the country’s healthcare professionals and other key workers: ‘On behalf of my family and everyone at the Grosvenor Estate, I want to say a huge thank you to all our amazing NHS staff and everyone providing critical frontline services. We are all humbled and incredibly grateful that you are working tirelessly to keep us safe and keep the country functioning.’
We applaud the brilliant work of NHS employees (you may have noticed the banner thanking them on the Elite Titles homepage) and everyone else performing essential roles. We also applaud the Duke of Westminster: his incredible generosity will enhance countless lives.
The Privileged, Philanthropic Grosvenor Family
This isn’t the first time Hugh Richard Louis Grosvenor (to give the duke his full name) has used his privileged position and wealth to support those less fortunate. The smart, unassuming duke is Chair of the Westminster Foundation, which funds social projects for young people across Westminster and Chester, areas where his family has strong connections.
‘So many of us are lucky enough to have opportunities in life, which we often take for granted, but so many aren’t,’ he points out in a video produced for the foundation.
The Duke of Westminster has clearly inherited his late father’s philanthropic attitude in addition to his aristocratic title. Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the sixth duke, was closely involved with the Westminster Foundation too. Also close to his heart were the Royal National Institute of Blind People and St John Ambulance.
Hugh Grosvenor originally held the honorary title Earl Grosvenor; he became the Duke of Westminster in August 2016, aged just 25. His mother, Natalia, will retain her own title, the Duchess of Westminster, until he marries. She’ll then be called the Dowager Duchess.
Two Country Seats and More Land than the Queen
The Duke of Westminster is one of the most eligible bachelors in Britain, with assets believed to be worth around £10 billion. He’s the world’s richest man under 30.
The Grosvenors’ incredible wealth, of which the duke is now the custodian, can be attributed to shrewd investments everywhere from Scotland to Silicon Valley. According to high-society magazine Tatler, the family’s business arm, The Grosvenor Group, possesses ‘land holdings that include more than 1,500 properties in 60 countries’.
Approximately half of Mayfair and 300 acres of Belgravia – districts favoured by London’s social elite – belong to the duke. His seats, Eaton Hall in Cheshire and Abbeystead House in Lancashire, are historic and vast. In fact, he owns 120,000 more acres of British land than the Queen!
The Dukedom’s Future Looks Assured
Another long-reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, created the title of Duke of Westminster in 1874 for the outgoing Prime Minister William Gladstone’s Resignation Honours. It was bestowed on the current duke’s namesake, Hugh Grosvenor, formerly MP for Chester.
Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, as well as managing land, property and wealth, means that a great deal of responsibility rests on the seventh duke’s shoulders. But if recent events are anything to go by, the dukedom is in safe hands.
Your Chance to Become a Land-Owning Duke or Duchess
If you’d like a taste of the high life, why not treat yourself to a seated title for show purposes?
While this isn’t the same as a title of nobility from the Queen, it’s a wonderful way to enhance your perceived status.
Finally, if you wish to contribute to the UK’s COVID-19 relief work, you may like to donate to Captain Tom Moore’s record-breaking fundraising campaign for NHS Charities Together.