Hugh Grosvenor, the young duke richer than the king

Diversity and inclusion. For his coronation, this Saturday, May 6, King Charles III wanted a less pompous ceremony than that of his mother, seventy years ago. A celebration more in line with the reality of a country where, from now on, the British of Christian faith no longer represent the majority of the population, where many are struggling to pay their bills and would find too lavish celebrations indecent. It is a Briton of Irish and Nigerian origin, Elizabeth Anionwu, who will wear the orb, one of the royal symbols. Floella Benjamin, of Caribbean origin, will be in charge of one of the scepters. Three female bishops will also participate in the service, alongside Church of England Primate Justin Welby. Only 2,000 people were invited to Westminster Abbey, and among them, representatives of all religions and hundreds of association leaders: the aristocrats will be far fewer than in 1953.

However, relatives of the Windsor family will be present, including prominently in the procession, Hugh Grosvenor, 32, 7e Duke of Westminster. This blond man with a youthful face is part of the very first circle: he is the godson of the king – his father, Gerald, who died in 2016, who was also a member of the House of Lords and general of the British army, was a close friend of the monarch. “Hughie”, as his relatives call him according to the specialists of the monarchy, is also the godfather of prince George (2e in the order of succession). His mother, Natalia Phillips, a descendant of the Romanovs, is godmother to Prince William. One of his three sisters, Lady Edwina, had Princess Diana as godmother… Half-gentleman-farmer, half-fund manager, Hugh Grosvenor is part of a club of happy few, perpetuating secular and unequal traditions.

He is also one of the richest Britons in the country, on 13e according to a ranking of Sunday Times released in 2022, having inherited the huge Grosvenor fortune, estimated at around £10 billion, avoiding paying inheritance tax (the fortune is housed in trusts) and under the old rule of male primogeniture still in effect force in the British aristocracy (but not in the royal family, which abolished it in 2013). Hugh Grosvenor is wealthier than the king, who according to a thorough investigation of the Guardianreportedly has a personal fortune of £1.8 billion.

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