IT’S official – Britain’s most eligible bachelor is off the market.
Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster who’s worth around an eye-watering £10billion, has announced he’s engaged.
The 32-year-old – who is pals with royals like Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton – popped the question to girlfriend Olivia Henson, an account manager for an ethical food firm, at the family seat, Eaton Hall in Cheshire.
The couple have been dating for two years, and Olivia, 30 – who attended the same school as the Princess of Wales, Marlborough College – will become the Duchess of Westminster when they marry.
As the head of a property empire that has swept up more than 1,500 buildings around the world – including the entirety of Park Lane and half of Mayfair – Hugh is often described as owning ‘half of London’.
He became a billionaire at the age of 25 and his family rank as the 12th richest in the whole country, according to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List.
Hugh’s father was the late Queen’s 14th cousin once removed and a mentor to William at the request of Her Majesty, according to reports.
In fact, in 2013 Hugh became the godfather to the Prince of Wales’s eldest child, Prince George – and has been described as the UK’s most eligible bachelor.
Much like his royal pal Harry, the duke has enjoyed a party or two in his time – and like any young lad, he’s been snapped in a few pictures he’d rather forget.
Here, we take a look at the life of the billionaire and how he became one of the richest men in the UK before the age of 30.
£5m birthday bash with A-list guests
Hugh became the 7th Duke of Westminster in 2016 after his father, Major General Gerald Grosvenor, sadly passed away from a heart attack aged 64.
Before that he was known as Earl Grosvenor. Unusually given his aristocratic status, Hugh attended a state primary school in The Wirral.
He went on to study at a small private school, Mostyn House in Cheshire, followed by Ellesmere College in Shropshire, and studied countryside management at Newcastle University.
For his 21st birthday in 2012, Hugh’s father splashed a whopping £5million on a lavish bash with high-profile guests including Prince Harry.
The do was held in the gardens of Eaton Hall, and saw performances from the likes of comedian Michael McIntyre and hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks.
His 800 guests had access to free-flowing champagne and were treated to a light show at the stroke of midnight.
Clearly impressed with the shindig, the duke said at the time: “The party was simply amazing – a birthday and a party I will never forget.
“It is the beginning of a new era in my life and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
Several pictures taken around that era show Hugh partying with a string of girls and goofing around with pals.
Another snap awkwardly showed him having a good time with friends alongside up a blow-up doll on a skiing holiday.
It was previously reported that Hugh was in an on-off relationship with Harriet Tomlinson for several years.
The pair met at college and split up, only to get back together on numerous occasions.
According to reports, the “besotted” billionaire whisked her off on a number of romantic getaways, including a mini break to California where they stayed at the plush Ventana resort.
It’s believed he met his fiancee Olivia – who works for London-based food firm Belazu and speaks Italian and Spanish – through friends.
When he inherited his title, Hugh also inherited his family’s huge financial legacy, which made him the third richest person in Britain at the time.
The Grosvenors originally made their fortune from mining before turning their eye to the property world.
Today their business, The Grosvenor Group, has a presence in over 62 international cities, with assets including Liverpool ONE shopping centre and Grosvenor Square in London.
Although Hugh is the third child of Gerald and Natalia Grosvenor, ancient laws meant that as the first son, he inherited the bulk of the fortune over his older sisters.
His portfolio includes the family seat, the 11,500-acre Eaton Estate, and the 23,500-acre Abbeystead shooting estate in Lancashire.
In addition, he owns Reay Forest in Sutherland, Scotland, home to a raft of beautiful mountains and thousands of wild deer.
If he needs a holiday, he can retreat to his 37,000-acre plot, the Finca La Garganta estate, in rural Cordoba near Seville, Spain.
William and Harry have known to be occasional visitors, passing the time by hunting for wild boar and deer.
Previously Hugh has also been snapped taking a break in Portofino, Italy, where he chilled out with friends and his mum on a boat.
Over his life, however, the duke has admirably refrained from flaunting his cash, opting instead to show his philanthropic side.
In April 2020, Hugh donated millions of pounds to support the Government’s response to the pandemic.
Hugh’s older sister Lady Tamara, 43, is married to Prince William’s pal Edward van Cutsem.
Another sister, Lady Edwina, is wed to TV presenter Dan Snow, and their youngest, Lady Viola, 32, is married to Angus Roberts, a Dragoons Guard officer.