The Royal Non-Royal Wedding of the Year

The Duke and Duchess of Westminster

For some reason, I am fascinated with European weddings. They always catch my eye and I’ve written about several of the them over the years – read here, here, here and here.

There hasn’t been a big society wedding in quite a while so I was very excited when it was announced that Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster (aka “Hughie and considered to be Britain’s most eligible bachelor), would marry Olivia Henson after two years of dating.

While the Grosvenors are not considered Royals per se, their families have maintained close ties dating back to the Queen Victoria reign and as such there are lots of godfather titles floating around (King Charles is Hugh’s godfather, Hugh is godfather to Prince William and Harry’s sons, etc.)

If you follow these weddings like I do, I am sure that you too were scratching your head at the Grosvenor/Henson engagement photo. It looks like they were hanging out watching tv on a Saturday and then rolled off the couch for their photo.

Nevertheless, she’s absolutely beautiful and natural (incredible hair) and maybe they are making a statement about the kind of couple they plan to be (i.e. chill/normal despite being worth approximately $12B.)

The wedding took place last weekend in a beautiful ceremony in Chester on his family’s estate, Eaton Hall, which is about four hours away from London. The Grosvenor family has called this 11,000 acre estate home since the 1400s. Apparently it was a very windy day, but at least it didn’t rain and the veil looked very pretty in the photos with all that wind!

I was also happy to see my favorite real royal out and about yesterday at the Trooping of Colour. I hope this is a sign of good things to come for Princess Kate.

The most informal engagement photo in the history of engagement photos.

The Duke of Westminster topped the Sunday Times rich list last week with his £10 billion fortune. Despite owning swathes of land in London’s most prestigious postcodes, including 50 per cent of Mayfair, Grosvenor announced he will move to Cheshire after marrying Olivia Benson, perhaps looking to put down roots in his 10,000 acre family home and ancestral seat, Eaton Hall.

Eaton Hall, the Duke of Westminster’s Family Seat

Who is the Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor Family?

“Upon the death of his father in 2016, Hugh Grosvenor became Duke of Westminster, and inherited his share of the family’s £9 billion fortune. Primarily, the Grosvenor family money dates back to the 1600s, where they began buying land in London. Now, the Grosvenor property company owns swathes of land in the capital’s most prestigious postcodes – with 50% of Mayfair and 300 acres of Belgravia. The company’s holdings include the American Embassy, estates in Scotland and Spain, Liverpool city centre, Tokyo apartment blocks, a ‘large chunk’ of Silicon Valley, and the entirety of Annacis Island, just off Vancouver.”

The Duke and Duchess at a recent charity event

Who is Olivia Benson, now Duchess of Westminster?

“Not too much is known about Henson, who grew up in London and Oxfordshire, and attended Marlborough College (also Kate Middleton’s alma mater) and Trinity College Dublin. According to Grosvenor, Henson worked in sustainable food sector, and last worked at Belazu, an artisanal food company in London, from 2019 until recently.”

– Town & Country
The bride’s dress was designed by Emma Victoria Payne. The only thing I did not like about her look was the shoes. Too harsh.
Love how she did her hair. She chose the Fabergé Myrtle Leaf Tiara, which “Grosvenor brides have worn on their wedding day since it was made in 1906.”
This veil was stunning and apparently incorporated designs from from her great great grandmother’s veil from the 1880s.

According to a press release from the family, “Each original antique motif from Olivia’s family veil was hand drawn and reimagined into a new repeat pattern of graduating scalloped edges and oval shapes to reflect Olivia’s engagement ring setting. Personalised initials and wedding date complete the design in the centre back.”

And I LOVE the back of her dress and the veil.
Cute little village of Chester
‘a staggering 100,000 flowers were planted throughout the city – all paid for by the Duke – which will be donated to charity now the ceremony is over.’
The official portrait
Two of the groom’s three sisters, Lady Viola Grosvenor and Lady Edwina Grosvenor. 
Lady Viola Grosvenor and her husband
I love the attendants at British weddings.
Princess Eugenie
The groom’s mother, Dowager Duchess of Westminster

r/RoyalsGossip - Charlie Gilkes and wife Anneke arrive

The Father of the Bride
This guy was there. Prince Harry declined…
The Duke of Winchester with Prince William when he was a child.
Loved seeing my favorite real royal out and about yesterday at the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

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