Author Topic: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.  (Read 71868 times)

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Offline TampaBay

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #45 on: April 13, 2009, 09:21:39 AM »
Toots,

How about some info on the Duke of Westminster and Duke of Abercorn?

Thanks!

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alixaannencova

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2009, 10:54:54 PM »
With pleasure Tampabay! Unfortunately I am away from home for a couple of days so can only give you a little bit off the top of my head at present...but it may prove of interest nonetheless! I shall start with Gerald and Natalia Westminster!

When Gerald Grosvenor was born in 1951, his 1st cousin once removed, the 2nd Duke was still alive. In fact there were three adult males in more direct line of succession to the Dukedom at the time. Cousin Bend'Or as the 2nd Duke was known, lived in unimaginable splendour dividing his time between Eaton Hall, the sprawling neo gothic ducal seat in Cheshire, the Reay Forest estate in Sutherland, a chateau in France where he kept a pack of hounds with which to hunt wild boar, a palatial home in London, a private steam train and railway connecting Eaton to the mainline railway network and a beautifully appointed yacht. At the time of Gerald's birth, cousin Bend'Or was already busy arranging a water tight policy by which he and a succession of lawyers managed to tie up the majority of the valuable Grosvenor patrimony in some twenty trusts. When Bend'Or died a portion of the acreage was sold to meet duties on a portion of the 2nd Duke's personal estate, but it hardly dented the family fortunes. This was at a time when the notorious Bend'Or and the Grosvenor estates Group were in receipt of an income in excess of 10,000 pounds a day! Little Gerald Grosvenor would one day inherit not only the Dukedom of Westminster but the only income generating shares in the trusts established by the 2nd Duke. One day Gerald would become the richest man in Britain, a position he held on and off for over twenty years, before a football mad Russian oligarch supplanted him and then a steel tycoon from India relegated Westminster to third place in the UK rich list.

After Bend'Or 2nd Duke died in 1953 he was succeeded by his 'mad' cousin, William, 3rd Duke (1894 - 1963) who lived in seclusion in a house tucked away out of sight with a small staff of retainers. He occupied part of his time breeding ducks, whilst trustees administered the Grosvenor estates and no doubt looked on with wry amusement as the Inland Revenue established a new department specifically to try and establish just how monolithic and hopefully  death duty taxable the Grosvenor patrimony was! In the end Bend'Or had done an admirable job in protecting the estates. When the mad 3rd Duke died the Dukedom passed to his first cousin, Gerald 4th Duke (1907 - 1967) a veteran soldier who never fully recovered his health after seeing action during World War II. A respected soldier and man of ability Gerald was appointed Lord Steward in 1964 and died in office in 1967. He was succeeded by his brother Robert, 5th Duke (1910 - 1979).  This Duke and his wife Viola had three children, Lady Leonora who married the Queen Mother's great nephew, the impossibly glamorous Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield, Gerald who succeeded his father as 6th Duke and Lady Jane Dawnay, who married as his first wife, Guy Innes Kerr, 10th Duke of Roxburghe.   

Robert future 5th Duke of Westminster made Ulster his home after the war. He and his brother had close familial ties to the province as their mother, Lady Mabel Grosvenor was a daughter of the 4th Earl of Erne, who owned a large estate at Crom Castle in Co Fermanagh. More interesting still, was the fact that the the Grosvenors and Ernes were linked by the marriage of Mabel's brother, Henry, Viscount Crichton to Hugh Lupus, 1st Duke of Westminster's daughter, Lady Mary Grosvenor, aunt to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Dukes of Westminster. Henry and Mary had a daughter, Lady Kathleen Crichton who married the James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Abercorn. Thus the present Dukes of Westminster and Abercorn are second cousins and were close neighbours when Gerald was a boy.

In fact Gerald Grosvenor had little idea of just what a huge inheritance awaited him until the his uncle Gerald, 4th Duke died in 1967. Until then, Gerald's parents lived at Ely Lodge in Fermanagh, where Colonel Lord Robert Grosvenor had worked as a gentleman farmer. Only with his father's accession to the Dukedom did the sixteen year old Gerald become fully aware of the extent of what awaited him. He had wanted to be a professional footballer and this was apparently only quashed at his father's behest. Instead he was expected to be groomed to take over the family estates. At the time trustees, were running the vast portfolio of properties and it was anticipated that young Gerald would follow his father's example and allow the trustees to continue to act for him and the family when he succeeded and that he would run the agricultural side of things

In fact Gerald's academic track record was hardly reassuring. He failed to get into Sandhurst and instead joined the Territorial Army. He thrived and eventually did get into Sandhurst and embarked on a military career proper. His involvement in the TA has been long standing.The neo gothic Eaton Hall of the 1st Duke's day had been more or less entirely demolished and in 1970 the 5th Duke commissioned his brother in law to design a new ducal seat. The resulting modernist house was IMHO absolutely vile, and one commenator said it looked like the 'largest service station' in Cheshire.....believe me it did!!! Internally it was actually rather nice, but nothing could detract from the horror of that stark, white concrete exterior! Thankfully in the 1990s the house underwent a major program of alteration and now looks rather more pleasing in its present guise!

Anyway, in 1966 Gerald's cousin, James Marquess of Hamilton married Alexandra Phillips and in time, Gerald came to know 'Sacha's' sister Natalia. In 1978 the nineteen year old Natalia married Gerald and in the following year, with the death of her father in law, she became Duchess of Westminster. Interesting the Phillips girls were not only linked to the Royal Families of Europe through their maternal great grand father, Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia but also via Janet Bryce,wife of the 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven, to the Mountbattens. Janet was a first cousin of Alexandra and Natalia's father!

The Westminsters and the Abercorns remained close neighbours in Northern Ireland until the 1980s when Gerald sold the Ely Lodge estate. Now the Westminster family divides its time between Eaton Hall in Cheshire, Abbeystead House in Lanacshire, the Reay Forest estate in Scotland and the La Garganta estate in Spain, which the Duke has been leasing from a member of the Wittelsbach family.

Gerald and his brother in law James Abercorn are both Knights of the Garter, and the latter is Lord Steward.

I shall add more when I get home if you would like?
 

Stuff such as the Lady Tamara Grosvenor- Edward Van Cutsem marriage which purportedly instigated the Prince of Wales to get on with plans to marry Camilla. etc.....may be of interest! Then there is Hugh Van Cutsem's marriage into the British branch of the Astor dynasty!

I do find it interesting how the Grosvenor fortunes have remained pretty huge and intact when compared to those of the American Astors! I guess entailed patrimony may have played a major factor in this though, as the Astor fortunes was repeatedly weakened by generational division in a way similar to that of the Vanderbilt millions.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 11:10:32 PM by Toots »

Offline ashdean

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #47 on: April 15, 2009, 06:07:03 AM »


Anyway, in 1966 Gerald's cousin, James Marquess of Hamilton married Alexandra Phillips and in time, Gerald came to know 'Sacha's' sister Natalia. In 1978 the nineteen year old Natalia married Gerald and in the following year, with the death of her father in law, she became Duchess of Westminster. Interesting the Phillips girls were not only linked to the Royal Families of Europe through their maternal great grand father, Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia but also via Janet Bryce,wife of the 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven, to the Mountbattens. Janet was a first cousin of Alexandra and Natalia's father!
Aleaxandra and Natalia had a much stronger link to the Mountbattens.Their maternal grandmother Lady Zia Werhner...chatelaine of Luton Hoo with its unimaginable collections formed by her father in law Sir Julius Werhner the diamond magnate ....was the elder sister of Nadejda wife of of the 2nd Lord Milford Haven


alixaannencova

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2009, 06:21:50 AM »
Needless to say Ashdean!!! I just wanted to highlight that the Phillips girls had links to various Royal Families on both sides and not just by blood through their mother! I think it makes it really interesting how 'keeping it in the family' continues to this day!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 06:23:31 AM by Toots »

Offline TampaBay

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2009, 08:18:21 AM »

Stuff such as the Lady Tamara Grosvenor- Edward Van Cutsem marriage which purportedly instigated the Prince of Wales to get on with plans to marry Camilla. etc.....may be of interest! Then there is Hugh Van Cutsem's marriage into the British branch of the Astor dynasty!

I do find it interesting how the Grosvenor fortunes have remained pretty huge and intact when compared to those of the American Astors! I guess entailed patrimony may have played a major factor in this though, as the Astor fortunes was repeatedly weakened by generational division in a way similar to that of the Vanderbilt millions.


Toots,

I am very interested so please proceed.

Who are the Van Cutsem's?  Which Astor married into this family?

TampaBay
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alixaannencova

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #50 on: April 18, 2009, 02:30:51 PM »
Here is a link which pretty much explains the Van Cutsems and their links to the Westminsters amd Astors!


http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums/f23/van-cutsem-family-9295.html

Offline TampaBay

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #51 on: April 19, 2009, 12:03:58 PM »
Here is a link which pretty much explains the Van Cutsems and their links to the Westminsters and Astors!


http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums/f23/van-cutsem-family-9295.html

GADZOOKS!  "The Royal Forums" is quite a riotous place!

TampaBay
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alixaannencova

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #52 on: April 19, 2009, 02:07:50 PM »
The Royal Forum can be quite useful. I am not a member though! There are various experts on the threads there though and some of the tit bits one can scavenge are often original and reliable. Personally I find it rather intimidating though, as it can sometimes get quite 'cliquey' there! That's not a criticism of the Royal Forum....it's just that sometimes I feel rather out of my depth there!


alixaannencova

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2009, 02:30:45 AM »
Ooooh....urmmm...gulp....I am rather surprised that this topic has been 'promoted' to the Windsor thread....as I only began it as a sort of 'ducal' British version of 'the Mediatised Families' topic and a variant of a topic such as would appear in the 'Russian Noble Families' thread.
   I did wonder when I started this topic where best to put it, but would never have dared to put it here in 'The Windsors' as I thought many members would object as the Ducal dynasties of Britain are not Royal, though a couple may enjoy relatively close familial links to the House of Windsor, but not many!
  I do so hope that no one minds this topic being here, as although I had hoped more people would have joined the discussion down in 'Their World and Culture', I was quite happy just to trundle along adding bits and bobs for any visitors who did happen to drop in....and was becoming quite use to having a 'low' profile down there!!! I really do hope that no one thinks this is an 'interloper' thread trying to barge it's way up the ranks! I didn't ask for it to be moved here.... honest!!!!!!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 02:36:47 AM by Toots »

alixaannencova

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2009, 02:56:45 AM »
Ooops...sincerest apologies....I must proof read more carefully before I post. I have just noticed that I made an error ages back in a post where I spoke about the 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. I stated that Chandos House was built for the 1st Duke of Chandos, which is wholly incorrect! The house was built to designs of Robert and James Adam for Sir George Colebrooke and was soon afterward acquired by the 3rd Duke of Chandos. I think I must have been dwelling on the magnificent and legendary Cannons, the huge mansion built by the 1st Duke near Edgware as I was writing!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 03:06:15 AM by Toots »

alixaannencova

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #55 on: April 23, 2009, 06:02:13 AM »
When you come stumbling upon this topic..... think and seek the theme from 'Brideshead Revisited'.......please  note........... NOT the film but the breathtakingly apt theme written by Geoffrey Burgon for the 1981 TV production!!! It was and remains sublime as all good music does!!! It will hopefully give many an idea of the England...ooops... I mean....Britain..... of my grand parents' time,  and those of manifold other members too! Historically no other country comes close to my "England, Wales,Scotland & Ulster"  in the hearts of so 'many' around this world we live in! It is this evocation which every poxy royal house and aristocratic dynasty of  Europe covets, rolled into one they have all hoped to be thus and maintain such a status quo, yet the (Brits- there's no such thing anymore if you ask me.... actually, was there ever such a thing a as a Britain?)/English/Scots/Welsh and some Irish have managed to maintain and 'realize' this idyll long after all the others have become dust!!!!!  Oooh.... does this sound a tad jingoistic..perhaps this is what some 'English' subjects feel when they hanker for a 'smidgeon' of pride in their past!


« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 06:32:43 AM by Toots »

alixaannencova

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #56 on: May 01, 2009, 06:02:56 PM »
As mentioned earlier Natalia, Duchess of Westminster is relatively low profile compared to her elder sister, Alexandra, Duchess of Abercorn. Below is a link to a brief bio about Natalia Westminster from the family estate website:-

http://www.grosvenorestate.com/About/Family/The+Duchess+of+Westminster.htm

The following links provide some information about Alexandra Abercorn and her principal interests. The Duchess has a much higher profile than her younger sister and is very much involved in local issues in Ulster:-

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/leicestershire/42698

http://pushkintrust.com/home.htm

http://www.barons-court.com/pushkin.html

The present Duke of Abercorn is currently Lord Steward. This office was held from 1964 until 1967 by the present Duke of Westminster's uncle, the 4th Duke! Here is a rather scanty link about the job:-

http://www.royal.gov.uk/TheRoyalHousehold/OfficialRoyalposts/TheLordSteward.aspx

Offline Lucien

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #57 on: October 08, 2009, 01:12:21 AM »
Dinner is served,Your Grace.

Unique picture:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1218628/Ten-dukes-dining-Gathered-lunch-unique-picture-grandees-2bn-340-00-acres-them.html

courtesy Dowager who posted the link on the GREMB. :)

Je Maintiendrai

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2009, 06:59:24 AM »
In one of her novels, Nancy Mitford had a French character express surprise that a British hostess could fill a dinner party with dukes from the UK and there would be no problems, as each duke would meekly accept their precedence on the basis of the creation of their dukedom.  In France, inviting all French dukes to dinner would create an fight of epic proportions as each duke trampled one another for precedence and would probably end in all the guests storming off in a huff, never to speak to their hosts again.  One of the problems would be that the dukedoms of the Bourbons, Orleans and Bonaparte reigns would all be in contention; another would be in-fighting amongst the groupings themselves.  It's nice to see that today's British dukes are even mellower - no one is taking precedence at all.

Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: Dukedoms of the realms of England, Scotland, GB, Ireland and the UK.
« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2009, 10:20:38 AM »
Hi,

Back in the fifties, I once heard this true story: -

George V and Queen Mary wanted to invite the Aga Khan to a state dinner at Windsor.
They enquired from their protocol chief as to what precendence should be observed since the Aga Khan was perceived as 'a god' to his followers.
The protocol chief answered:  "He may be a god but no one outranks a British Duke!!"......

Larry