For the first time we reveal the country’s wealthiest landlord - is it who you thought it was?
Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor is the country’s richest landlord and the owner of almost 200 acres of London’s exclusive Belgravia district, and more than 100,000 acres of Scotland.
Also known as the Duke of Westminster, Gerald is valued at a cool £8.2 billion by Forbes, making him the third richest person in the UK.
Along with his family he runs the Grosvenor Estate property group, which owns swathes of land both here and abroad, and employs over 1,400 people.
The root of the Grosvenor’s property empire can be traced to 1677, when a marriage with an heiress brought 500 acres of London land into the family. Back then the land was swamp, pasture and orchards, but it’s now highly valuable metropolitan real estate, a large chunk of which is still owned by the family.
Gerald went to Harrow School (which he apparently hated) and the Sandhurst academy, before beginning a military career. He rose through the ranks, and was appointed Assistant Chief of Defence Staff for the Reserves and Cadets in 2004.
The property magnate’s wife Natalia is a direct descendant of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. They have three daughters and one son. He also runs a charity called the Westminster Foundation, which supports communities struggling with poverty.
Gerald inherited the family’s vast estate when he was still a teenager, after spending most of his childhood in a remote part of Northern Ireland.
When asked about his family’s vast fortune, the Duke once said : “We are rich in terms of property and the quality of property. It is not something that concerns me. Never has. In not interested in material things. Honestly. It would drive me bonkers if I thought too deeply about it.”