Billionaire British Duke Gerald Grosvenor dies aged 64

Billionaire landowner and philanthropist the Duke of Westminster has died aged 64, his estate said.

 

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor died at the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire after suddenly becoming ill on his Abbeystead Estate.

 

The duke's fortune was estimated at $10.8bn (£8.3bn) by Forbes magazine, making him the world's 68th richest person and the UK's third.

 

A friend of the Royal family, he became the sixth Duke of Westminster in 1979.

 

He had four children and his only son, Hugh Grosvenor, 25, the heir to the dukedom, is Prince George's youngest godfather.

 

Giving news of the duke's death, a spokeswoman said: "His family are all aware and they ask for privacy and understanding at this very difficult time. "No further comment will be made for the time being but further information will follow in due course."

 

Among properties across the UK, he owned 190 acres in Belgravia, an area near to Buckingham Palace, and one of London's most expensive districts.

 

The Grosvenor Estate is an international property portfolio, which manages assets of £11.8bn in more than 70 cities.