The 6th Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, died on Tuesday from a heart attack, the Coroner’s Office have confirmed.
The billionaire landowner, who was worth £9.35 billion (c$13 billion), passed away at Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire after suddenly falling ill on his Abbeystead Estate.
Leading the tributes to the 64-year-old were The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. A spokesperson for the couple said that they were “deeply shocked and saddened” by the sudden death of their friend.
Her Majesty The Queen has written a private letter of condolence that will be send to the Duke’s family. Buckingham Palace said she was made aware of his passing yesterday evening.
Kensington Palace have also released a statement saying: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were very sad to learn of the Duke of Westminster’s passing yesterday. Their thoughts are very much with his family this morning.”
A message posted on the Duke’s website read: “He was a passionate country man, committed soldier, an excellent shot, a true entrepreneur and, importantly, he went out of his way to be courteous and humorous with all people, regardless of status or wealth.”
The father-of-four was a close friend of the Royal Family, and his widow, the Dowager Duchess of Westminster is godmother to Prince William.
Funeral arrangements will be released at a later date, and it is expected senior members of the Royal Family will be in attendance.
In the meantime, the Duke’s family have requested for ‘privacy and understanding’.
Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke’s only son, succeeds his father to the Dukedom of Westminster. He will officially hold the title after his father’s funeral.
The Duke leaves behind his wife, Natalia Grosvenor, Dowager Duchess of Westminster, four children and four grandchildren. Hugh Grosvenor will assume the title of Duke of Westminster shortly after the funeral takes place.