11.8 C
London
Friday, October 23, 2020

The Duke of Westminster

A tribute to Gerald Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Westminster (1951 – 2016)

 

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the 6th Duke of Westminster was a man of duty dedicated to his country, its military and to the countryside he so loved.

 

Described in a poignant tribute on the Grosvenor Estate’s website as “distinctly down-to-earth” and “rarely seen without a Diet Coke and a cigarette (later electric)”, the Duke – one of the country’s finest shots – was not one to mince his words and not one to shirk from a row. He took Westminster Council to court when they proposed selling off a housing estate in Pimlico intended by his ancestors specifically for the use of the working classes and won and then subsequently quit the Conservative Party in 1993 after a row with John Major over his leasehold reform legislation. At the time, he stated: “I had to leave because of my own conscience. I took a moral stand”.

 

Not without his flaws – including a little bit of a scandal in 2008 involving a New York escort service – and someone prone to sleepless nights and depression, the Duke may have been a billionaire but he also had the common touch. Though he made the founding gift of £50 million to the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in 2011 and supported farmers hit by the 2001 foot and mouth crisis with a £500,000 donation, he was just as likely to be found offering words of encouragement and sharing laughter in the communities he so especially treasured in Cheshire and at Abbeystead in Lancashire.

 

In 1995, appearing on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs, the Duke remarked:

 

“In the context of eternity, if I am lucky I might live 70 years, but this estate has been with us for 3, 4, 5, 600 years. I am only a mere flicker in the process of time. It is what I do with it, rather than what I am worth, that I believe is more important”.

 

Modest to his core and a man with a loathing for such tags as “environmentalist” and “philanthropist”, the Duke left the Grosvenor Estate in a far better state than he found it in 1979. He may have been born with a silver spoon, but he understood that with rights came responsibilities.

 

 

Subscribe to our free once daily email newsletter here:[wysija_form id=”2″]

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Outing Randy Andy

Will ‘Randy Andy’ the Duke of York erupt in anger with the outing of the depositions of Ghislaine Maxwell this morning? Could this be the non-sweater’s last stand?

Wally of the Week – Phillip Schofield

Tempestuous television presenter Phillip Schofield bizarrely claims to have been murdered in a past life because of a debt.

Filthy Natalie

Wife of ‘Naughty Tory’ turned replacement MP Natalie Elphicke turns to talking about filthy water (but avoids the topic of her jailbird hubby’s bottom groping).

Get Menendez Out of The Hole

As Erik Menendez is undeservedly thrown in ‘the hole’ in the most ludicrous fashion in California, Matthew Steeples suggests it is time both him and his equally abused brother Lyle were finally released.

Going Bonkers For A Bin

Auctioneers Christie’s sought to sell five waste bins for £230; they ultimately went for the astounding sum of just under £34,000.

Junk the Junk Mail

Instead of banning people from enjoying themselves, the government should should do something useful and ban a genuine disease spreader: Junk mail.

Picture of the Week – A Red Squirrel Riot

Images of a red squirrel fighting a pheasant for hazelnuts and bird seed are proof that both creatures can be quite feisty.

A Pyrotechnic Pad

Mansion in controversial compound in The Boltons, SW10 for sale for £50 million; the setting has seen court cases and pyrotechnic parties involving a self-declared “Relentless” multi-millionaire.

Muddled McCann

As Christian Brueckner’s lawyer justifiably suggests he cannot have been present when Madeleine McCann was allegedly kidnapped, Matthew Steeples argues that other developments will also likely lead nowhere.

A Metropolitan Mess

Though Darren Grimes is frankly nothing but an irritating Brexiteer brat, the Metropolitan Police investigation into his conduct as an interviewer is nothing but ludicrous.

Randy Andy’s Last Stamp

As the Queen stops selling postcards featuring Prince Andrew, an online card printer has started selling ones of the late Jeffrey Epstein’s friend ‘Randy Andy’ with a rather controversial caption.

Moron of the Moment – Benjamin Clark

Extinction Rebellion activist Benjamin Clark deserved more than a fine for painting the word “racist” on a statue of Churchill.

Anth’ Swings Back to Flakegate

Anthea Turner swings into an interview with ‘The Sun’ and shares that she had therapy over her tacky ‘Flakegate’ wedding photos.

Mucky Mossad Madam Maxwell

As prosecutors seek to withhold evidence from alleged Mossad operative Ghislaine Maxwell, the mucky madam has hired a lawyer whose previous clients have been mostly terrorists.

A Marvellous Party with Mrs Bucket

Dame Patricia Routledge’s rendition of ‘I’ve Been To A Marvellous Party’ for theatrical charities will most certainly lift your spirits.

Sorry Hopkins

After Katie Hopkins was forced to say “sorry” to Finsbury Park Mosque, she should now be sent to where she belongs – social media’s equivalent of Siberia.

Weather Now

London
few clouds
11.8 ° C
13 °
11.1 °
93 %
3.1kmh
12 %
Fri
15 °
Sat
16 °
Sun
14 °
Mon
13 °
Tue
12 °