The life of the sixth Duke of Westminster , Major General Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, will be commemorated at Chester Cathedral this afternoon (November 28).

A memorial service will begin at 2pm for the late Duke, who died aged 64 on August 9 while visiting his Abbeystead country retreat near Lancaster.

It is expected the service at the cathedral, which has a capacity of about 2,000, will be attended by members of the Royal Family along with family, close friends, estate workers, local, national and international VIPs and representatives of charities the Duke had links with.

There is a high security presence in Chester , with many roads temporarily closed.

Signing off

It’s time to close the blog for today. Thank you for following our updates as the 6th Duke of Westminster was remembered at Chester Cathedral.

We’ll have plenty of more stories on today’s service so make sure you keep your eyes on The Chronicle website.

And don’t miss our souvenir 16-page special tribute supplement to the Duke in this Thursday’s Chester Chronicle.

What about the service?

Distinguished and influential tenor Ian Bostridge CBE, accompanied by Andrew Wyatt, assistant director of music at Chester Cathedral, performed Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck.

Readings were given by the 7th Duke of Westminster, who read his father’s favourite poem, If, by Rudyard Kipling; Richard Lyttleton, cousin of the late Duke, who read Revelation 21: 1-7 and the Duke of Cambridge, who read the Garter Prayer, part of the annual service for Knights of the Order of the Garter, with which the late Duke had been honoured.

Tributes were given by Jeremy Newsum, executive trustee of the Grosvenor Estate who spoke of his long business partnership with the late Duke; General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman, programme director of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre who spoke of the Duke’s military career and Andrew Hay, a close family friend and relative.

Lady Edwina Snow, the late Duke’s second daughter, also gave a reading.

The 7th Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, arriving for a memorial service to celebrate the life of his father, the sixth Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The 7th Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, arriving for a memorial service to celebrate the life of his father, the sixth Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Overseas guests

Members of overseas royal families included Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain (representing King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa) and Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece was there representing King Constantine II of Hellenes.

There were about 1,400 guests at the service.

Who was there?

A press release from Grosvenor Estate has confirmed some of the more prominent guests who attended the service today.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were represented by the Prince of Wales.

Also in attendance were the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Eugenie of York (representing the Duke of York), the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Lady Rose Gilman, the Duke of Kent (representing the Duchess of Kent), Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra. The Hon. Lady Ogilvy also attended.

Prince Henry of Wales was represented by Miss Helen Asprey, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex were represented by Major General John Crackett and the Princess Royal was represented by Mrs David Bowes-Lyon.

The Duke of Cambridge leaves after a memorial service to celebrate the life of the sixth Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The Duke of Cambridge leaves after a memorial service to celebrate the life of the sixth Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

All guests gone

The cathedral has emptied but we have more to report on the service. Details about what went on behind those huge cathedral doors have come through from Grosvenor Estate...

The day in pictures

Here’s a gallery of images from today’s service.

Really?

Nice try, @RealAleChester...

Streaming out

Clearly, it takes a long time for 2,000 people to leave the cathedral.

Watch: Charles and William leave service

Excellent footage here of those special Royal guests leaving the cathedral.

VIP guests

This picture from earlier shows the moment Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall made their way to the cathedral.

The cavalcade carrying the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arriving for a memorial service to celebrate the life of her husband, the sixth Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The cavalcade carrying the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arriving for the memorial service. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Thank you and goodbye

William and Kate depart

On the lookout

Hope Bill wasn’t too disappointed.

Away they go

Royal wave goodbye

The doors have reopened

On guard

The guests are still inside.

Long journey

Feeling the chill

It’s hat and gloves weather in Chester today.

Almost over

With the service due to end at 3pm, the cars have returned to the west door.

Showing their support

Bus drama

As crowds gathered to see guests arriving for the service, a bus collided with one of the stands at the exchange just around the corner.

A Cheshire West and Chester Council spokeswoman said:

The incident is not having any impact on traffic in the area and is isolated on the site. We are currently contacting the Street Scene team to clear up the area.”

Full story HERE.

Statement due

We’ve been told by Grosvenor Estate that we’ll have a press release issued to us at 3pm. No word yet on what it will contain.

Those royal arrivals again

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving for a memorial service to celebrate the life of the sixth Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral. Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving for a memorial service to celebrate the life of the sixth Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arriving for a memorial service to celebrate the life of the sixth Duke of Westminster at Chester Cathedral. Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arriving (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Brewing up

While the service continues inside, police take a well-earned brew break.

Public support

Our reporters are now talking to some of the people who lined the streets to pay their respects.

How long will it last?

The service got under way at 2pm. We’re been led to believe it will last for approximately an hour.

It will not be relayed on screens or through speakers to the crowds outside.

Huge crowds gathered outside Chester Cathedral ahead of the Duke of Westminster's memorial service
Huge crowds outside Chester Cathedral ahead of the Duke of Westminster's memorial service

Royal wave

There was a wave to the crowd from Prince Charles as he made his way into the cathedral.

Paying his respects

Prince Charles was a good friend of the Duke’s.

William and Kate arrive