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Duke of Westminster's memorial service will be attended by international VIPs

Chester Cathedral will host the event on Monday, November 28, for about 2,000 guests
St Mary’s Church, Eccleston, where all the Dukes of Westminster are buried including the sixth Duke, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor

Around 2,000 guests – likely to include members of the Royal Family – are expected to attend a memorial service at Chester Cathedral to commemorate the life of the sixth Duke of Westminster .

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor died aged 64 on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 9, after suffering a heart attack while visiting his shooting estate in rural Lancashire.

But his family’s ancestral home is Eaton Hall, Eccleston , near Chester.

So it is fitting the memorial service will take place at Chester Cathedral from 2pm on Monday, November 28.

Duke of Westminster dies aged 64

Signs have been erected about road closures and parking restrictions associated with the Duke of Westminster Memorial Service which takes place on November 28.

A briefing sent to Cheshire West and Chester councillors yesterday (November 16) reveals the scale and high profile nature of the event which will inevitably cause disruption in the city centre .

It reads: “It is expected that around 2,000 guests will be attending the ticketed service including family, close friends, estate workers, local, national and international VIPs and representatives of charities the Duke had links with.

 

“It is anticipated that security around the event will be high, particularly on the day. The police are working closely with the Westminster family to ensure that all guests and members of the public remain safe.”

The majority of guests, including Chester MP Chris Matheson , will be transported in and out of the city via 40 private coaches and, during the service, these will be parked securely at the Castle car park, which will be closed for the day.

Chester MP Chris Matheson, who is among the guests at the Memorial Service.

Many guests received invitations to attend. But others were invited to apply for a place in notices which appeared in The Times, The Telegraph and The Chester Chronicle. Applicants were asked to explain their connection to the late Duke and warned that guests would face background security checks and searches on the day.

Signs have now gone up in the city centre giving advance notice of ‘a major city event’ with road closures affecting the majority of city centre streets.

Chester road closures for the Duke of Westminster's memorial service

The Duke, a close friend of Prince Charles , had been staying at his country home at Abbeystead, near Lancaster, when he suffered a heart attack while on the moors. Locals to Abbeystead say he was accompanied by a gamekeeper when he fell ill. He was conveyed by air ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital where he sadly died.

A shooting party, due to have been hosted at Abbeystead for family and close friends on August 12, was cancelled as a mark of respect. That date is referred to as ‘The Glorious Twelfth’ in aristocratic circles as a significant date in the social calendar marking the start of the grouse shooting season.

The Grosvenor family's country retreat Abbeystead House in Abbeystead, Lancashire. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The Duke is survived by his wife, the Duchess of Westminster , Natalia Grosvenor, daughters Lady Tamara van Cutsem , Lady Edwina Grosvenor and Lady Viola Grosvenor and his 25-year-old son and heir Hugh Grosvenor , who inherits the title of seventh Duke of Westminster.

Like many of his forebears, the sixth Duke was an accomplished soldier who rose to the rank of Major General. He was a passionate supporter of a vision to create The Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) for wounded soldiers in Leicestershire, which is due to open in 2018. And he made the founding gift of £50 million. Donations in the duke’s memory will go towards the centre and can be made by visiting: www.thednrc.org.uk

The 6th Duke of Westminster in his own words

Hugh, the seventh Duke of Westminster, at his 21st birthday party, with his late father, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the sixth Duke of Westminster.

City centre road closures will be in place from 6pm the previous evening affecting the whole or sections of Northgate Street, St Werburgh Street, Eastgate Street, Foregate Street and St John Street for up to 24 hours.

Other road closures, from 7am on the day itself, will affect Bridge Street, Watergate Street, Northgate Street from Canal Street to Princess Street and Hunter Street for up to 11 hours.

The footpath on the City Walls between Bell Tower Walk and the steps down to Frodsham Court will also be closed from 6am on the day for a maximum 12 hours.

Charities pay tribute to Duke of Westminster's work

Parking will be suspended on the following lengths of road from 3pm on November 27, for a maximum 27 hours:

■ St Werburgh Street, full length,

■ Eastgate Street from St Werburgh Street to Foregate Street

■ Lower Bridge Street from Duke Street to Old Dee Bridge

■ City Road (east side) from Station Road to Queens Road

■ Station Road (north east side) from its south-easterly end for a distance of 45 metres in a north-westerly direction

The briefing to councillors explained: “The council is part of the multi-agency group project team helping to ensure that the Memorial Service is successful and runs smoothly and safely. The council and Chester Bid Company are engaging closely with city centre businesses to try and mitigate any potential disruptions to the city on 28 November.

Lord Mayor of Chester leads city tributes following death of Duke of Westminster

“Messages are going out to the general public via council’s websites and social media accounts, stating that it is business as usual on 28 November, though increased traffic around the city may be experienced. Where possible the public will be encouraged to use public transport and the city centre park and ride sites will be operating as normal.”

For more details about road closures, visit the council website .

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