THE son and heir of the Duke of Westminster came of age in style at a 21st birthday party attended by royalty at the family’s ancestral home.
There was no expense spared when Hugh, Earl Grosvenor, celebrated at a glittering bash for 800 guests in a marquee in the gardens of Eaton Hall, Eccleston, near Chester, on Saturday evening.
Prince Harry, who stayed at the nearby Grosvenor Pulford Hotel, was among those to enjoy top class entertainment from comedian Michael McIntyre and hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks.
Hugh, a student at Newcastle University, told The Chronicle: “The party was simply amazing – a birthday and a party I will never forget. It is the beginning of a new era in my life and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
Combining tradition with modernity, the dress code was ‘black tie and neon’ with female guests looking glamorous in designer dresses at Chester society’s event of the year.
The lucky party-goers included not only family and friends but also long-serving members of the Grosvenor Estate staff.
It is understood guests who insisted on giving a present were invited to add to Hugh’s wine collection.
When the clock chimed 12, there was an amazing light show which lit up Eaton Hall to wish Hugh ‘happy birthday’ on his actual birthday.
So tight was the security operation that it was reported the doors of vehicles relaying guests to the party had been sealed up with tape to prevent gate-crashers.
Locally there is speculation the party may have cost anything up to £5m to stage.
Grosvenor Estate has erected decorative gates within the grounds of Eaton Hall to commemorate the birthdays of the Earl Grosvenor and the Duke, who turned 60 in December.