The Royal Family has expressed their ‘shock and sadness’ after the death of the Duke of Westminster .

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, whose family seat is at Eaton Hall in Eccleston, near Chester, passed away aged 64 on Tuesday (August 9).

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are sending a message of condolence to his family.

Tributes have been coming for the billionaire landowner and philanthropist, whose wealth is estimated at £9.35bn.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: ‘’I can confirm that Her Majesty the Queen is aware of the news about the Duke of Westminster.

“A message of condolence is being sent by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.”

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are 'deeply shocked and greatly saddened' by the sudden death of their friend the Duke of Westminster, a Clarence House spokeswoman added.

His Grace, the Duke of Westminster outside the Grosvenor Rowing Club alongside the River Dee

The duke, a close friend of Prince Charles, had been staying at his country retreat of Abbeystead near Lancaster when he was taken ill.

He is survived by his wife, the Duchess of Westminster, Natalia Grosvenor, his son and heir Hugh Grosvenor and daughters Lady Tamara van Cutsem, Lady Edwina Grosvenor and Lady Viola Grosvenor.

Also the chancellor of the University of Chester, he had represented the foundation since 2005.

Vice chancellor Professor Tim Wheeler said: "He was a tireless supporter and used his influence to further the university’s interests at every opportunity.

"He represented the university on many ceremonial occasions. He was delighted to open the Westminster Building and Grosvenor House, reflecting his close association.

"The university has lost a dear friend, enthusiastic backer and loyal champion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

His Grace joined the Territorial Army more than 40 years ago and rose to the rank of Major General.

He fulfilled his dream of setting up a national rehabilitation centre for injured soldiers after buying Stanford Hall in Leicestershire for that purpose in 2011, the facility is due to open in 2018.

Major General Gerald Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, loved his time in the Army.

Former Chester Chronicle reporter Lucy Meacock shared her own experiences of meeting the duke.

She tweeted: “As a young reporter @ChesterChron I have happy memories of interviewing the Duke of Westminster. A great supporter of local charities.

“Interviewed Duke of Westminster after his eldest daughter was born. He was so happy, totally charming & so welcoming to a very nervous reporter!

“Duke of Westminster took me on tour of his massive tree planting programme in Chester. He planted many thousands. Another lasting legacy.”

In January of this year His Grace continued his family’s long association with the Victorian Chester City Baths by performing the official reopening ceremony following an almost £3m revamp.

Watch the duke at the city baths opening ceremony below:

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Chronicle readers also paid their own tributes to the duke on our Facebook page.

Lee Mac commented: “Oh, Incredibly sad news, what a wonderful man who greatly supported the North. I was lucky enough to work with him. A true gentleman in every sense of the word, a great philanthropist!”

James Clarke said: “He was a true gent and an absolute asset to our beautiful city. Send my condolences to the family.”

Jan Wilson posted: “Cheshire has lost one of its finest gentleman who did so much for the county and great military service.”

Tina Beckworth said: "Very sad. Met him once, many many years ago at the Grosvenor Hotel, and he was a lovely gentleman. Far too young. R.I.P."

What are your memories of the Duke of Westminster? Let us know in the comments below.