THE Duke of Westminster’s son Hugh celebrated his 21st birthday at his family’s Eaton Hall estate in Chester at the weekend.
Superstar comedian Michael McIntyre and chart-topping band Rizzle Kicks were the headline entertainers for guests, 80% of whom were estate staff.
No media was allowed into the star-studded event but The Chronicle has been provided with this insider’s account by Grosvenor Estate
HUGH’S 21st birthday party was certainly a night that guests are unlikely ever to forget.
The Belgrave drive of Eaton Hall was lit by torches and candles, a green laser light shot into the sky from the obelisk.
The party started with a glass of champagne as guests were received by the Duke and Duchess and Earl Grosvenor.
Next a wonderful firework display lit up the night sky over the drive and then in to a dinner – a ‘tasting plate’ of half a scotch egg, smoked salmon and Morecambe Bay potted shrimps for starters; steak and chips for the main course. Puddings were provided in a bar area off the dance floor. The marquee was dark with dramatic table decorations.
The Duke and Earl Grosvenor each gave a speech. The Duke explained that Hugh was the first heir for 133 years to be both born at Eaton and to celebrate their 21st birthday there (since the second Duke, born in 1879).
He wanted to thank all the guests – family, friends and staff – for supporting the family and contributing to Hugh’s childhood and he commented that many of the guests had also been present at his own 21st birthday party. Everyone raised their glasses in a toast to Hugh.
Earl Grosvenor himself made a very confident speech in which he joked about growing up with sisters and thanked his parents for their unconditional love.
During dinner the Urban Soul Orchestra played.
After dinner Michael McIntyre took to the stage and had the audience laughing with his comments, among other topics, about the length of the driveway and how Chester was ‘less Hollyoaks’ than he had imagined.
Then the guests took to the floor with dancing to a disco and hip hop band Rizzle Kicks.
As the clock turned midnight to January 29 (Hugh’s actual birthday) a lighting display lit up Eaton Hall to the delight of guests to announce ‘Happy Birthday Hugh’.
The partying continued well into the early hours with many returning to their hotels in and around Chester for just a few hours’ sleep.
On Monday, January 30, a Grosvenor Estate pensioners’ lunch was held in the marquee with tables hosted by members of the Grosvenor family.