£10bn Duke splits with sweetheart he met at school
HERE’S some news to have female hearts fluttering across the nation: Britain’s most eligible young bachelor is said to be back on the singles’ market.
I hear that the Duke of Westminster, 27, who inherited a £10 billion fortune when his father died two years ago, has split up with his girlfriend, Harriet Tomlinson, also 27.
‘They are no longer a couple,’ claims one of their friends. ‘It’s sad, but Hugh is still young and it was too soon for him to settle down.’ It remains to be seen if the break-up is permanent or merely a temporary setback, as the Duke has been a friend of Harriet since they were pupils at £30,000-a-year Ellesmere College in Shropshire, where he was known simply as Hugh Grosvenor.
The daughter of a curtain factory boss, Harriet studied teaching at the University of Wales, Cardiff before taking a job in recruitment.
Hugh, who studied countryside management at Newcastle University, has taken Harriet on a luxury holiday to California and reports last year said the couple were ‘blissfully happy’.
He became Britain’s youngest billionaire on the death of his father, Gerald. As well as inheriting the title, he gained control of a property empire with 300 acres in Mayfair and Belgravia, as well as land in Cheshire, Oxford, Scotland and Spain.
A friend of the royals, Hugh was asked by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2013 to be Prince George’s godfather.
He was, though, brought up to be without airs and graces and began his education at a state primary near the family home of Eaton Hall, Cheshire.
A spokesman for the estate declines to discuss Hugh’s love life, telling me: ‘It has long been our policy not to comment on personal matters.’