Robert Grosvenor, 5th Duke of Westminster

For other people named Robert Grosvenor, see Robert Grosvenor (disambiguation).
Lieutenant Colonel His Grace
The Duke of Westminster
Lord Lieutenant of Fermanagh
In office
7 February 1977  19 February 1979
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Thomas Scott
Succeeded by Viola, Duchess of Westminster
Member of the House of Lords
as Duke of Westminster
In office
25 February 1967  19 February 1979
Preceded by Gerald Grosvenor
Succeeded by Gerald Grosvenor
Member of Parliament
for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
In office
2 September 1955  15 October 1964
Preceded by Philip Clarke
Succeeded by Marquess of Hamilton
Personal details
Born Robert George Grosvenor
(1910-04-24)24 April 1910
Died 19 February 1979(1979-02-19) (aged 68)
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
Spouse(s) Viola Maud Lyttelton
(m. 1946)
Children Leonora Anson, Countess of Lichfield
Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster
Jane Innes-Ker, Duchess of Roxburghe
Parents Lord Hugh Grosvenor
Lady Mabel Crichton
Residence Eaton Hall, Cheshire
Ely Lodge, Enniskillen
Occupation British Army officer and politician
Awards Efficiency Decoration and clasp (TD)
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1938–1960
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit 11th (City of London) Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade
City of London Yeomanry
North Irish Horse
Battles/wars World War II

Lieutenant-Colonel Robert George Grosvenor, 5th Duke of Westminster, DSO, TD, JP, DL (24 April 1910 – 19 February 1979) was a British soldier, landowner, businessman and politician. In the 1970s he was the richest man in Britain.

Early life

Grosvenor was born Robert Grosvenor, the son of Lord Hugh Grosvenor, sixth son and tenth child of Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster by his second wife, the Honourable Katherine Cavendish. His mother, Lady Mabel Crichton, was the daughter of John Crichton, 4th Earl Erne.

He was educated at Eton College, an all-boys public boarding school in Berkshire. He was a member of the school's contingent of the junior division of the Officer Training Corps. He reached the rank of cadet lance corporal.[1]

Military career

Grave of Robert Grosvenor, 5th Duke of Westminster
The 5th Duke of Westminster's memorial in Eccleston Church

On 28 June 1938, Grosvenor was commissioned into the 11th (City of London Yeomanry) Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade, a newly formed Territorial Army unit of the Royal Artillery, as a second lieutenant.[1] He ended World War II as a war substantive major.[2]

On 1 May 1947, he transferred to the reformed City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders) and was promoted from his pre-war substantive rank of second lieutenant to major with seniority from 24 April 1944. His service number was 76151.[2] He transferred to the North Irish Horse on 1 May 1949.[3] On 11 November 1949, he was awarded the Efficiency Decoration (TD) for long service with the Territorial Army.[4] He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 15 February 1953.[5] He was awarded a clasp to his Efficiency Decoration on 26 October 1954.[6] On 14 February 1956, he moved from the Active List to the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers.[7] He resigned his commission on 15 April 1960 and was permitted to retain the rank of lieutenant colonel.[8]

Political career

Grosvenor lived in Northern Ireland most of his life at Ely Lodge, Blaney on an island in the middle of Lough Erne. In 1952 he was appointed High Sheriff of Fermanagh.[9]

In the 1955 general election, he was elected to Parliament as member for Fermanagh & South Tyrone. Re-elected in 1959, he retired in 1964, he was succeeded by his cousin, the Marquess of Hamilton. In parliament he stuck mainly to constituency issues, but was responsible for a bill to help increase adoptions, which became the Adoption Act 1964. He was described in his successor's maiden speech as popular and well-liked.


On 3 December 1946, he married his second cousin, Hon. Viola Maud Lyttelton,[10] a daughter of the 9th Viscount Cobham, and they had three children:

In 1963, his cousin died and his brother Gerald became Duke of Westminster. A Royal Warrant of Precedence was issued to allow him to adopt the style of Lord Robert Grosvenor. Upon his brother's death in 1967, Robert became 5th Duke of Westminster. Although he took his seat in the House of Lords, he never spoke, surprisingly considering his political career. Westminster was appointed honorary colonel of the North Irish Horse in 1971. He died at Ely Lodge near Enniskillen, N. Ireland on 19 February 1979[10] and was buried in the churchyard of Eccleston Church near Eaton Hall, Cheshire.

Styles of address

  1. Although The Duke of Westminster is the 14th Grosvenor Baronet of Eaton, by custom the post-nominal of Bt is omitted, since Peers of the Realm do not list subsidiary hereditary titles.


  1. 1 2 The London Gazette: no. 34527. p. 4245. 1 July 1938. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  2. 1 2 The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38119. p. 5294. 7 November 1947. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38641. p. 2990. 17 June 1949. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  4. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38757. p. 5351. 11 November 1949. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39781. p. 1023. 17 February 1953. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40307. p. 6049. 26 October 1954. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40744. p. 1954. 30 March 1956. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42043. p. 3726. 24 May 1960. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  9. The Belfast Gazette: no. 1593. p. 2. 4 January 1952. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  10. 1 2 "The Non-Sovereign Princely and Ducal Houses of Europe Volume III - WII". Almanach de Gotha. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Philip Clarke
Member of Parliament for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Succeeded by
Marquess of Hamilton
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Thomas Patrick David Scott
Lord Lieutenant of Fermanagh
Succeeded by
The Duchess of Westminster
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gerald Grosvenor
Duke of Westminster
Succeeded by
Gerald Grosvenor
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