At the U.K.'s “Society Wedding of the Decade" on June 7, Guests (Including Prince William) Are Being Asked to Adhere to This Interesting Rule

Though the wedding of Olivia Henson and Hugh Grosvenor is technically non-royal, it’s very, very royally adjacent—royal family drama (unfortunately) included.

Hugh Grosvenor and Olivia Henson
(Image credit: Victoria Tetley/Grosvenor 2024)

We are less than 48 hours away from what The Daily Mail is calling “the society wedding of the decade,” when Olivia Henson, 31, will marry the Duke of Westminster Hugh Grosvenor, 33, and become the Duchess of Westminster. The couple will marry at Chester Cathedral on June 7, which the couple chose “for both its beauty and long association with the Grosvenor family, including to the Duke personally,” a spokesperson for the couple said, per The Sun. The spokesperson added that “Cheshire is the Grosvenor family’s ancestral home and, as Miss Henson’s connection to the region continues to grow, they are keen to plan their wedding there.”

Chester Cathedral

The couple will marry on June 7 at Chester Cathedral, seen here.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Grosvenor’s parents, the late 6th Duke of Westminster and Natalia Phillips, were also married at the cathedral on October 7, 1978.

Following the wedding service on Friday, guests are invited to a reception at nearby Eaton Hall on the Grosvenors’ 11,000-acre estate; a second, smaller reception will be held the next day for close family and friends.

The Times calls the upcoming wedding “the most royal non-royal wedding of the year, with members of Britain’s oldest and wealthiest aristocratic families heading north.” The couple will marry after being introduced by mutual friends and becoming a couple in October 2021 and announcing their engagement in April 2023; People reports that the Grosvenor family’s net worth is estimated at $12.8 billion, which the Duke of Westminster inherited after the death of his father in 2016.

Perhaps appropriately, the bride and groom are asking that their roughly 400 guests adhere to “a strictly no-gifts policy,” The Sun reports. 

Eaton Hall

After the wedding ceremony, guests will attend a reception at nearby Eaton Hall, located on the Grosvenors’ 11,000-acre estate.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Though the wedding isn’t a royal wedding—though it is royally adjacent, if you will—much of the buzz surrounding it has been if both Prince William and Prince Harry will attend, as both are close friends of the groom (who is godfather to both of their eldest children, Prince George and Prince Archie, respectively). Marie Claire reported earlier today that Harry had declined the invitation because of an “understanding between the two friends” (Harry and Grosvenor)—and probably at least partially because William will be an usher at the ceremony. 

“It’s incredibly sad it has come to this,” a friend speaking to The Sun said. “Hugh is one of very few close friends of William and Harry’s who has maintained strong bonds and a line of communication with both. He wishes they could put their heads together and patch things up, but realizes it’s unlikely to happen before the wedding.”

Further, no one wanted to overshadow the day—especially for the sake of the bride, Henson—and no one wanted awkwardness, The Sun reports.  

Prince William and Prince Harry

William will serve as an usher at the wedding; Harry has opted to skip.

(Image credit: Getty)

Royal author Phil Dampier told The Sun that Grosvenor spoke with Harry over the phone, who “accepted his dilemma”: “Harry is probably very upset that he isn’t coming, as he has been close to the Duke for many years,” Dampier said. “But it was just a nonstarter. If he had come, he would have been ordered to his seat by William, who is an usher, and the friction would have been obvious for all to see. Harry must resent William’s prominent role, and the brothers are as far apart as ever, but it seems Harry understands the problem for the Duke of Westminster. It’s just another example of how sad it is that we’ve come to this, and William and Harry are on such bad terms. It’s causing distress, not just for them, but also their friends.”

About a month ahead of the wedding, Henson and Grosvenor visited their wedding venue, Chester Cathedral, to highlight some of the causes the family’s Westminster Foundation works with, People reports. “A local business group also revealed on May 30 that the couple paid for the traditional display of 100,000 flowers that will be planted across the city in the coming weeks as part of their wedding festivities,” the outlet writes. 

Hugh Grosvenor and Olivia Henson

The couple announced their engagement in 2023 after two years of dating.

(Image credit: Grosvenor 2023)

A spokesperson for the couple said in a statement that “They are very grateful for all the support and kind wishes they have received from people and organizations ahead of their wedding.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.