Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the sixth Duke of Westminster — a friend of Britain's royal family and one of the country's wealthiest landowners — has died, his family said Tuesday. He was 64.
The Grosvenor Estate said the duke died at the Royal Preston Hospital in northwest England after suddenly becoming ill at his vast Abbeystead Estate nearby.
The duke's Grosvenor Estate owns 300 acres (121 hectares) in some of London's wealthiest areas.
His ancestor, Sir Thomas Grosvenor, married heiress Mary Davies and acquired what was then marshland in 1677. Over the generations the family developed the land into two of London's most affluent neighborhoods, Mayfair and Belgravia.
The family's property portfolio includes land across Britain, as well as housing, office and retail space around the world.