What to expect from the Duke of Westminster's 'society wedding of the year' - The Standard podcast (2024)

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The Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, who’s the richest man in Britain under forty, is marrying his long-term girlfriend Olivia Henson this Friday, in what’s being called the ‘society wedding of the year’.

The 33-year-old owns 300 acres of London with a cool £10.42 billion under his belt, and he also has links to the royal family; he’s godfather to both Prince William’s son, George and Harry’s son Archie.

The wedding is being held at Eaton Hall, a mock French chateau set in 10,872 acres of Cheshire.

Journalist Alice co*ckerell tells The Standard podcast what to expect from the wedding, which celebrities and royals are likely to attend, and whether the occasion could see the reunion of Princes William and Harry.

In part two of this episode, our Arts Correspondent Robert Dex discusses Baby Reindeer’s success at the Gotham TV Awards, and considers whether the Netflix drama will go on to win more prizes.

Listen above, find us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you stream your podcasts.

Here’s an automated transcript:

From London, I'm Jon Weeks and this is The Standard.

Coming up in part two today, as Netflix drama Baby Reindeer wins a prize at the Gotham TV Awards, our arts correspondent, Robert Dex, discusses the show's success and its controversy.

But first, it's being called the ‘Society Wedding of the Year’.

The Duke of Westminster, 33-year-old Hugh Grosvenor, who's the richest man in Britain under 40, is marrying his long-term girlfriend, Olivia Henson, this Friday.

He owns 300 acres of London with a cool 10.42 billion pounds under his belt.

And he also has links to the royal family.

He's godfather to both Prince William's son, George, and Harry's son, Archie.

The wedding is being held at Eaton Hall, a mock French chateau set in 10,872 acres of Cheshire.

And journalist Alice co*ckerell has been speaking with some of the guests and looking into what the wedding is likely to entail.

So Alice, first of all, who is the Duke of Westminster and how did he become godfather to George and Archie?

Well, so important things to know about Hugh, he was born Earl Grosvenor.

He's 33 and he is the richest man under 40 in the UK.

He is fantastically rich.

He owns about 30 acres of tip top, not just London, but Mayfair, Belgravia type thing.

There's kind of a very long royal connection with Grosvenor family, the Westminster family and the royal family.

Actually, the Duke of Westminster was the last non-royal person to be created to Duke by Queen Victoria.

I mean, some people say it's because I think the Grosvenors lend the royal family money from time to time.

I don't know if that's true, but it's a great dynastic friendship.

Hugh has a distinction of being godfather to both William and Harry's children, George and Archie.

His sister Edwina was Princess Diana's goddaughter.

I think Prince Charles is Hugh's godfather.

You know, it's kind of gone on and on and they're great friends.

They love shooting things together.

And he's just a great, I can see why he would stay friends.

He has the kind of capacity to stay friends with both of them because he's just a very kind of sweet-natured kind of taciturn, but just friendly, amiable fellow.

And this wedding is being called the Society Wedding of the Year.

Why is there so much interest in this wedding specifically?

I think probably two, I mean, it's the kind of like the closest thing to a royal wedding for a long time.

You know, and there'll be lots of royals there.

Some certainly, Prince William, who's set to be Usher.

I think maybe Prince George will be a page boy.

And I think just historically, they are quite kind of beloved in Cheshire and Chester.

You know, they own a lot, a lot of the land and they own kind of quite a lot of the town.

There's a Chester Grosvenor, which was booked up, the lock, stock and barrel, kind of pretty much the minute the engagement was announced.

And so all the, everyone's very well disposed to them.

They've kind of got great ties.

Hugh went to local schools.

And his sisters, they all kind of went to the village school.

They weren't sent away.

So undoubtedly there will be a kind of contingent in the city, which is going to be gridlocked.

I mean, like countless roads are closed and shops and stuff.

So, I mean, there will be a contingent.

People will find it unbelievably annoying.

But I think a huge majority of people just love the family and will just be really excited by a romp.

I think they're buying, there's like free ice creams being given out and things.

I mean, it will just be a great day, I think, for the city, you know, because I think it will be very glamorous and there'll be lots of good people to snap in the way in.

And obviously it's being held at a grand venue.

What do we know about that venue?

And is there any inkling so far about what glamorous elements there will be, what entertainment is being put on?

Well, it's been completely cloak and dagger, really.

I've spoken to a few people who are going and they all are really twitchy about telling me anything.

But I think quite a lot, they don't know anything.

I tried to invite myself over to someone's house because she wouldn't send me a picture of the invitation.

So I was hoping it would be on her mantelpiece and I could scrutinize it, but she wouldn't let me come over.

So there's like a great deal of mystery surrounding it.

But I mean, the precedent, there's kind of two bits of precedent, which is that for Hugh's 21st birthday, apparently spent five million pounds.

Michael McIntyre cracked jokes and the Rizzle Kicks sung songs.

So they kind of, they're great party throwers.

And at Lady Tamara's wedding, someone told me it was just amazing because the house, which is kind of an Eton hall, which is not to everyone's taste, it's this kind of mock French chateau, but it's just got the most amazing garden.

So there's a million kind of grottos and fountains and lakes and everything's lit up and there'll be a million fireworks and you know, lots of kind of different bits to the wedding.

I think quite a lot of excitement for them.

They're not only quite kind of diffident and don't want a circus, but I think they're also quite excited about doing a big reveal, which is why they've kept the details very, very close to their chests.

And you mentioned the obvious links between this family and the royal family.

Which famous faces are we expected to see there?

I suppose both from the royal family, but also other famous people that presumably he knows.

So we know Prince William is being an usher, I believe, and we don't know whether Prince George is going to be a page boy.

I think sadly, the Princess of Wales won't be there.

Neither will King Charles.

But Harry, the big question is Harry.

And it's pretty certain he's not going to be there.

But the great question is whether he just wasn't invited.

He was NFI'd because it was thought to be too awkward.

Or whether he was given a save the date, but then he found out his brother was going to be usher.

And so he just kind of tore it up in a rage and has refused to go.

I mean, Hugh is, I think, he's very diplomatic.

I would have thought he would have made overtures to Harry to come.

But yeah, I think he's very unlikely to pitch up.

He's got very glamorous kind of cousins.

His sister is married to Dan Snow, the historian, heartthrob.

He's got this very glamorous cousin called Lady Eloise Anson, who's married to this guy who writes with James Corden called Louis Weymouth.

Yeah, I mean, there'll be kind of lots of society figures, but they themselves aren't real kind of party animals at all.

They're not kind of known on the social scene.

So yeah, lots of them will be kind of glamorous aristocratic cousins, I would say.

And as you mentioned, so far, the guests have been quite hush hush about details and not a lot is known about the wedding.

Are we expecting things to come out once the wedding's being held?

Will there be sort of paparazzi there?

Will there be photos and videos that appear?

Or is it going to stay fairly sort of schtum?

I mean, all the press have been asked for accreditation.

The security is very high.

I think there's going to be, like in a royal wedding, there's kind of going to be a press enclosure.

I know that the guests have been asked not to do any social media.

They're not allowed to post and things.

They're not allowed to do kind of any live TikToking from the cathedral afterwards back at Eaton Hall.

So I wonder how much, I mean, the nature of these things is there will be plenty of gossip will come out afterwards.

But yeah, they certainly want to keep it as kind of close to their chest as they can.

Let's take a quick break now.

Coming up in part two, our arts correspondent, Robert Dex, discusses Baby Reindeer's success at the Gotham TV Awards.

I mean, the thing is, he will never have a better chance than he has now.

His name will be at the top of everyone's list in TV execs.

People will want to work for him.

Welcome back.

Now, Richard Gadd, the comedian and creator of the hit Netflix drama, Baby Reindeer, has said he never thought in a million years it would be a hit after winning the prize for Breakthrough Limited Series at the Gotham TV Awards.

Our arts correspondent, Robert Dex, joins me now to discuss the success of the series.

So Rob, are you surprised Baby Reindeer has won this award for Best Breakthrough Series?

No, is the short answer, we can do it now and go home.

No, yeah, without getting too complicated, it's a great story, isn't it?

It's a fantastic story.

The fact it is mostly apparently based on real life makes it even better.

The performances are fantastic.

I mean, I think maybe some people are surprised because it's so dark.

People perhaps think, how has it been so successful?

But I think people like a bit of darkness, especially a bit of darkness that you could then switch off and go back to your own life.

That's it.

And Richard Gadds, interestingly, after winning this award, said he never thought in a million years, it would be a hit.

What did you make of his comments?

Is that him just being modest?

Well, I think it was a bit of that.

He said, I've got his quote here, I never thought in a million years, this dark, weird, messed up show would have brought in this universal love that it's received.

I'd maybe dispute the phrase universal love.

You know, I don't think people, that makes it sound a bit like, I don't know, people feel affectionate towards it and they probably don't.

But I think people like it for lots of reasons.

They like it because however dreadful your life is, you can watch this and think, oh my God, well, you know, actually I'm okay, because, you know, look at all this crazy stuff that's going on with this guy that didn't happen to me.

I think it does strike a chord in that a lot of people do feel that, you know, there may be just one step or a couple of steps or a couple of days or weeks away from, you know, your life can be turned upside down by events, which is basically what happens to this guy, isn't it?

You know, a total chance encounter in his life is never the same again.

So I think that appeals.

I think a lot of it on a more prosaic level is down to the popularity of broadly what we call true crime.

And I know true crime doesn't normally fit in stalking.

It tends to be more about sort of horrific unsolved murder cases and things.

But I think that really has an appeal to people.

And it's that sort of classic, you know, they always say the success of like crime fiction is the baddie gets caught at the end.

Dreadful things happen, but then the person who does the dreadful things gets caught and justice is done.

And this is not quite the same in this case, but it has that same sort of, it allows the viewer or the reader to have control of it.

So these awful, awful things happen, but you can turn it off and go back to life.

And I think that is a huge part of its appeal.

So no, I'm not surprised.

And obviously he's also done the classic in that it sort of started out as a standard routine in Edinburgh, which is not the first time we've seen a hit TV show come from that route in that he's been able to test it.

He's taken things out.

He's put things in, he's changed it around.

So it's been sort of, if you like, tested before a live audience to death.

So when it comes to making the TV show of it, you know that you've got the kernel of a hit there.

There's something there that touches people and speaks to people.

So no, I'm not surprised at all.

It was a great success.

And it's also become controversial, hasn't it, after people tried to find the real life people from the show online.

Do you think that controversy just added to its popularity?

Oh, yes.

I mean, there was definitely that sort of, you know, no publicity is bad publicity in terms of the show.

Definitely.

I mean, and again, funnily enough, I think that sort of touches on the whole true crime thing in that lots of people set themselves up as internet sleuths, didn't they, to find out who these real people are.

And that definitely powered it in a way that, if you like, you'd made the show before social media it would not have benefited from that publicity, because you wouldn't have had that whole reaction to it where people sort of took it upon themselves to try to find out who these people were and publish their findings all over the internet, for good or bad, depending on your position in the show.

And do you think, Rob, we could see more from Richard Gadd now?

He's got a bit of a taste of big success.

Yeah, it's difficult though, isn't it?

Because this is such a personal thing.

I mean, unless he has the most bizarre life going, I don't think he's gonna have such an extreme story that he can pluck out of his past for another series.

You'd think this is hopefully him done for sort of minding his own private life.

And obviously, with all the fury over, people try to identify who the real stalkers were and who the real characters were, he may be a bit wary of doing it again.

A lot depends on him.

I mean, I was thinking in my head about this show.

And the other shows that came to mind were stuff like Fleabag, which again, started out in the Fringe and was a very personal, you know, this is my real life sort of monologue sort of story that became a hit TV show.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has obviously turned from that.

She took it back to the stage.

She's now headed off to Hollywood.

She has, you know, she's taken her chance and run with it.

Whether he'll do the same on the same level, who knows, it depends what he does next and how, it may be he doesn't want to, you know, it may be that because he's coming from a standup point of view, maybe doesn't really think of himself as an actor.

Maybe he just wants to write and direct instead, you know.

I mean, the thing is he will never have a better chance than he has now, you know.

His name will be at the top of everyone's list in TV execs.

People will want to work for him.

And actually, now's the difficult bit, you know.

You've had a massive, perhaps unexpected hit.

What do you do next?

Because, you know, it can go one or two ways and I'm no doubt, hopefully he's got some decent advice and he's thinking very hard about what he does next.

And with this one award down, is there a chance Baby Reindeer could win big at next year's BAFTAs and Emmy Awards, for example?

Yeah, I mean, that's the thing, obviously TV awards, well, all awards, but TV awards tend to be staggered.

So often by the time you get the award for whatever it is, you've moved on, you're doing something else.

We'll see if it stays in the public consciousness.

It depends what else comes up.

I mean, you've got to think it stands a pretty good chance.

I mean, the reception it had and the whole scandal around it was amazing, you know?

I mean, it's only just starting to die down now, isn't it, really?

So, yeah, I think he's probably got a very good chance of finding himself, at least on the short list, when it comes to things like the BAFTAs and the Trick Awards and the Royal TV Society and all the new Royal TV Awards that there are.

Pick up The Evening Standard newspaper for more news, interviews and analysis or head to standards.co.uk.

We're back tomorrow afternoon at four o'clock.

See you then.

What to expect from the Duke of Westminster's 'society wedding of the year' - The Standard podcast (2024)
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