The Most Noble Gerald Cavendish Duke of Westminster, KG CB CVO OBE TD DL, had strong, tangible and affectionate connections with Northern Ireland.
His Grace's father Robert, the 5th Duke, lived at Ely Lodge in County Fermanagh.
His mother Viola was Lord-Lieutenant of County Fermanagh.
In February, 2014, The Prince of Wales, through The Prince’s Countryside Fund, announced that £50,000 would be donated from its emergency fund to help farmers and rural communities in Somerset. The Duke of Westminster generously confirmed he would personally match the funding and donate an additional £50,000 taking the total available to £100,000.Gerald Grosvenor was born at Omagh, County Tyrone, on the 22nd December, 1951.
He had the following honours:
His Grace was awarded the Territorial Decoration, having served as a major-general in the TA; and was a Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire.
- Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter
Companion of the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath
- Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
- Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
The Duke spent his childhood at Ely Lodge Estate, an idyllic demesne in County Fermanagh on the edge of Lower Lough Erne, surrounded by forest and woodland.
He was styled Gerald, Earl Grosvenor, between 1967-79.
The Westminster family had an absolutely beautiful, classic, wooden motor yacht which they kept at Ely Lodge, called Trasna.
It was the finest vessel I'd ever seen on Lough Erne, being about fifty feet in length and it held sixteen persons comfortably.
Trasna sported a splendid mascot on her bow: a golden sheaf of wheat (or corn).
When the present 6th Duke moved permanently to his family seat at Eaton Hall in Cheshire, Trasna was acquired by the National Trust briefly; whilst moored at the boat-house on Crom Estate. I've sailed on her several times.
Trasna now belongs to the Duke of Abercorn and is based at Belle Isle, County Fermanagh.
First published October, 2009.