(photo © Aimée de Heeren collection)
Hugh Grosvenor, the 2nd Duke of Westminster (Bendor)
(March 19, 1879 – July 19, 1953)
The Duke was described as very generous,
which is not always the case of very wealthy people.
He was one of Europe's wealthiest man and
a first degree cousin of George V
(King George V was a grandson of Queen Victoria and grandfather of Quene Elisabeth II)
... and also in some way a remote cousin of Coco Chanel's former Lover
the Russian Grand Duke Dmitri Romanov.
He met Coco Chanel in Monte Carlo in 1925.
The Duke knew that Diamonds are the girls best friends
and he loved giving jewels to his female friends,
whether they were his girlfriends or not.
The Duke and Coco Chanel on his yacht «The Flying Cloud»
photo © CHANEL - Denise Tual Collection
Another present of the Duke to Coco Chanel
was the Villa La Pausa between Monte Carlo and Menton.
The villa was designed by the architect Robert Streitz.
They received many famous guests like
Strawinsky, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Bonnard.
The relation with Coco Chanel lasted until 1930.
When Chanel was asked why the didn't marry the Duke
she replied an phrase which become famous:
"There are many Dutchess of Westminster,
but only one Coco Chanel"
The Duke was generous enough
to leave all his presents to Coco,
including the jewels and the Villa.
In 1953 the Villa was sold by Chanel to the art collector Emery Reves.
He rented it out to Coco Chanel's friend Winston Churchill.
In spring 2012 the villa came on the market again
and was sold within days.
Unfortunately there is no Video about
The 2nd Duke of Westminster,
but he can be seen in this Video on his cousin King George V.
The Duke and Coco Chanel knew many people in common,
The Duke and Dutchess of Windsor
(the Duke of Windsor married to Wallis Simpson was a nephew of the Duke of Westminster)
Winston Churchill and Aimee de Heeren.