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The handsome 37-year-old set to inherit Beef baron Lord Vestey’s title and his £750 million business

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Lord Samuel Vestey’s eldest son William has inherited the beef baron’s title and his £750 million fortune upon his death.    

The death of the royal courtier and multi-millionaire businessman Lord Vestey, 3rd Baron Vestey at the age of 79 was announced today, and comes just over nine weeks after his wife Lady Vestey died suddenly. 

Old Etonian Lord Vestey, known as ‘Spam’ to his friends, was one of Britain’s one of Britain’s richest men with a £750million fortune thanks to his family’s food business, Vestey Holdings, which owned the Dewhurst the Butchers chain. He presided over the 6,000-acre Stowell Park Estate in Gloucestershire. 

His polo playing 37-year-old son William, who is a friend of Prince William, 38, works for the family business and has now inherited his father’s title and the estate.

Lord Samuel Vestey's handsome eldest son William, 37, has inherited the beef baron's title and his £750 million upon his death

Lord Samuel Vestey’s handsome eldest son William, 37, has inherited the beef baron’s title and his £750 million upon his death

The heir married magazine editor Violet Henderson in 2012 and they now have two children, Ella, five, and two-year-old Samuel, named after his grandfather

William's wife Violet studied at Oxford University and worked as a journalist, but is currently freelancing

William’s wife Violet studied at Oxford University and worked as a journalist, but is currently freelancing 

William works for the Vestey Group, which owned the Dewhurst chain of butchers and still possesses large chunks of Venezuela, despite Hugo Chavez’s land grab. 

He met his now-wife magazine editor Violet Henderson, who has worked for titles including Tatler and Vogue, fifteen years ago.

The couple married at St Mary’s church in North Elmham, Norfolk, in September 2012. 

After graduating from Oxford University in 2007, where she was the Goldsmith Scholar in English Literature, Violet worked for a short while in politics before beginning her career in journalism.  

While  Violet has often shared snaps of their lavish holidays and family life online, William keeps a low profile and is relatively private

While  Violet has often shared snaps of their lavish holidays and family life online, William keeps a low profile and is relatively private 

The death of the royal courtier and multi-millionaire businessman Lord Vestey, 3rd Baron Vestey at the age of 79 was announced today (pictured, with the Queen)

The death of the royal courtier and multi-millionaire businessman Lord Vestey, 3rd Baron Vestey at the age of 79 was announced today (pictured, with the Queen) 

She joined British Vogue in 2012, writing and editing on its features desk for four years. 

Violet now works as a British Vogue Contributing Editor, but continues to write features for the magazine and freelance for other publications and is currently working on her first book. 

The couple, who currently live in London, now have two children, Ella, five, and two-year-old Samuel, named after William’s grandfather.  

In 2018, Violet made headlines with a Vogue article in which she revealed the nanny she trusted with her baby daughter had turned out to be a con artist. 

The couple, who met 15 years ago, currently live in London and often enjoy lavish holidays across the world

The couple, who met 15 years ago, currently live in London and often enjoy lavish holidays across the world

The couple, who currently live in London, now have two children, Ella, five, and two-year-old Samuel, named after William's grandfather. In 2018, Violet made headlines with a Vogue article in which she revealed the nanny she trusted with her baby daughter had turned out to be a con artist

The couple, who currently live in London, now have two children, Ella, five, and two-year-old Samuel, named after William's grandfather. In 2018, Violet made headlines with a Vogue article in which she revealed the nanny she trusted with her baby daughter had turned out to be a con artist

The couple, who currently live in London, now have two children, Ella, five, and two-year-old Samuel, named after William’s grandfather. In 2018, Violet made headlines with a Vogue article in which she revealed the nanny she trusted with her baby daughter had turned out to be a con artist

Mary was hired by Violet and her husband after being recommended by a friend of a friend who she worked for as a housekeeper and came ‘unencumbered by hefty agency finder’s fees’. 

Describing what happened as ‘every working mother’s nightmare’, Violet said revealed her fears that the nanny was planning to steal her identity after taking her driving licence.

‘I never saw it even when it was right in front of my eyes. I lay awake at night wondering – what if she had stolen my daughter?’ she added. 

She finally discovered what was happening when a letter arrived addressed to Dr Mary from a pawnbrokers, asking if she wanted to buy back an emerald and diamond ring that was about to go to auction. 

Violet has previously revealed how she experienced 'every working mother's nightmare' when her nanny turned out to be con artist who had given her a fake reference and stole her jewellery

Violet has previously revealed how she experienced ‘every working mother’s nightmare’ when her nanny turned out to be con artist who had given her a fake reference and stole her jewellery

Violet contacted the pawnbrokers and discovered the ring was hers and as she phoned her husband from the car, she noticed a Chloe blouse, Valentino dress and a vintage coat were missing from her dry cleaning bag. 

When the couple confronted Mary, she left immediately and they contacted the police. 

They subsequently found out that she had jumped bail for a previous crime and had stolen £60,000 worth of possessions from the last family she’d worked for.  

She worked with the family for two years before her crimes were revealed, and she was later jailed for 16 months for stealing thousands of pounds worth of jewellery from Violet – including 18th-century white-gold and diamond earrings that were a wedding present from her in-laws, Lord and Lady Vestey.

It was announced today that Samuel Vestey has died, months after the death of his wife Lady Vestey  (pictured together)

It was announced today that Samuel Vestey has died, months after the death of his wife Lady Vestey  (pictured together) 

Lord Vestey – whose cause of death has not yet been revealed – was a former chairman of the Cheltenham Racecourse and Master of the Horse, and was appointed a Lord-in-Waiting to Her Majesty in August 2019.  

Meanwhile Lady Vestey, who stayed out of the society spotlight, was one of Prince Harry’s six godparents, and the couple attended his wedding to Meghan Markle in May 2018, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage in 2011.  

In a sign of their closeness to the royal family, Lord and Lady Vestey joined the Queen and Prince Charles in the Royal Box at Cheltenham and stayed as guests of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Sandringham. 

As the Queen’s Master of the Horse, his duties included attending ceremonial occasions as the man responsible for the Royal Mews and the Queen’s carriages and horses. 

Old Etonian Lord Vestey, known as 'Spam' to his friends, was one of Britain's one of Britain's richest men with a £750million fortune thanks to his family's food business, Vestey Holdings and a Lord-in-Waiting to Her Majesty

Old Etonian Lord Vestey, known as ‘Spam’ to his friends, was one of Britain’s one of Britain’s richest men with a £750million fortune thanks to his family’s food business, Vestey Holdings and a Lord-in-Waiting to Her Majesty

The grandson of renowned Victorian opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, Lord Vestey, who succeeded his grandfather in the peerage title at the age of just 13, was educated at Eton College, before attending Sandhurst and serving as a Lieutenant in the Scots Guards.

He was the chairman of the Meat Training Council from 1991 to 1995, before becoming chairman of the Vestey Group (now Vestey Holdings) in 1995. 

The company – which once owned Dewhurst butchers – has been privately owned since it was founded in 1897 by brothers William and Edward Vestey.

By the middle of the 20th century Vestey companies dominatied both the wholesale and retail meat trade in the UK, selling everything from refrigerated and canned meats to leather.  

Queen Elizabeth II and Lady Vestey attend day 4 'Gold Cup Day' of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 13, 2009 in Cheltenham

Queen Elizabeth II and Lady Vestey attend day 4 ‘Gold Cup Day’ of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 13, 2009 in Cheltenham

They entered into a price war with the US-owned importers and developed the country-wide Dewhurst the Butchers chain, which was eventually sold in 1995 in the face of increasing competition from the supermarket chains.

The Vestey family’s combined wealth amounts to approximately £1.2 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2013. Lord Vestey’s share is estimated to be around £750million. 

Twice married, he wed Kathryn Eccles in 1970, and divorced in 1981 after having two  daughters, The Hon. Flora Vestey and The Hon. Saffron Vestey. 

That same year, he wed his second wife, Celia Knight, at a simple civil ceremony at Wantage Register Office, near her family home. 

The couple are survived by their three children, The Hon. William Guy Vestey, The Hon. Arthur George Vestey and The Hon. Mary Henrietta Vestey. The couple also shared four grandchildren, Ella, Samuel, Frank and Cosima.

Lord Vestey’s death comes just a few weeks after the passing of his wife, 71-year-old Lady Vestey, who died on November 28.  

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Vestey watch the racing as they attend day 4 'Gold Cup Day' of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 17, 2006 in Cheltenham

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Vestey watch the racing as they attend day 4 ‘Gold Cup Day’ of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 17, 2006 in Cheltenham

The Vesteys and the Royal Family have remained close for decades.

William’s brother Arthur Vestey, 35, is a friend of Prince William. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were surprise no-shows to his 2015 wedding to Martha Beaumont.

Meanwhile Youngest daughter Mary Vestey married Ed Cookson in 2019. 

The relationship with the Royal Family continued, with Lord and Lady Vestey attending the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011 and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding seven years later.  

Who are Lord and Lady Vestey’s other children? 

Unlike some society figures, William, Arthur and Mary prefer to keep a low profile and are rarely seen out on the town.  

ARTHUR VESTEY: PRINCE WILLIAM’S POLO PLAYING PAL

Arthur Vestey is married  to Martha Beaumont, daughter of the 4th Viscount and Viscountess Allendale. The couple (above in 2018) have son Frank and daughter Cosima

Arthur Vestey is married  to Martha Beaumont, daughter of the 4th Viscount and Viscountess Allendale. The couple (above in 2018) have son Frank and daughter Cosima

Polo player Arthur Vestey is a friend of the Duke of Cambridge. He was an investment manager for six years, before joining his family’s business, The Vestey Group, in 2012. 

In 2015 he married Martha Beaumont, daughter of the 4th Viscount and Viscountess Allendale. Together the couple have four-year-old Frank and daughter Cosima, two.

MARY VESTEY: DREAMS OF TRAINING RACEHORSES

The youngest of Lady Vestey’s three children, 28-year-old Mary is married to jockey Ed Cookson. The couple wed in the summer of 2019 at Norhleach Church in the Cotswolds before a reception at Stowell Park, The Vesteys’ estate.

Ed’s parents have a farm where Mary keeps horses. She is an assistant to trainer Ben Pauling and said it has always been a ‘dream’ to train horses, like her aunt Henrietta.  

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