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Queen heads guest list at wedding of Duke's girl; Chester may come to a standstill.

Byline: KIRSTI ADAIR

IT IS already being called the society wedding of the year and one look at the guest list proves the point.

Lady Tamara Grosvenor, eldest daughter of the UK's third richest man, the Duke of Westminster, is to marry wealthy financier Edward van Cutsem at Chester Cathedral next month.

And the Royal presence alone marks it as a glittering occasion for thousands to savour.

The Queen and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry, and Charles's consort, Camilla Parker Bowles, have accepted invitations.

So, too, have the Duke of Kent and Gloucester. It's possible Princess Anne and Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, will also attend.

Both the Westminster and van Cutsem families are close friends of the Royals, and Prince William, a childhood friend of Mr van Cutsem, is rumoured to be a possible choice for best man.

Lady Grosvenor, who once said she preferred to party in Liverpool because it was safer than Chester, has spent months organising the big day with her fiance, and her family.

But the event on Saturday, November 6, will provide police with a big security headache and is likely to cause traffic congestion with two roads in the city centre closed between 10 am and 1 am on the day.

A Cheshire police spokesperson said: ``It is a big event. Obviously there will be arrangements made to accommodate the wedding as there would be with any event of this size. Police will be involved in providing extra security measures.

``There will be a few road closures on the Saturday of the wedding but just for a short time. Northgate street and St Werburgh street will be closed off for a few hours but this should not cause major disruption. We need to ensure that people visiting the city on that day can get in and out. ''

Following the ceremony, a reception will be held for guests at Eaton Hall -- the Grosvenors' family residence near Eccleston.

It is thought some of the guests will stay at the Duke's five star Grosvenor Hotel in Chester city centre.

Staff at the hotel said they were not taking any public bookings for the Friday or Saturday night.

The Duke and Duchess of Westminster announced the engagement of Lady Tamara to Edward van Cutsem in March this year.

Lady Tamara, 24, who studied theology at Newcastle University, now works in London close to where Mr van Cutsem, a former Durham University student, works for investment bank Merrill Lynch Mr van Cutsem's father, Hugh, and mother Emilie, of Hilborough, Norfolk, are good friends of the Prince of Wales. Their son, who is a godson of Prince Charles, was pageboy at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, in 1981.

The Duke and Duchess of Westminster, 45, have three other children Lady Edwina, Hugh, 13, Earl of Grosvenor, and Lady Viola. The Duke, 52, is behind the pounds 750m Paradise street shopping development in Liverpool city centre.

Last month Lady Tamara and Mr van Cutsem made number seven in Tatler's list of this year's top 100 social players.

Families with close ties to Royalty

THE Westminsters and Van Cutsems have strong links to the Royal family.

The title of Duke of Westminster was created by Queen Victoria in 1874 and handed to Richard Grosvenor, the third Marquess of Westminster. Both the Duke and Duchess of Westminster are old friends of Prince Charles. Prince William and Harry attended Lady Tamara's 21st birthday party at Eaton Hall three years ago. Despite being several years older than William and Harry, Edward van Cutsem was their childhood friend.

A godson of Prince Charles, Edward was pageboy at his 1981 wedding to Diana and was pictured next to them on the balcony.

Edward was also featured tumbling in the snow with the Royal princes in a Jonathan Dimbleby documentary.

CAPTION(S):

The happy couple pictured at a ball in London in May Picture: DESMOND O'NEILL; Duke of Westminster; Royal roll of honour on guest list; The Queen; Prince Charles; Prince William; Prince Harry
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 2, 2004
Words:677
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