Anger Over Plans To Turn 140-Year-Old Army HQ Into Luxury Hotel

The new Duke of Westminster is reportedly involved in a fierce row with Army reservists over the decision to evict them from their headquarters in London.

The Rifles Club in Mayfair has been the riflemen's base for 140 years, and could now be turned into a luxury hotel.

However, following the Major General Gerald Grosvenor’s death in August 2016, the Grosvenor Group has started negotiations on behalf of his son to regain the building.

Hugh Richard Louis Grosvenor inherited his father’s £9.3billion fortune, including a 300-acre portfolio of properties in Mayfair and Belgravia.

He is Britain’s youngest billionaire and godfather to Prince George.

Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, on holiday
The Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, on holiday

The decision has angered members of F Company, 7th Battalion The Rifles, and might break family ties with the infantry regiments.

An anonymous source told The Telegraph:

“The Rifles have a long-standing association with the Grosvenor family, and were considered the unofficial bodyguard to the last Duke. But now that relationship seems to be over, and the new Duke is slinging us out. As soon as the new Crossrail is finished that building will be prime real estate.

According to the MoD, F Company 7RIFLES is now being merged with the London infantry Regiment "as part the Army 2020 Refine plan to optimise the Army Reserves".

A spokesperson said:

“7RIFLES are not being disbanded and their move is not linked to the on-going lease negotiation. To suggest otherwise would be wrong.”

The club was opened by the 1st Duke of Westminster in 1890, who leased the building to the Army at a low rate for 200 years.

Cover picture courtesy of Designer Sales