The billionaire Duke of Westminster was a money saver at home

Moira O'Neill's picture

I was very sad to hear this morning that the Duke of Westminster has passed away, aged 64.

One of the richest men in Britain for many years, he was also the owner of the estate on which I grew up, Abbeystead, in the beautiful Forest of Bowland, in Lancashire, and where he spent his final days.

However, on reading about his death, I was pleased to discover that His Grace, in addition to owning some of the most beautiful parts of London, was actually a fantastic money saver at home. In a great, rare interview with him in 1992 by Hunter Davies of The Independent he was asked: “But wouldn't you have been happier with no inherited properties to worry about, starting on your own, from scratch?”

The Duke replied: “Given the choice, I would rather not have been born wealthy, but I never think of giving it up. I can't sell. It doesn't belong to me. I hate being ripped off by people trying to take advantage of me. I always pay cash for things like a car, and try to get a good discount. I hate lights being left on. Last night I went round switching all the lights off.”

I'm sure he would have been interested in Moneywise's other smart ways to save energy