The 11th Duke of Grafton dies at ancestral home

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THE Duke of Grafton has died at his home Euston Hall at the age of 92.

Hugh FitzRoy, 11th Duke of Grafton, died on Thursday last week with his family around him at the hall near Thetford which has been the home of the Graftons since the 1670s.

A spokeswoman for the Euston Estate said his funeral, which is for family and the estate, will be held today at St Genevieve’s Church, Euston, and a memorial service will be announced later.

Hugh FitzRoy became duke on the death of his father Charles in 1970. A former captain in the Grenadier Guards, he was aide-de-camp to the Viceroy of India from 1943 to independence in 1947. He was deputy lieutenant of Suffolk in 1973 and was invested as a knight, Order of the Garter in 1976.

The duke was deeply interested in arts and the conservation of historic buildings. His involvements included being vice-chairman of the National Portrait Gallery’s board of trustees for 25 years and a member of the Historic Buildings Council for England for 29 years as well as being president of the Suffolk Preservation Society and on the National Trust’s property committee.

He and his wife Fortune had five children.

His eldest son James, Earl of Euston, died in October 2009. Their other children are Lady Henrietta FitzRoy, now Lady Henrietta St George, Lady Virginia FitzRoy, Lord Charles FitzRoy and Lady Rose FitzRoy, now Lady Rose Monson.

He was a grandfather and great grandfather and is succeeded by his grandson Henry FitzRoy as the 12th Duke of Grafton.

The FitzRoys can trace their lineage to the illegitimate son of Charles II and his mistress Barbara Villiers. The king created the Grafton dukedom in 1675 for their son Henry who adopted the FitzRoy name because it means king’s son.

The first duke had a distinguished military career and died at the siege of Cork in 1690.