Duke of Wellington’s Daughter Makes Rich List After Marrying Billionaire

Her father is the 9th Duke of Wellington, she is a descendant of Queen Victoria and she has access to a family estate worth tens of millions of pounds.

But it took marrying a billionaire financier for Lady Charlotte Wellesley to become one of Britain’s wealthiest people.

Indeed, the photographer’s assistant, whose mother is Princess Antonia of Prussia, appears to have bucked the trend that has seen aristocrats fail to keep their prestigious positions among the mega-rich.

While many others – such as Earl Cadogan and the Duke of Westminster – have added millions to their fortunes, they have found themselves pushed down annual rich lists by self-made billionaires.

Lady Charlotte, however, married Alejandro Santo Domingo, a 40-year-old Colombian-American businessman with a degree from Harvard and shares in one of the world’s largest breweries, in a ceremony in Spain last year.

Fast forward 12 months and the 26-year-old is, alongside her husband, the richest newcomer in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, which ranks the 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families.

The couple, who debuted at number 29, are described as having accumulated their estimated fortune of £3,682million through “inheritance, brewing and investment”.

Mr Santo Domingo is at the helm of his family’s conglomerate, the Santo Domingo Group. He is also the managing director of a New York-based investment advisory firm and was elected to the Board of Trustees at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009.

A friend previously described him as “like Prince Charming, almost too much… he really is a nice guy, clever and kind”.

He was linked to heiress Amanda Hearst and model Eugenia Silva before meeting Lady Charlotte, whose ancestor the 1st Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. The Oxford graduate, who studied archaeology and anthropology, now works with photographer Mario Testino.

They announced their engagement in July 2015 with a simple note in The Daily Telegraph. Their wedding was held at a 16th century church in a quiet hill town around 25 miles from Granada and at the Duke’s family estate, Dehesa Baja, in May last year.

Those in attendance included the Duchess of Cornwall and Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I, as well as Harrow-educated singer James Blunt.

Mr Santo Domingo’s success means Lady Charlotte – who is not thought to have been ranked before – is now one of the richest aristocrats on the list, despite “old money” millionaires increasingly struggle to count themselves among the mega-rich.

Self-made Sir James Dyson and his family ranked at number 14, while Denise, John and Peter Coates, who set up online gambling website Bet365, rose two places up the ranks to 22nd due to their £5,000million fortune.

The release of the list on Sunday comes after a study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research found “new money” entrepreneurs were regularly overtaking the likes of aristocrats and property moguls.

Professor Douglas McWilliams, who conducted the research, described the “very rich” as a “changing cast of people”.

Discussing this year’s rankings, Alastair McCall, editor of the Rich List, said they were seeing “more and more diversity” in the make-up of the list, with “egg farmers and pet food makers lining up with hedge fund managers and private equity barons”.

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