Catholic aristocrat who ran Queen’s Funeral gets married again while ‘proposing to girlfriend’ just months after confirming divorce
The aristocrat who was responsible for the Queen’s funeral will marry again after his divorce earlier this year, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Edward Fitzalan-Howard, Duke of Norfolk is said to have proposed to his girlfriend Francesca ‘Chica’ Herbert last month while they were on holiday in Italy.
She is the ex-wife of Henry Herbert, son of the late 7th Earl of Carnarvon, the Queen’s race manager who owned Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey was filmed.
The Duke with his consort Francesca Herbert, mother of socialite Frankie Herbert and ex-wife of Harry Herbert whose father, the 7th Earl of Carnavon, was the Queen’s closest confidant
The Duke of Norfolk Edward William Fitzalan-Howard in his role as Earl Marshal
Edward Fitzalan-Howard, on the right, at King Charles III’s proclamation in St James’s Palace
Arundel Castle in West Sussex, the 1000-year-old ancestral home of the Duke of Norfolk
Edward William Fitzalan-Howard and Georgina at the Festival of Speed in Goodwood, Surrey in 2003. The couple married in 1987 and have five children, now aged between 24 and 33. They broke up in 2011, much to the chagrin of close friends and family, and the split is said to be so bitter that they missed William and Kate’s royal wedding to avoid being in the same room as each other. They are now divorced, the Duke told The Mail on Sunday
As Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk is also responsible for the coronation of King Charles. While he is busy preparing for that ceremony, for which no date has been set, he is also planning his wedding for November.
Earlier this year, the 65-year-old, Britain’s oldest lay Catholic, told this newspaper that he was “just terribly sad” after the divorce from his 34-year-old wife, Georgina. He said, “By God, we’ve tried… [but] it turned out to be totally impossible and we had to move on.’
When Chica, 59, becomes the new Duchess of Norfolk, she will have to share her title and land with Georgina, 60.