Catholic aristocrat who led Queen’s Funeral is set to remarry again as he ‘proposes to girlfriend’ just months after confirming his divorce
- Duke of Norfolk, 65, as Earl Marshal will also be responsible for King’s coronation
- Edward Fitzalan-Howard ‘proposed’ to girlfriend Francesca ‘Chica’ Herbert, 59
- She is ex-wife of Queen’s racing manager who owned Downton Abbey location
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
The aristocrat who was in charge of the Queen’s funeral is set to marry again following his divorce earlier this year, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Edward Fitzalan-Howard, Duke of Norfolk is understood to have proposed to his girlfriend Francesca ‘Chica’ Herbert while they were on holiday in Italy last month.
She is the ex-wife of Henry Herbert, son of the late 7th Earl of Carnarvon, the Queen’s racing manager who owned Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey was filmed.
The Duke with his partner 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 the proclamation of King Charles III at St James’s Palace
Arundel Castle in West Sussex, the Duke of Norfolk’s 1,000-year-old ancestral home
Edward William Fitzalan-Howard and Georgina at the Festival of Speed at Goodwood, Surrey in 2003. The couple married in 1987 and have five children, now aged between 24 and 33. They separated in 2011, much to the sadness of close friends and family, and the split was said to be so acrimonious that they missed the Royal Wedding of William and Kate 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 King Charles’s Coronation. While busy preparing for that ceremony, for which no date has yet been set, he is also planning his wedding for November.
Earlier this year, the 65-year-old, Britain’s most senior lay Catholic, told this newspaper he was ‘just terribly sad’ after divorcing his wife of 34 years, Georgina. He said: ‘By God we tried… [but] it proved completely 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.
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