The notice in the Forthcoming Marriages section of The Times looked much like any other. “The engagement is announced between Benjamin, youngest son of the late Sir James Goldsmith and of Lady Annabel Goldsmith, and Kate, eldest daughter of the late the Hon Amschel Rothschild and of Mrs James Wigan,” it read.
But while the notice’s format was run-of-the-mill, the marriage that it heralds will be anything but ordinary. It represents not just a union between two of Britain’s wealthiest youngsters, but also a merger of three of the country’s most powerful dynasties: the Rothschilds, the Goldsmiths and the Guinnesses.
Ben, 23, is the son of Sir James Goldsmith, the flamboyant financier who built up an estimated £1.2 billion fortune through his pharmaceutical and banking interests before his death in 1997.
The father of Kate, 20, was Amschel Rothschild who, before his suicide in 1996, had been tipped to succeed Sir Evelyn de Rothschild as head of NM Rothschild in the City of London. Kate’s mother is Anita Guinness, heiress to the brewing and banking dynasty.
Explaining the significance of the union, John Graham, a journalist who knows members of both families, said: “It’s as if the Rockefellers, the Mellons and the Vanderbilts were coming together, although admittedly on a slightly smaller scale financially.”