Despite accumulating personal wealth estimated at almost £1.3 billion — far more than that other more publicity-hungry set of London property brothers the Candys — little is known about the lives of Ian and Richard Livingstone outside the tightest possible circle of family and close friends.The sons of an Ealing dentist, the boys were educated at St Paul’s public school in Barnes, after which Ian went on to become an optometrist, while Richard trained as a chartered surveyor.“They are individual properties and will be run independently,” said one industry source.

They own a dazzling portfolio of trophy properties rarely out of the public eye that are scattered around London like houses and hotels on a real-life Monopoly board.

One night Madonna might be emerging from the Empire Leicester Square after a West End premiere.

The purchase of Cliveden may allow Natalie to host a few celebrity parties of her own.

Ian already owns the five- star Hampshire country house hotel Chewton Glen, where guests have included Cate Blanchett, the Rolling Stones, Kenneth Branagh and Chris Evans.

Under his ownership the hotel has shrugged off its reputation as a stuffy retreat for the newly retired into something a lot more chic.

Friends say Ian has similar plans for Cliveden, with “penguin-suited flunkeys” and the intimidating formal restaurant likely to go and be replaced by a more accessible grill.

— an ironic choice of profession for the spouse of a man famed for his discretion.

They are described by acquaintances as “very down to earth, very normal”. Natalie is a close friend of Princess Charlene of Monaco, whom she interviewed on the day of the wedding last July while she was being photographed for a Vogue feature by Julian Lennon.

Richard, who is said to be a tennis fan, married Claire, the daughter of the Derwent London property group founder John Burns in 1997, but the couple are now divorced.