Tara Palmer-Tompkinson, a close friend of the Royal Family’s, has died aged 45.
Police were called to the socialite’s flat in Bramham Gardens, South Kensington, earlier this afternoon, shortly after 1.30 pm. Officers found a woman in her 40s dead at the scene, the Met Police said.
The authorities are treating the death as unexplained but that the circumstances are not suspicious. “Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing. The coroner has been informed,” a statement said. Her family have also been notified.
Palmer-Tomkinson, 45, was diagnosed with a non-malignant growth in her pituitary gland in January 2016, after returning from a skiing trip. She refuted claims that her ill health was down to her well-documented cocaine addiction, and was receiving treatment for the condition.
A recent statement from the family revealed that Tara died from a perforated ulcer, however, and not a brain tumour.
Prince Charles was close with the family, as her father (also Charles – a former Olympic skier) had been the Prince’s instructor in the sport. She attended The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2012 as a close friend of the Royal Family.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, said they are “deeply saddened and our thoughts are so much with the family”.
It was in the 1990s that Tara became well-known, as a party-going “it girl”; she wrote for the Sunday Times, chronicling her glamorous lifestyle as she rubbed shoulders with celebs and Royalty. This hedonistic lifestyle often included drink and drugs, and she was treated for addiction in 1999.
Since then, the socialite had told her story to discourage others from drug use, including her near-overdose on cocaine. In recent years, Palmer-Tomkinson admitted she suffered with anxiety, leading to her becoming reclusive.
This article was updated in line with a family announcement, correcting that Tara was not Prince Charles’ goddaughter, neither did she have a brain tumour.