Tara Palmer-Tomkinson dies aged 45

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Moya Crockett
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The socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has died at the age of 45 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The television personality had been unwell since last January, and passed away at her home in London today (Wednesday).

Scotland Yard confirmed that officers were called to Palmer-Tomkinson’s flat by the ambulance service at 1.40pm today. The death is currently being treated as unexplained.

A spokesman said: “Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 13:40hrs on Wednesday, 8 February to an address in Bramham Gardens, SW5.

“A woman, aged in her 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene. Next of kin have been informed.”

Palmer-Tomkinson revealed she was fighting the illness after doctors discovered a malignant growth in her pituitary gland in January 2016. She had sought medical help, including blood tests, after feeling run down the previous summer.

The former columnist and TV personality said in November last year: “I went to the doctors to talk about my latest blood test results when I got back from skiing in January.

“I said, ‘What does this mean? Can you translate it?’ And the doctor said, ‘As I suspected, you have a brain tumour.’”

Palmer-Tomkinson was born in Hampshire to Patricia and Charles Palmer-Tomkinson. She is the goddaughter of Prince Charles, thanks to her landowner father’s close friendship with the Prince of Wales, and attended Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in April 2011.

She started her career working for Rothschild’s bank in the City of London, and first entered the public eye when she began collaborating on ghostwritten party columns for publications including The Sunday Times, The Spectator, Tatler and The Observer in the mid-1990s.

Later Palmer-Tomkinson established herself as a reality TV star when she appeared in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2002.

The socialite, who was famous in part for her battle with drug addiction, also put her name to three books: the non-fiction The Naughty Girl’s Guide to Life and the novels Inheritance and Infidelity. She never pretended to have written them herself, admitting in 2010 that she could “hardly type a text message”, but said that she spoke the novel into a Dictaphone and had an “assistant” write it for her.

She was also an accomplished classical pianist who had performed at the Albert Hall. She told the Express last September that she usually played the piano for at least two hours every day, and had “had a piano in every house I have lived in”.

At the time of her death Palmer-Tomkinson was believed to have been working in the fashion industry.