British socialite’s sudden death ‘unexplained’

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson had been treated for a non-malignant brain tumor

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, a British socialite and friend to the royal family, was found dead in her London apartment Wednesday. She was 45.

The death was unexpected, and police have said only that it is “unexplained,” according to the Guardian. Palmer-Tomkinson revealed last year that she was being treated for a brain tumor in her pituitary gland, but the tumor was benign and reportedly responding to treatment.

Palmer-Tomkinson was a regular on London social circuit in the 1990s, and was a close friend of the royal family. She attended the 2011 wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. The Prince of Wales, reportedly said ┬áin a statement that he was “deeply saddened” by news of Palmer-Tomkinson’s death.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed to media that the body of a woman was found in a South Kensington apartment Wednesday afternoon, and released a statement:

A woman, aged in her 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene. At this early stage the death is being treated as unexplained. We are not treating this death as suspicious. The coroner has been informed and the next of kin has been informed.

Palmer-Tomkinson was public about an earlier battle with cocaine addiction, but told a British tabloid last year that she hasn’t done any drugs in a decade and was leading a healthy lifestyle. She was an avid skiier and appeared on the reality TV show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here in 2002.


Photo: Associated Press