back to top

"It Girl" Tara Palmer-Tomkinson Has Been Found Dead Aged 45

The socialite was found dead at her London home by police. Her family said she died peacefully in her sleep.

Originally posted on
Updated on
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson at Sandown Park racecourse in 2013.
John Walton / EMPICS Sport

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson at Sandown Park racecourse in 2013.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, the socialite and 1990s "It girl", has been found dead by police at her London home aged 45.

A coroner's report on 15 February said that she "died peacefully in her sleep due to a perforated ulcer and peritonitis."

The statement said that media reports of her retreating to a "dark place" in the hours before her death were untrue.

The family of Tara Palmer-Tomkinson released the following statement

In a string of tweets, Palmer-Tomkinson's sister, the novelist Santa Montefiore, also denied reports that she was suffering from a brain tumour and corrected other elements of the media's reporting on her death.

1/5 I’ve been so touched by the warm response to Tara’s death.Thank you from the whole family. But I'd like to clar…

2/5 Today the Coroner’s report states that Tara died of natural causes – a perforated ulcer. She did not have a bra…

3/5 Contrary to some reports, Tara was not the goddaughter of HRH the Prince of Wales.

4/5 Tara’s good friends & family know that she was in high spirits in her last days. She had plans, trips & had written a moving new song.

Prince Charles, a family friend, said in a statement that he was "deeply saddened" by the news.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have said they are "deeply saddened" following the death of close friend Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

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

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

"The death is being treated as unexplained. At this early stage, police are not treating the death as suspicious. Enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing. The Coroner has been informed."

Palmer-Tomkinson, a high society figure who was at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, rose to fame in the 1990s through her regular appearance in celebrity magazines and a ghostwritten column about the London party scene in the Sunday Times.

In 2002 her stock rose higher thanks to her appearance on the first UK series of I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, on which she finished as runner-up to Tony Blackburn.

She told the Daily Mail 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.’ I got terribly frightened. I started thinking, ‘I’m going to die, I'm going to die. I've only got a couple of weeks to live.’ Stuff like that.”

Palmer-Tomkinson was also a pianist and occasional singer and released this song on her YouTube channel in 2012.

View this video on YouTube

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.