British socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has been friends with several members of the British royal family for many, many years, and yesterday, February 8, she was found dead in her home. Prince Charles has issued a statement about her passing. I had no idea how close Palmer-Tomkinson was to the royals, so I thought it might be interesting to explore a bit.
Tara at the 2013 wedding of Lady Melissa Percy, which was attended by Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson is the youngest of three children of Charles Palmer-Tomkinson, a skier who competed in the 1964 Olympic Games. She was born in 1971, and just 45 at the time of her death. Charles Palmer-Tomkinson taught Prince Charles to ski way back in the day, and since then the Palmer-Tomkinson family and the Prince of Wales have been very close.
It’s been widely reported that Prince Charles is Tara’s godfather, but Rebecca English says that is not the case. Nevertheless, Tara and Charles have been very close for many years: she used to go skiing with him and Prince William and Prince Harry in the 90s; she attended his wedding in 2005; and she attended William’s wedding in 2011.
Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall issued a statement on Tara’s death, saying: “We are deeply saddened and our thoughts are so much with the family.”
Sarah, Duchess of York also released a statement, saying her family was “so shocked by this tragic news of the magnificent, beautifully energetic soul of Tara.” Adding: “My mother was her very proud godmother, and she adored her. We are all deeply shocked and saddened.”
Above is a photo of Tara with Prince Charles and her sister, Santa, on a ski trip to Klosters in 1995.
In 1997, Tara was photographed on another ski vacation in Klosters with Charles and Harry.
In 2003, Tara attended a reception at Clarence House hosted by Charles to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Charles is currently Patron of two breast cancer charities).
Tara was one of the guests at Charles and Camilla’s 2005 wedding, attending the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel.
Tara and Kate Middleton both attended the book launch party for The Young Stalin in 2007. In 2012 Tara said in an interview that she counseled Kate after the 2007 breakup with William, telling her: “He’ll be back, don’t worry.” Tara also praised Kate for “doing such a good job” as a royal. Here’s Tara full quote on Kate:
“She is doing such a good job. She is beautiful and capable, sort of super-grounded, but really fun too. I first met her ages ago at Klosters and I always thought she and William were so good together. We have had lots of fun nights in relaxed situations and when they briefly split up I said to her, ‘He’ll be back, don’t worry.’ She and her sister Pippa came to my brother’s book launch during the split and people were being kind of horrible to her, but I knew William would be back as soon as he realised what he was missing out on. I think she has done something amazing – I am really proud of her. Whenever I see her on the cover of another magazine I smile. She reminds me of his mother – something about her eyes.”
Tara attended William and Kate’s 2011 wedding.
As of time of posting, no other royal has made a statement on Tara’s passing, although if there is a memorial or funeral for her I would not be surprised to see several royals in attendance.
Tara had quite the few demons throughout her life, which I won’t go into, and she was suffering from a brain tumor at the time of her death. But 45 is so young. My condolences to her family.