Prince of Wales leads tributes to Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have led tributes to their close friend Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, who has died at the age of 45.

The royal couple said they were “deeply saddened and our thoughts are so much with the family” after the former socialite was found dead just months after revealing she had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Palmer-Tomkinson said in November that she was being treated for a non-malignant growth in her pituitary gland and had expressed fears that she would die.

The Prince of Wales and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson ( Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The former 1990s It Girl – who was famed for her hedonistic lifestyle – was diagnosed with the tumour last January after she returned from a ski trip and was also suffering with an auto-immune disease which had caused tiredness, joint pain and acute anaemia.

Palmer-Tomkinson’s body was removed from her London home on a trolley into a private ambulance on Wednesday evening and driven away.

Darren Day, who appeared alongside her in the inaugural series of I’m A Celebrity, said: “I’m so sad to hear that Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has passed away. Thoughts and love to her family RIP Tara x.”

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (Katie Collins/PA)

Socialite and reality TV star Tamara Beckwith, one of her friends, said in a statement: “The terribly sad news of my old friend Tara PT’s passing has come as quite a shock.

“She was a shining light and I have nothing but very fond memories of the times we had together. She was most definitely one of life’s true characters.

“My thoughts are naturally with her family.”

Blue singer and soap actor Duncan James, a close friend of Palmer-Tomkinson, tweeted: “Heartbroken and numb I have lost one of my oldest and dearest friends.

“I’m going to miss ur laughter the most shmooey . Rip sweetheart (sic).”

Duncan’s Blue co-star Antony Costa wrote: “Sad to hear the news about #TPT met you loads of times and was always a good laugh RIP.”

The band’s Lee Ryan added that he was “really really shocked” to learn of Palmer-Tomkinson’s death.

Singer Alexandra Burke wrote on Twitter: “What a sad day. RIP TPT. I will never forget how warm and loving you were every time I saw you. Such a beautiful soul. Sad sad news.

“I’m in so much shock that Tara has passed away. So young. So tragic. My prayers and thoughts are with her and the family at this sad time.”

Former Westlife star Brian McFadden paid tribute to Palmer-Tomkinson online, calling her a “real character” and adding that she “will be sadly missed”.

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