Tara Palmer-Tomkinson: the party girl who longed to become a mother (1971-2017)

By Nina Steele 

She was famously quoted as saying that she hadn’t slept in 20 years, because she was “at so many different parties in so many different countries”. That’s how much of a party girl Tara Palmer-Tomkinson once was. Born into wealth, hers was a life of glamour most people can only dream of. Not only that, her closeness with the royal family endured, in spite of some indiscretions on her part, whcih her addiction to fame made inevitable. Her well-publicised addiction to drugs and the fact that she was unlucky in love, reinforced her image as the ultimate ‘poor little rich girl’.

One thing Tara seems to have accomplished, was to be liked by the British public, in spite of her background. Indeed, the British public is known for having little patience for people who haven’t worked for their money. Being upper class and everything that it represents, is often a guarantee for attracting hostility and resentment, yet people made an exception for Tara. I suppose what won most people over, was her easy charm and the fact that she never came across as taking herself too seriously. She seemed quite approachable and kind, and the British public always responds to that. In addition to her natural abilities to connect, she was also a constant reminder that true happiness is the Holy Grail. It didn’t matter that she was pretty, rich and kind, it still eluded her. To see her battle her demons so publicly, made people less fortunate feel better about their own lives.

She never made a secret of the fact that she wanted to become a mother, so much so that she was willing to consider every option available to her, including ‘having a baby with a gay friend’. In a 2008 interview, she was quoted as saying: “I’m hoping that there’s a man out there who will have a child with me the traditional way. Although I am not opposed to IVF or having a child with a gay friend, I live in hope of it happening in the conventional way first.”

At the end, motherhood never happened for Tara. She was found dead at her London flat on February 8th, aged 45. The exact cause of her death is still to be established. The fact that she could always count on the support of her family, even during her darkest hours, is perhaps one of the few positive aspects of her life. May her soul rest in peace.

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