FORMER IT girl Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has died aged 45.
The telly personality has been battling a brain tumour since last January, and passed away at her London home earlier today.
Tara, who was a close family friend of Prince Charles' and a trained classical pianist, revealed she was fighting the illness after going for a set of blood tests after feeling run down the previous summer.
Doctors discovered a growth in her pituitary gland which was non-malignant but was affecting the production of hormone prolactin.
A police spokesman said: “Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 13:40hrs on Wednesday, 8 February to an address in Bramham Gardens, SW5.
“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."
Following the news of her death, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have said they are "deeply saddened and our thoughts are so much with the family."
The star revealed in November: "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.'"
“Enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing. The Coroner has been informed.”
Doctors then often use an MRI scan to detect the size and position of the tumour, before treating it with drugs to shrink it.
Tara's blood tests also revealed that she was suffering from a rare auto-immune condition, related to her anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA-related), in which abnormal antibodies attack the body’s cells and tissues.
Symptoms include tiredness, weight loss, fever, joint pain, acute anaemia and headaches. Untreated, the condition is fatal.
And even with treatment, it commonly attacks the upper respiratory tract (sinuses, nose, ears and trachea), the lungs and the kidneys.
Tara made headlines during her career for her party-going lifestyle.
She continued: "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."
"‘I’ve gone completely the other way. I’m a very quiet person now, and I like being that person. I have a better perspective on life."
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The star was born in Hampshire to Olympic skier Charles Palmer-Tomkinson and wife Patricia in 1971.
When she was a school girl, she dreamed of being a pianist or to ride in the Grand National, but she quickly fell down other paths.
The brunette model became a household name after crossing the line from aristocratic society into celebrity culture.
After leaving school, the kooky posh girl briefly worked in the City of London for Rothschilds bank before she grew in fame through her weekly columns.
In the 1990s, Tara held regular columns in publications such as The Sunday Times, The Spectator, The Mail on Sunday, GQ and Tatler, which featured her weekly activities.
She became of the first celebrities to develop their own ‘brand’, with her newspaper exposure, book deals and then TV appearances.
It later was revealed that ghost writer Wendy Holden was responsible for her Sunday Times column after weekly phone-ins with the star.
Becoming one of the most familiar socialite faces, Tara was regularly pictured at parties and night clubs.
As the news of her death was announced this afternoon, fellow celebs began paying tribute to the TV star.
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan tweeted: "RIP Tara Palmer Tomkinson, 45. A fun feisty woman who battled many demons. Very sad news."
London socialite Henry Conway – who trained with TPT during series 1 of Channel 4’s The Jump – also expressed sadness at the news of the star’s death.
Fellow I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! co-star Christine Hamilton also expressed sadness, saying Tara was “vivacious” and “talented”.
Comedienne Rhona Cameron – who also featured on I’m A Celeb series 1 – c
The 45-year-old socialite – who was found dead at her London home earlier today – had a wide and varied love life with pop stars and Lords.
The star’s most notable relationship was with Blue singer Duncan James.
The pair dated between 2008 and 2009 but remained firm friends for years after their time together.
Tara’s relationship history also included a year-long relationship with Duran Duran star Nick Rhodes in 1999, just after she dated then popstar and EastEnders hunk Sid Owen.
The pair were high profile together in 1997 before splitting shortly after.
Tara was also known to have dated Fiat boss Eduardo Teodorani-Fabbri in 2009, and businessman Anton Bilton in 2000 to 2001.
One of her more high profile dalliances was with Lord Robert Hanson.
WHAT IS A PITUITARY TUMOUR?
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