Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

Biography: Tara is the daughter of Charles and Patty Palmer-Tomkinson, close friends of the Prince of Wales, (who is her godfather), and has been described as a surrogate sister to Princes William and Harry. Her older brother James is a banker and her sister Santa is married to journalist Simon Sebag Montefiore. Why Palmer-Tomkinson? Tara's great-grandfather, James Tomkinson, of Willington Hall, Cheshire, was a first class cricketer and the son of a Tory cabinet minister and banker, the Right Honourable James Tomkinson (born 1841), whose wife's name was Emily Palmer. In about 1925 (some years after marrying a third cousin of the late Queen Mother) the younger James changed his name to Palmer-Tomkinson. No doubt it seemed like a good idea at the time. Tara was brought up on her father's country estate in Hampshire and went to Presten Candover School near Basingstoke, then to boarding schools at Hanford (for girls) and Sherborne (mixed). She left school at eighteen with A-levels in English,Tara is the daughter of Charles and Patty Palmer-Tomkinson, close friends of the Prince of Wales, (who is her godfather), and has been described as a surrogate sister to Princes William and Harry. Her older brother James is a banker and her sister Santa is married to journalist Simon Sebag Montefiore. Why Palmer-Tomkinson? Tara's great-grandfather, James Tomkinson, of Willington Hall, Cheshire, was a first class cricketer and the son of a Tory cabinet minister and banker, the Right Honourable James Tomkinson (born 1841), whose wife's name was Emily Palmer. In about 1925 (some years after marrying a third cousin of the late Queen Mother) the younger James changed his name to Palmer-Tomkinson. No doubt it seemed like a good idea at the time. Tara was brought up on her father's country estate in Hampshire and went to Presten Candover School near Basingstoke, then to boarding schools at Hanford (for girls) and Sherborne (mixed). She left school at eighteen with A-levels in English, Art, and Ancient History. Speedily moving on to London, Tara took a modelling course at the Lucie Clayton College, which led to a career around the world as a fashion model. She hit the headlines in 1991 as an 'It Girl' after being featured in Tatler magazine, quickly becoming famous for her glittering lifestyle and constant partying. Tara says her youthful ambitions were to ride in the Grand National and to appear on the Muppet Show. Although she has so far failed in both, she has written a racy Sunday Times gossip column, appeared in a Puff Daddy video, made a TV commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken, spoken at the Cambridge Union Society, played a piano recital at London's Festival Hall, been hailed as a Bollinger babe and become a bra model. In 1998, she appeared in a cameo role as Olivia Basildon in Daniel Figuero's movie of the Oscar Wilde romantic comedy An Ideal Husband.Tara's love life has not been uneventful. She has had affairs with restaurateur Mogens Tholstrup, pop star Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, playboy Greg Martin, billionaire Robert Hanson, public relations man Kris Thykier, Hugo Speer and many others. In August 2002, she was quoted in the UK press as saying she was so fed up with men that she wanted no more long term relationships... In April, 2000, Tara was admitted to a rehab clinic in Arizona for six weeks, suffering from alcohol and cocaine addictions. After beating the booze she rediscovered her talents and began designing her own fashion range.In 2002, she took part successfully in the 'Big Brother' style programme I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!, ending the series with a popular vote which left her as runner-up to Tony Blackburn. He gave her the title 'Queen of the Jungle'.Tara has a St Bernard called Pushkin and a Jacobean house in Basingstoke which really is called P-T Towers. In early 2001, she launched a website at www.tarapt.com which includes an agony aunt column and lots of lovely pictures of herself, but it seems to be offline now. Expand