Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s life in the limelight began through her family’s close friendship with the Royals.
Her former Olympic skier father Charles Palmer-Tomkinson forged a lasting bond with the Prince of Wales after teaching him to ski in the 1970s.
That friendship continued through the generations, with Tara invited to accompany Prince Charles and his children on numerous skiing trips in Europe.
She enjoyed several holidays with the Royals throughout the 1990s at famous ski resorts including Klosters in Switzerland, with Tara and her family understood to join the Prince on at least three vacations per year.
Before she found fame she caused a stir in the press when she was pictured at Klosters kissing Prince Charles in 1995, with the public clamouring to find out who this beautiful mystery woman was.
And following Princess Diana’s tragic death she became a source of comfort and emotional support for the Prince and his children.
She was privileged, talented, gorgeous, wealthy – and famously troubled.
By the close of the 1990s this publicly educated, well-heeled woman had become the ultimate IT girl.
During her years in the spotlight she was a columnist, television personality and model and her party-loving lifestyle made the papers on an almost weekly basis.
Her struggles with cocaine addiction in her twenties and her friendships with the Royals came to define her.
She was even said to have counselled Kate Middleton during her brief split with Prince William that things would ‘work out’ for her.
As a schoolgirl she dreamed of being a concert pianist and should have got round to doing her Grade 8 exam before she left school, but somehow never did.
I just wanted to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and other beautiful pieces,’ she told The Daily Mail last April.
‘I couldn’t be bothered with all the boring technicalities of scales and arpeggios.’
Her early ambitions were ‘to ride in the Grand National, be a vet or play piano at the Royal Albert Hall’.
Her life took a very different twist, however, and she burst in the public consciousness during the mid 90s.
She effortlessly crossed the line from aristocratic society into celebrity culture and it was impossible to open a copy of Hello! or OK! magazines without spotting her.
She was one of the first celebrities to become a ‘brand’ for no apparent reason, effortlessly amassing a newspaper column, book deals and TV presenting gigs.
She was born in Hampshire in 1971 and raised on the huge 1,200-acre estate Dummer Grange estate near Basingstoke.
The youngest of three children, she attended Sherborne School for Girls where she obtained 10 O Levels and three A Levels before temporarily working for Rothschilds Bank in London.
But after deciding a career in finance was not for her, she entered the modelling scene and went on to become one of the countries most famous socialites.
Tara was a true eccentric and her appeal lay in her ability to cross both worlds – the old, aristocratic and wealthy while navigating the trappings of modern, reality television star fame.
In 2009 she sensationally revealed: ‘I have kissed Prince Charles every single day since I was four years old.’
Indeed, there was something of a furore when an adult Tara was seen kissing the heir to the throne in 1995 – but she later revealed the kiss was just ‘to thank him for a day’s skiing’.
It has not been smooth sailing.
She was treated for cocaine addiction at The Meadows rehabilitation clinic in Arizona ten years ago, and went on to appear on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! where she finished as runner-up in the inaugural series.
Tara was the first ever celebrity to attempt a bush tucker trial in which she tackled the ‘Jungle Shower’. Her glamorous look was tested after she was ‘gunged’, but she walked away with eight meals for the camp.
She also won Comic Relief Does Fame Academy – a triumph she