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Tara in good place before death from natural causes, say socialite's family

By Lucy Mapstone

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson had been making plans for the future when she died peacefully in her sleep, her family have said.

In the first statement issued since the socialite's sudden death last week, her family thanked "the many people" who had contacted them, adding it has been "a source of great comfort to know how loved she was by so many people".

The statement said the former 'It' girl (45) died peacefully in her sleep due to a perforated ulcer and peritonitis.

It continued: "Those that knew and were close to Tara knew that there was no retreat to a dark place, as some have disappointingly sought to suggest. In the last few weeks Tara was happy, positive and making plans for when she recovered her health.

"As usual, she had been busy with the friends and family she loved, and who loved her in return. She was in communication with her family and others of whom she was fond over her final weekend and had spent a lot of her time recording music and playing the piano in her apartment - a sure sign that she was happy and feeling good."

The family confirmed her funeral will be held on February 27.

They said: "This will be a private moment for family and close friends to grieve and we would ask that our privacy at this time is respected. We will miss Tara very much and will never forget the joy, love and humour she brought to our lives."

Yesterday her sister, the author Santa Montefiore, posted a series of tweets thanking people for their support in the recent days following Palmer-Tomkinson's death.

She added that she wanted to "clarify" a few things and referenced a coroner's report.

She wrote: "Today, the coroner's report states that Tara died of natural causes - a perforated ulcer. She did not have a brain tumour."

Montefiore added that "contrary to some reports, Tara was not the god-daughter of HRH the Prince of Wales". She echoed the family statement saying that her sister had been in "high spirits in her last days. She had plans, trips and had written a moving new song".

The reality TV star was found dead in her west London flat last week.

Last year she revealed her fear of dying after being diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour. After finding out about the growth in her pituitary gland, she later spoke about also suffering with an auto-immune disease that caused tiredness, joint pain and acute anaemia.

In what is believed to be one of her last interviews, she told the Daily Mail's Weekend Magazine about her quest to "make her family proud again".

Following the news of her sudden death, her close friends the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were among the first to pay tribute.

Charles and Camilla said they were "deeply saddened and our thoughts are so much with the family".

A death notice in the Daily Telegraph was published last week, stating: "Tara Clare died peacefully in her sleep." The piece also added that a private funeral is to be held.

Peritonitis is the inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen and is caused by an infection, according to the official NHS website.

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