Sir Rochard Branson, 70, the British multi-billionaire business magnate has announced the death of his 96 year-old mum, Eve to Covid-19 complications.
Disclosing this to his 4.2 million followers on Thursday on Instagram, the Virgin Group boss writes: “I’m sorry to share that, sadly like a lot of people’s mums and dads right now in these days of Covid, my mum Eve has also passed away. But rather than mourn her loss, I wanted to celebrate her wonderful life, her tremendous spirit, the joy she brought to so many, and the love she gave us.”
He explained: “It has been a very sad and difficult time all over the world as COVID-19 continues to affect so many people.
“My mum tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago. As mum is 96 years old and has underlying health issues, we feared the worst. She had been due to receive a vaccine the day after she tested positive.
“However, mum has always been a tremendous fighter, and we’re so happy she has now tested negative for COVID-19. It is early days, but she appears to be on the road to recovery.”
He added: “Mum has been entertaining the wonderful nurses looking after her with tales from her life, sharing adventures in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, trying to teach them morse code, and of course telling stories about her family. A huge thank you from all our family to the incredible people helping mum and so many others with such compassion, care and skill.
“We’re thinking of everyone going through tough times and sending love and positive thoughts to you all.”
Eve survived a fire on her son’s Necker Island six years ago after family friend Kate Winslet saved her life.
The Titanic star saved the tycoon’s mum when she was 90 years old.
Kate helped carry Eve to safety after lightening hit the mansion on his £90million.
Branson, who was staying in a villa nearby, likened Kate’s dramatic rescue to a scene from one of her Hollywood blockbusters.
He said: “Many thanks to Kate Winslet. It was she who carried my mother out of the house. She swept her up into her arms and got them out of the house as fast as possible.
“My mum is 90 and can walk but it was more to speed the process up than anything else. But Kate was great.”
Eve, who is also survived by daughters Lindy and Vanessa, was hailed “a force of nature” who “lived many remarkable lives”.
Recounting some of her impressive feats, Sir Richard wrote in a blog post on his website today: “She took glider lessons disguised as a boy, enlisted in the WRENS during World War II, toured Germany as a ballet dancer after the war, acted on the West End stage and worked as a pioneering air hostess on the treacherous British South American Airways routes … It is no exaggeration to say I owe my career to mum.
“We were so sad to lose dad back in 2011, but mum did exactly as he would have wished by continuing to grab life with both hands.”