Sir Richard Branson has announced that his mother Eve has died after battling Covid.
The entrepreneur said Eve, 96, a writer and philanthropist, died as a result of fighting the disease.
Sir Richard said he wanted to “celebrate her wonderful life, her tremendous spirit, the joy she brought so many and the love she gave us all”.
The founder of the Virgin Group, who is the eldest of her three children and her only son, wrote on Twitter: “I’m sorry to share this, sadly like the mothers and fathers of many people these days of Covid. My mother Eva also passed away.
“Instead of mourning her loss, I wanted to celebrate her wonderful life and the joy she brought to so many.”
On his blog he wrote: “I am sorry that my mother Eve, like many relatives and friends of many people, also passed away from Covid.
“She won one last victory and managed to fight off the virus, but put all her energy into it.
“One of my wonderful sisters, Vanessa and nephew Louis, were with her until the end, as were the wonderful nurses who entertained her with stories from their lives and lots of laughter over glasses of whiskey.
“Instead of mourning her loss, I want to celebrate her wonderful life, her tremendous spirit, the joy she has brought to so many and the love she has given us all.
“Mom was 96 years old but had the same enthusiasm and energy that she had when I was a boy.
“As far as so many of us are concerned with Covid these days, it feels so strange that the person who was always there for us with so much zest for life has disappeared.
“My sisters Lindy, Vanessa and I were very fortunate enough to grow up with mom and dad as our parents and to instill values that would last a lifetime.
“You taught us the importance of working hard, not taking yourself too seriously, treating people how you would like them to be treated, being entrepreneurial, and more.
“They showed us the importance of family in the world and surrounded us with love and encouragement.”
Describing his mother as a “force of nature” who “led many notable lives,” Sir Richard added that as a boy she took gliding lessons in disguise, recorded in the Wrens during World War II and touring Germany as a ballet dancer after the war , played on the West End stage and worked as a flight attendant on British South American Airways routes.
It made headlines in 2011 after it was reported that she was saved from a fire on Sir Richard’s private Caribbean island of Necker by actress Kate Winslet.
However, she later denied it had happened, telling The Guardian, “It was the hurricane of hurricanes and we were on fire and we would all have been burned alive if it hadn’t been for my grandchildren.”
“It was four or five in the morning and they were walking around getting everyone out of bed.
“I remember saying, ‘I’d better put my Mac on’ because I was trying to cover up, and Jack (her grandson) said, ‘No, right now. “
“Anyway, I was just outside and the rain was raining and I didn’t have my contacts in, but I was on my way outside and Kate and her two children were behind me.
“Then she just picked me up and took me down four steps and that was it.
“I’m sorry, I can’t make a story out of it.”