/Richard Branson’s mother Eve dies, aged 96, from coronavirus  | Daily Mail Online

Richard Branson’s mother Eve dies, aged 96, from coronavirus  | Daily Mail Online

He said: ‘It is no exaggeration to say I owe my career to mum. One day in the late Sixties mum saw a necklace lying on the road near Shamley Green and took it to the police station. 

Eve Branson, mother of Sir Richard Branson, pictured on the front cover of Everbody’s magazine, as an air hostess for British South American Airways in the 1940s

Eve Branson, the mother of billionaire Sir Richard, has died at the age of 96 after a battle with coronavirus

The Branson matriarch’s death has been with an outpouring of grief and tributes from her family, with her son Richard describing her as the ‘proud grandmother of 11 and great-grandmother of 10, all of whom love her dearly and miss her greatly’.

Eve was born on July 12, 1924, in Edmonton, Middlesex, the daughter of Dorothy Constance (Jenkins) and Major Rupert Ernest Huntley Flindt.

She lived a colourful life and her son Richard revealed how she used to pretend to the a boy so she could learn to fly gliders. In the Second World War, Eve served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Afterwards, she toured Germany as a ballet dancer with Entertainments National Service Association.

She later became an airline hostess for British South American Airways. She married Edwards Branston and, after marrying, she ran a real estate business. She was also a military police officer and probation officer and even penned novels and children’s books. 

Her son Richard, born in 1950, described her as an entrepreneur and said: ‘When I was growing up she was always working a project; she was inventive, fearless, relentless – an entrepreneur before the word existed.’ 

One of her most successful businesses saw her build and sell wooden tissue boxes and wastepaper bins.  

Writing in his autobiography, Richard said: ‘She had a seemingly limitless imagination for coming up with new business ideas. I don’t recall her ever considering herself an entrepreneur – that was probably only because I don’t think the word existed back then and if it did nobody knew what it meant – but she was certainly the definition of ‘enterprising’. 

‘Eve is a human whirlwind. No matter what the latest big thing was, she’d always manage the whole process by herself from developing the ideas to crafting the products, to making deals with distributors, delivering and selling the goods. Nobody else could get in her way, it was her show and hers alone! I remember being very impressed by one of her more successful ventures, which was building and selling wooden tissue boxes and wastepaper bins.’ 

Richard also spoke about how he owed his billionaire career to his mother. 

He said: ‘It is no exaggeration to say I owe my career to mum. One day in the late Sixties mum saw a necklace lying on the road near Shamley Green and took it to the police station. 

Eve Branson (nee Flindt), mother of Sir Richard Branson on her wedding day to Edward Branson at St Peter’s Church in Frimley Green, Surrey

Sir Richard Branson (2nd right) with his children Sam (left) and Holly (right), sister Vanessa Branson (2nd left), nephew Noah Devereux (centre back ) and his mother Eve Branson (centre front)

‘After three months nobody had claimed it so the police told her she could keep it. She came up to London, sold the necklace and gave me the money. Without that £100, I could never have started Virgin. 

Throughout her life, Eve was a child welfare advocate. She established the Eve Branson Foundation and served as its director. 

This charitable organisation provides communities in Morocco with income-generating projects and training.

She was also a member of the board of directors of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, the goal of which is to help find missing children, and to stop the exploitation of children.

She was a founding member of ICMEC’s board of directors in 1999, and her son Richard was ICMEC’s founding sponsor.  

In 2013, at the age of eighty-nine, Eve launched her autobiography titled Mum’s the Word: The High-Flying Adventures of Eve Branson. 

Her husband Ted died in his sleep in 2011 and in an interview four years later, she said still had male companions who were up to 40 years her junior. 

Eve was avid croquet player and also played tennis and golf in her latter years.  

She also shared her tips for old age and said: ‘Keep busy and have enough interests to keep you busy.’

Eve also advised ‘keeping the lipstick going’ and credited a vodka cocktail and a nightly tot or two, ‘occasionally three’, of whisky, with helping her to maintain her youthful vigour.  

Eve previously hit the headlines in 2014 when she dismissed reports she had been rescued from a fire on her son’s private Necker island in the Caribbean by Titanic star Kate Winslet.    

In August 2011 it was widely reported that Kate had rescued Eve as she tottered down stairs at Necker Island, picking her up in her arms and carrying her to safety, after a lightning storm caused a huge blaze.

But, in an interview, Eve later dismissed the heroic act, saying that Kate only carried her down four steps and ‘that was it.’