Thursday 19 September 2019

'She was simply spectacular' - Iris Goldsmith's mother speaks of 'ocean of grief' following teenager's death

Ben Goldsmith’s daughter Iris, 15, dies in quad bike incident on family farm
Ben Goldsmith’s daughter Iris, 15, dies in quad bike incident on family farm
Iris Goldsmith died suddenly after reportedly becoming trapped when a vehicle she was riding on the family farm overturned Photo credit: Family Handout/PA Wire.
Iris Goldsmith with her father Ben Goldsmith Photo credit: Family Handout/PA Wire

Henry Vaughan and Adam Hale

THE family of Iris Goldsmith have released pictures of their "angel", who was killed in an accident on the family farm in Somerset in England, as the inquest into the teenager's death was opening in Taunton.

The 15-year-old daughter of financier Ben Goldsmith died suddenly last Monday afternoon after reportedly becoming trapped when a vehicle she was riding, said to be similar to a quad bike, overturned.

A private funeral attended by family and friends was held at St Mary's Church in Barnes, south-west London, on Wednesday afternoon.

Iris's mother, Kate Rothschild, paid tribute to her in the eulogy as she said: "I can't possibly begin to explain the ocean of grief we find ourselves in or the feeling of being shattered into a thousand unfindable pieces.

Iris Goldsmith with her father Ben Goldsmith
Photo credit: Family Handout/PA Wire
Iris Goldsmith with her father Ben Goldsmith Photo credit: Family Handout/PA Wire

"And even harder than that would be to explain her, to really do her justice. She was simply spectacular, her light was brighter than any I've ever known. She was just magical, but there aren't enough words, or I don't know how to find them at least."

Iris's brothers Frankie and Isaac also delivered a message at the funeral, which was led by the Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson.

Iris's family shared photographs and details of the service on Friday, as the inquest into her death, which they are not expected to attend, was due to open.

Her mother said in the eulogy: "Yes, Iris was life-giving and free and fun and wild, but she also worked harder than any girl I've ever known and she cared, she cared so much about living her best life.

"She had so many plans and dreams and ambitions and she was willing to put everything she had into reaching them.

"So my message to you, and all I really wanted to say today is this - please, if there is any glimmer of light in this darkness, it's that you will keep her in your hearts, remember the words she gave you and the way she made you feel and let it drive you forward.

Iris Goldsmith died suddenly after reportedly becoming trapped when a vehicle she was riding on the family farm overturned
Photo credit: Family Handout/PA Wire.
Iris Goldsmith died suddenly after reportedly becoming trapped when a vehicle she was riding on the family farm overturned Photo credit: Family Handout/PA Wire.

"Take every opportunity that is given to you, live life as openly and fully as you possibly can, love like she loved, live like she lived, work like she worked, try like she tried.

"You have given her the most beautiful send-off, your tributes have profoundly touched us all, now go and live your lives like she would have wanted you to, thrive like she wanted you to and like she intended to. And then maybe, just maybe this won't all have been for nothing.

"Goodbye, my angel, you were always on a whole other level to the rest of us, now you are truly untouchable, I am so proud of you and I always will be, we will miss you for the rest of time.

Iris was the first child of Mr Goldsmith - who is the younger brother of Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith and journalist Jemima Khan - and his ex-wife, Ms Rothschild.

They married in 2003, uniting two of Britain's most wealthy families, but divorced a decade later.

The teenager, who attended Wycombe Abbey, an independent girls' boarding school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, died at the start of the summer holidays.

The incident on the family farm near the village of North Brewham, Somerset, was not treated as suspicious by police.

On Friday an inquest into her death was opened with a short hearing at the coroner's court in Taunton.

Senior coroner Tony Williams said: "There is only limited information available to me at present, but I understand she was the driver of a left-hand drive all terrain-type vehicle when it turned over for reasons that are yet to be established, and as a result it is believed she suffered fatal injures."

Mr Williams said pathologist Dr Edwin Cooper, of Yeovil District Hospital, had confirmed Iris's cause of death was "not currently ascertained" and a post-mortem report had yet to be compiled.

Mr Williams adjourned the inquest for an internal case management review by October 18, with a final inquest hearing expected next year.

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News