Here’s a sad postscript to the obituaries of Tory grandee Cecil Parkinson’s daughter Mary, who died last December at the age of 57.
I can disclose that Mary, who idolised her father and struggled to cope after he died from cancer in 2016, failed to make a will.
This means that her entire estate, valued at £1.19 million before tax, will go to her mother, Ann, under intestacy rules. She was unmarried and had no children.
Probate documents reveal that Mary’s fortune had a net value of £964,400. Inheritance tax will be deducted from that figure.
Mary’s death followed years of drug addiction during which she once admitted: ‘I so very much wanted to please my father.’
She was beanpole thin and frail after succumbing to anorexia — the eating disorder that first gripped her as a teenager — when she was found dead at her £900,000 home in Battersea, South-West London.
Her death was being treated as a case of suicide. She had been admitted to hospital for psychiatric treatment twice in the year before her death.
Cecil Parkinson had been one of the towering figures of Margaret Thatcher’s government, a man whom many thought might become her successor as prime minister but for the revelation that he had fathered a daughter with his secretary in 1983. It wrecked his political career. Mary, the eldest of his three daughters by Ann, the wife who stood by him over his affair with Sara Keays, was the only one to break the family’s long silence over the scandal.
She praised her late father’s former mistress for the way she had struggled to bring up her disabled daughter, Flora.
Mary — who never met her half-sister — said Miss Keays ‘had done a brilliant job’.
On the day Mary was fined for possession of drugs in 1987, she said of her father: ‘He used to get really angry with me because he had never known failure in his life. The pressure on me was too much, and I just cracked.’
DAILY MAIL – 15th May 2018