I have never made a secret of my fondness for the Geldof family. Bob Geldof and Paula Yates moved to my home town shortly before the birth of their first daughter, Fifi Trixibelle in 1983, and soon became a familiar sight around town, as well as an integral part of our community. The affectionate relationship between the family and the people of Faversham was detailed by Paula in her 1993 book “Village People”, and was never more prevalent than when the Geldofs would hold the annual fête in the grounds of their priory home. We would rub shoulders with the likes of Sting and Lulu, whilst waiting to see who had won the prize for best Victoria sponge!
Having previously married in Las Vegas, the couple renewed their vows in the church that formed part of their priory, in 1986. We then saw Paula bloom through her two subsequent pregnancies, whilst still Mrs Geldof, and watched Fifi, Peaches and Pixie grow up. It is therefore, with great sadness, that I write on the passing of the Geldof’s middle daughter, 25 year old Peaches Honeyblossom.
Already, there has been much speculation as to the circumstances surrounding Peaches’ death, and no doubt there will be further hypotheses in the days and weeks to come. Indeed, the media circus that surrounded the death of Ms Yates in 2000, will undoubtedly pale into insignificance, in the forthcoming reporting of her daughter’s death. Comparisons between the two tragedies have already surfaced, and events from the family’s past again dredged up, with no concern for those they may hurt. Let us not forget that at the centre of all this is a family “fractured so often, but never broken”. No one has the right to compound that fracture by perpetuating idle ruminations or by the exposure of events best forgotten. The failure to leave the past where it belongs will only serve to exacerbate a unbearably painful situation for those who loved, and were loved by, Peaches.
Prior to this devastating news, I had begun to write a piece about Paula Yates, which would have been published later this month, to coincide with what would have been her 55th birthday, on 24th April. I had written that Paula was “the blonde who defied the stereotype. Unconventional and controversial, with a remarkable wit and intellect, surpassed only by her love for her children. Her untimely demise was a tragic loss for all who knew her.” Who could have guessed the same would apply to her daughter just days after it had been written?
I end this post with the words of the man who has seen more than his share of adversity and heartache, yet continues to be the rock upon which the rest of the family will lean. Bob, our heartfelt sympathies are with you all.
The statement released by Bob Geldof today:
“Peaches has died. We are beyond pain.
“She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us.
“Writing ‘was’ destroys me afresh. What a beautiful child. How is this possible that we will not see her again? How is that bearable?
“We loved her and will cherish her forever. How sad that sentence is.
“Tom and her sons Astala and Phaedra will always belong in our family, fractured so often, but never broken.
“Bob, Jeanne, Fifi, Pixie and Tiger Geldof.”