River Cafe ‘di­a­mond girl’ takes her life af­ter split from Macmil­lan books heir

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Nick Craven

AT A glit­ter­ing en­gage­ment party ex­actly a year ago, Dan Macmil­lan, heir to a £300mil­lion pub­lish­ing for­tune, and his new fi­ancee Daisy Boyd were every inch the golden cou­ple.

The sculp­tress – dressed in a strik­ing black and gold suit – had seem­ingly tamed wild man de­signer Macmil­lan, once dubbed the Vul­gar Vis­count, the great-grand­son of Tory PM Harold Macmil­lan.

The stylish party at the River Cafe – where her step­fa­ther Charles Pul­lan, mar­ried to her mother Lucy, is man­ager – left guests an­tic­i­pat­ing an equally glam­orous wed­ding.

But now her fam­ily are dev­as­tated af­ter Daisy was found dead, hav­ing ap­par­ently taken her own life just months af­ter Dan ended the en­gage­ment.

The grand-daugh­ter of the late River Café co-owner Rose Gray and daugh­ter of lead­ing ar­chi­tect Tim Boyd was found dead at the pri­vate Nightin­gale Hos­pi­tal in Maryle­bone, cen­tral London on Thurs­day.

The cir­cum­stances of her death were un­clear last night. The hos­pi­tal, which spe­cialises in the treat­ment of eat­ing dis­or­ders, ad­dic­tion and other psy­chi­atric ill­ness was judged to ‘re­quire im­prove­ment’ on pa­tient safety in the most re­cent re­port by the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion (CQC).

Daisy, 28, and 42-year-old Dan, were to­gether for three years before Macmil­lan broke off the en­gage­ment in July.

A fam­ily friend said last night: ‘Daisy died on Thurs­day morn­ing and all her fam­ily and friends are dev­as­tated by this tragic news. She was just 28 years old and we are all deeply pained that she has died so young. Daisy was a bril­liantly vi­brant and joy­ous per­son who lit up any room she en­tered.

‘She had an in­fec­tious en­thu­si­asm and has been cut off in the prime of her life. Enor­mously pop­u­lar, cu­ri­ous, gen­er­ous and with a di­a­mond sparkle, she was greatly loved by her fam­ily and friends, and the gap she leaves is, at the mo­ment, un­fath­omable.’

The friend said the fam­ily wished to grieve in peace.

Daisy was a for­mer pupil of £36,000-a-year Wold­ing­ham, a Ro­man Catholic board­ing school in Sur­rey.

In the past Old Eto­nian Dan has been ro­man­ti­cally linked to mod­els Kate Moss and Jade Jag­ger, who ended their friend­ship af­ter find­ing he was dat­ing them si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

Heir to the Macmil­lan fam­ily’s £300mil­lion for­tune, Dan was also for­merly en­gaged to Ukrainian model Sasha Volkova, but split from her in late 2011. For­mally, he is Vis­count Macmil­lan of Oven­den, a cour­tesy ti­tle as he is heir to the Earl­dom of Stock­ton.

His fa­ther, Tory peer Alexan­der, the 2nd Earl, sold the Macmil­lan pub­lish­ing house to a Ger­man firm in the 1990s.

The Macmil­lans are a trou­bled dy­nasty, summed up by some as ‘The Curse of the Macmil­lans’. Dan’s fa­ther, Alexan­der, watched his own fa­ther drink him­self into an early grave and his younger brother Joshua die from an over­dose in 1965. His sis­ter Rachael died from an over­dose in 1987.

Prime Min­is­ter Harold’s wife Lady Dorothy had an af­fair with her hus­band’s best friend, Lord Boothby, which re­sulted in an il­le­git­i­mate daugh­ter, later adopted by Macmil­lan. This daugh­ter, Sarah, be­came an al­co­holic and died af­ter fall­ing down­stairs in 1970.

In June, the CQC found Nightin­gale Hos­pi­tal needed to im­prove pa­tient safety, not­ing: ‘Staff did not al­ways know the where­abouts of pa­tients [...] even when they were po­ten­tially at risk of harm­ing them­selves or oth­ers.’

A spokesman for the £5,000a-week clinic said: ‘Nightin­gale Hos­pi­tal sends our deep­est sym­pa­thies to the fam­ily, but we are not in a po­si­tion to com­ment ow­ing to the del­i­cacy of the sit­u­a­tion and out of re­spect to the fam­ily.’

Lord Macmil­lan could not be con­tacted last night.

For con­fi­den­tial sup­port on sui­cide mat­ters, call the Sa­mar­i­tans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit sa­mar­i­tans.org.

‘She was a vi­brant and joy­ous per­son who lit up a room’

GOLDEN COU­PLE: The pair at their en­gage­ment party

RIVER CAFE FAM­ILY: Daisy’s grand­mother Rose Gray, left, and co-owner Ruth Rogers

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