THE widow of fugitive aristocrat Lord Lucan said she didn’t “fear dying alone” after never healing the rift that formed between her and the family after her husband vanished
Lady Lucan was found dead after police battered down the door of the Belgravia home her husband vanished from 43 years ago.
In the final interview she gave before her death Veronica, the Dowager Countess of Lucan, revealed that she had no fear of slipping away with no one at her side.
She told the Daily Mail: “I don’t fear dying alone — not at all but I do fear dependency. I’d find that very depressing. It would be horrible to feel you were a burden.
The 80-year-old had been reported missing after failing to meet a friend for their daily walk in London’s Green Park.
Her son George Bingham, the 8th Earl Lucan, told the Daily Mail: “She passed away at home, alone and apparently peacefully.
“Police were alerted by a companion to a three-day absence and made entry today.”
The 8th earl, a banker, and his sister Camilla, a barrister, have said they do not believe their father was guilty.
Veronica had reportedly not spoken to her three children for 35 years and had never met any of her five grandchildren.
In a statement the family said: “Veronica’s children and her sisters are deeply saddened by the news and circumstances of her death.
“Although Veronica severed relations with her family in the 1980s, and continued to decline contact with them right up until her death, all of them remember her lovingly and with admiration.
“She had a sharp mind, and when she spoke it, she did so eloquently. She was courageous and, at times, outrageous, with a mischievous sense of humour.
“She was, in her day, beautiful and throughout her life fragile and vulnerable, struggling as she did with mental infirmity. To us she was and is unforgettable.”
Veronica, the Dowager Countess of Lucan, was one of the last people to see the 7th Earl John Bingham alive before he became the most famous fugitive in the world.
He is believed to have bludgeoned family nanny Sandra Rivett to death after mistaking her for his estranged wife during a bitter custody battle over their three children in November 1974.
Lady Lucan was also attacked by the intruder and later identified her husband as the culprit.
She had been watching TV in her bedroom when she claimed she disturbed her husband after the fatal attack in the basement.
Veronica said he hit her four times with a length of bandaged metal piping before she fled to a nearby pub and raised the alarm.
She later recalled: “He told me, ‘I’ll go to Broadmoor for this’. George and Camilla were seven and three when it happened, and asleep in bed.”
As police launched a manhunt Lucan vanished without trace – sparking a mystery that still captures the public imagination today.
It is believed friends may have helped whisk him out of the country.
There have been hundreds of reported sightings over the last four decades though none were confirmed.
Last year Lucan was officially declared dead and his son George finally inherited his title.
She claimed in a new documentary earlier this year her husband used to beat her with a cane before they had sex.
Lady Lucan revealed how she became depressed when the marriage broke down and how her husband would hit her on the bottom with a cane to “beat the mad ideas out of her head”.
She said: “They were measured blows. He must have got pleasure out of it because he had intercourse (with me) afterwards.”
Asked if she had any regrets, Lady Lucan replied: “‘I am deeply sad that my marriage caused Sandra Rivett to die.”
She believes her husband killed himself by jumping off a cross-Channel ferry and that his body was chopped up by the propeller.
Over the years there have been numerous alleged sightings of Lord Lucan across the world in Africa, India, and New Zealand.
An alternative theory suggested by a former pal earlier this year was that his body was fed to a tiger at Aspinall’s Zoo in Kent.
Despite his wealthy background, at the time of the incident Lucan was saddled with gambling debts which could have contributed to his mental state.
Lord Lucan was named as Mrs Rivett’s murderer at her inquest – making him the last person in Britain to be declared a murderer by an coroner’s jury before ruled were changed.
The peer was officially declared dead last February at the High Court after his son George Bingham, 50, made an application for a death certificate under the Presumption of Death Act.
The couple’s two other children are Frances, 52, and Camilla, 47.
Veronica lived alone at two-bed news cottage close to the family townhouse in Lower Belgrave Street where Mrs Rivett was killed.
Lord Lucan lived in the cottage when the marriage broke down and Lady Lucan moved in three years after his disappearance.
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