Tara Palmer-Tomkinson may have been dead for up to five days before her body was found on Wednesday (08.02.17) afternoon.

The 45-year-old socialite's body was discovered by a close pal at her luxurious penthouse in west London, but it's thought the brunette beauty could have lost her life at the latter end of last week after builders working in the apartment below heard ''a very loud bang'' from her flat before everything went silent.

One builder told The Sun newspaper: ''We thought about going upstairs to see if everything was OK, but the emergency services arrived a few minutes later. We'd hear her walking around up there.

''But last ­Friday we heard a very loud bang in the afternoon -- like someone or something falling over. We hadn't seen her or heard her since then.''

Tara - who was the goddaughter of Prince Charles - revealed last November that she had been diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour and thought it would kill her.

Police are currently treating her death as ''unexplained'' but her close friends are concern that her battle with drug addiction may have something to do with it after they suspected she relapsed at a party in Mayfair, London, just before Christmas.

One person from Tara's inner circle told the publication: ''We never saw her take anything, but she seemed out of it and kept going to make phone calls. There was concern. Something was up and she looked particularly dishevelled. There was a real worry she may have fallen back into using drugs as a crutch in the wake of her health worries and low moments.

''She desperately wanted to leave her drug issues in the past, but was so lonely and nobody could watch her 24 hours a day.''

After her tumour diagnosis last year, Tara's outlook on life shifted and friends say she became ''reclusive'' and had started discussing how she wanted her funeral.

A friend explained: ''Her health had left her in a really bad way and she was very low. She thought about death a lot and even discussed her funeral at points.''

A post-mortem will be carried out on Tara's body to determine her cause of death but, unless the examination comes back conclusive, toxicology tests will need to be undertaken to find out whether she had drugs in her bloodstream when she died.