The Virgin Group founder shared a post dedicated to his mother on the company’s website, saying he wanted to “celebrate her wonderful life, her tremendous spirit, the joy she brought to so many, and the love she gave us all”.
Sir Richard said that while his 96-year-old mother had managed to “fight off the virus”, she “expended all of her energy in the process”.
“I’m sorry to share that, sadly like a lot of people’s relatives and friends right now, my mum Eve has also passed away from Covid,” the entrepreneur wrote.
“She held on for one last victory, managing to fight off the virus, but had expended all of her energy in the process.
“One of my wonderful sisters, Vanessa, and nephew Louis were with her until the end, as were the wonderful nurses who she entertained with tales from her life and much laughter over glasses of whisky.
“Rather than mourn her loss, I want to celebrate her wonderful life, her tremendous spirit, the joy she brought to so many, and the love she gave us all.
“Mum was 96 years old, but had the same enthusiasm and energy she had when I was a boy.
“As for so many of us in these days of Covid, it feels so strange that the person who has always been there for us, with such zest for life, is gone.”
He continued: “My sisters Lindy and Vanessa and I were so lucky to grow up with mum and dad as our parents, instilling values that have lasted a lifetime.
“They taught us the importance of hard work, of not taking yourself too seriously, of treating people how you wish to be treated, of entrepreneurship, and so much more.
“They showed us how family is the most important thing in the world, and surrounded us with love and encouragement.”
Sir Richard described his mother as “a force of nature”, who “lived many remarkable lives”, adding that she took glider lessons disguised as a boy, enlisted in the Wrens during the Second World War, toured Germany as a ballet dancer after the war, acted on the West End stage and worked as an air hostess on the British South American Airways routes.
She made headlines in 2011 after it was reported she had been saved from a fire on Sir Richard’s private Caribbean island Necker by actress Kate Winslet.
Eve was also an author and philanthropist, founding The Eve Branson Foundation, which helps improve the lives of women and young girls in the Atlas Mountains, as well as providing access to education and health care.