THE mother of billionaire Richard Branson left behind an estate worth £3.7 million.

Evette Huntley Branson died from Covid complications in January at the age of 96. She lived in Cakeham Manor in West Wittering.

Probate documents show her full estate being valued at £3,731,160 - although the net value amounted to £87,387.

Her will, produced in July 2016, revealed that her executors were her daughter Vanessa Branson and Peter Norris - with Richard named as reserve.

Paying tribute to his mother, Richard said his company Virgin would never have been set up without her.

The mother-of-three's will included an instruction to be cremated and a bench be built at West Wittering overlooking the sea.

Her grandson Ned Rocknroll was given her beach hut - number 156 in West Wittering.

Richard and his wife Joan Branson were gifted all furniture and pictures from a property in Rivermead Court, London, while he was also given her shareholdings in Cakeham Manor Estate and Webbs Land.

The Argus: Billionaire Richard Branson (left) with his mother Evette Huntley Branson Billionaire Richard Branson (left) with his mother Evette Huntley Branson

Grandson Noah Devereux was gifted her Bayliner boat, while daughter Vanessa was given a fishing boat named Saki, which was moored in Chichester.

Evette also left a property called The Craft House in Morocco to Vanessa, together with all contents that don't form part of the Eve Branson Foundation.

Vanessa was also gifted a mooring in the South of France.

All profits and other rights from her autobiography Mums the Word and her book Sarkey Puddleboat were gifted to Holly Peppe.

Each of her grandchildren and great grandchildren were also awarded £1,000.

Evette, who was widowed in 2011, was described by Richard Branson at the time of her death as a “force of nature” who “lived many remarkable lives”.

This included enlisting in the women’s branch of the Royal Navy in World War II, touring Germany as a ballet dancer and working as a flight attendant.

Richard also said he owed his career to his mother, recalling a day in the late 1960s when his mother saw a necklace lying on the road and took it to the police station.

When no one had claimed it after three months, police told his mother she could keep it.

"She came up to London, sold the necklace and gave me the money,” he said.

"Without that £100, I could never have started Virgin."