Kate Wright has paid tribute to boyfriend Rio Ferdinand's mother, Janice St Fort, who sadly passed away this week after a battle with cancer. The 26-year-old former TOWIE star shared a photo message on her Instagram account on Thursday evening, which read: "Always loved, never forgotten, forever missed." Alongside the image, Kate simply wrote: "She's royal."
The news of Janice's death was announced earlier on Thursday in a joint statement released by 38-year-old Rio, his brother Anton and the rest of the family. "We are heartbroken to announce that our amazing mum Janice passed away today after an ongoing battle with cancer," it began. "She was an inspiration to us all and was loved by everyone who knew her. She died at Guy's Cancer Unit, London Bridge Hospital, with her loving husband Peter and us, her four children, at her bedside."
Kate Wright paid a touching tribute to boyfriend Rio Ferdinand's mother following her death
The family described Janice as "a devoted mother" and "the most incredible grandmother", adding: "Our mum was the centre and heart of our family and has supported us all through many difficult times, always with a smile on her face. Her strength and courage, as well as her great sense of humour and immense kindness, were never-ending."
The sad news comes two years after Rio lost his wife Rebecca to the same disease in May 2015. The couple had three children together – Lorenz, Tia and Tate – and Rio recently appeared in a BBC documentary, Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, which showed him adapting to life as a single dad. His mum Janice also appeared in the show, and could be seen helping out with her three grandchildren.
Kate and Rio were first romantically linked in January 2017
Rio has been linked to reality star Kate since January, but they have largely kept their relationship out of the spotlight. Earlier this month, they did confirm their romance, with Rio sharing a photo showing him and Kate with his three children. Although their faces are not visible, the group can be seen showing off their new Yeezy trainers in the snapshot. Kate also uploaded a similar picture of their feet, and wrote in the caption: "Thank you @mr.trendz for sourcing us our white yeezys in under a week.... best service."