The daughter of millionaire property magnate Baron Palumbo was banned from driving yesterday after police caught her at over twice the drinks limit while speeding from a birthday party at 1.20am with a passenger and without any lights on.
Hon. Lana Rose Palumbo, 26, daughter of Peter Garth Palumbo, 82, told magistrates she was simply moving her blue Fiat 500 from a single yellow line to a residents parking bay.
She pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court to driving in Collingham Gardens, Chelsea on February 15 with 81 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
The legal limit is 35.
She was disqualified for twenty months and fined £520, with £85 costs and ordered to pay a £52 victim surcharge.
Lana, who lives in the family’s nearby six-bedroom £3.7m property in Astell Street, told the court: “I made a terrible error of judgement. I was driving my car a short distance, but I was under the influence and I do feel very ashamed and very embarrassed and I’m very sorry.
“I was parked in Old Brompton Road on a single-yellow and the idea was to move the car to a residents bay. My judgement was off, I should have just left the car, but I feared it would be towed away.
“I misjudged how much I consumed and I did not have dinner that night,” she said from behind the glass-panelled secure dock, wearing black jeans, a charcoal-grey crew neck pullover and white shirt.
“I was not even intending to have more than one drink.”
Lana told the magistrates her wallet, money and bank cards were lost that night so she could not pay for a taxi.
She is employed in business development by The Walbrook Club, an exclusive private members club located near the Bank of England in a 1952 Queen Anne-style townhouse built by her property developer grandfather Rudolph Palumbo.
She was educated at £21,000-a year Collingham College, Earl’s Court and studied graphic design at £11,400- year Shillington College in the Square Mile.
As daughter of a Baron she carries the ’Honourable’ title.
“This matter goes back to the fifteenth of February and it was twenty past one in the morning when police on uniformed patrol on Brompton Road saw a blue Fiat that was, in their opinion, driving above the 30mph speed limit and it did not have any lights on,” said prosecutor Mr. Malachi Packenham.
“They followed and stopped the vehicle and when she opened the window they could immediately smell alcohol. She was asked to step out of the car and was described as smelling of alcohol and unsteady on her feet.”
The court heard she “blew red” at the roadside. “She was brought into custody at charing Cross Police Station.”
Magistrate Mrs Catherine Seddon told her: “I’m sure that you were aware when you entered your plea there was a mandatory period of disqualification. In determining the period of disqualification we took into account the reading, in this case eighty-one microgrammes in breath.
“In this case what aggravates the offence is that clearly you were driving in a dangerous fashion. The police behind you say you were speeding and you did not have any lights on at the time and you were carrying a passenger.
“We can take into account your remorse is genuine and you were only travelling a short distance.”
She had a full clean driving licence up until this offence and asked to complete the optional drink-drive awareness course to knock twenty weeks off her road ban.
She told the court: “I’m working part-time. I was working with my mother for a month. I’m basically trying to set up something and put a business plan together and I have inheritance.”
“Can I pay this week?” asked Lana. “I was in the process before I was stopped of selling my car. So the car is sold.”
Lana is heiress to a vast multi-million pounds property empire along with her siblings, who include Petra, 28, a fashion model and James, 54, - Lord Palumbo - the Ministry of Sound nightclub and entertainment empire supremo,
She was formerly employed by fashion brand Muzungu Sisters and says her dream is to open cafe in Portobello.
Her father, Eton-educated Oxford University graduate Peter Garth Palumbo, 82, is godfather of Princess Beatrice.
Baron Palumbo inherited a family trusts with an estimated value of over £135m
Lana’s mother is Lebanese-born Hayat Morowa, 66.
The family fortune was made by Lana’s grandfather Rudolph, the son of an Italian immigrant, who bought up and developed central London bomb sites after World War Two.
Her father is the ex-polo playing team mate of both Prince Philip and Prince Charles has been described as an arts connoisseur, ultimate society insider and confidant of the royals.
He is said to have given sanctuary to Princess Diana after he separation from Prince Charles at his country pile Bagnor Manor, near Newbury, Berkshire.
Baron Palumbo graduated with a Master of Arts and from 1976 to 1994 was a governor of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
He was Chairman of the Tate Gallery Foundation, Serpentine Gallery and the Arts Council during the eighties and nineties and was also Chancellor of Portsmouth University.
Baron Palumbo is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Structural Engineers, the Faculty of Building and Royal Institute of British Architects.
He was made a life peer on February 4, 1991 with the title Baron Palumbo of Walbrook, City of London.
He has a reputation for big-spending and his three children from his first marriage took him to the High Court, claiming he used the family trust to spend £2.5m on vintage wine; £1.8m on classic cars; £13m on valuable art, plus the purchase of a French chateaux.