Globe-trotting British billionaire Richard Branson and his wife, Joan, landed in Washington, D.C. on Thursday for an important mission. Not only was Richard here to meet aviation industry leaders but the couple also planned to surprise his mother.
After official business was taken care of at the British ambassador’s residence, the Virgin Group chairman hurried across town for some family fun.
The adventurer crept into the Georgetown mansion, where his 90-year-old mother, Eve, was holding a private book signing. A party goer, who was in on the surprise, said to Eve, “Someone very important wants a picture.” Mum Branson turned around to find “her baby” blushing in seeming satisfaction. She had no idea he, too, was in D.C.
“I never know where he is,” Eve said. “He springs up.”
As the author of “Mum’s the Word: The High-Flying Adventures of Eve Branson,” Mrs. Branson seems to possess the same sense of adventure as her hot air balloon-spacecraft-submarine-traveling son.”My mum’s given me a lifetime of surprises,” Branson gleamed about his mother, who was “air hostess” for many years, travelled the world and was — and still is — a real go-getter, according to her son. “She’s been the best mom ever. The least I can do is support her and run after her.”
And Branson will have to run if he wants to keep up. After Eve Branson wraps up her trip in the nation’s capital, she’ll jet to Morocco, where she’ll host a polo match to raise money for her foundation.
And after that, space? “She’s definitely going to come up in the mother ship to drop the spaceship off,” said Richard, who plans to travel to space by the end of the year.
“She never stops,” he said. “I think that’s what keeps her young.”