The tycoon has promised the island paradise will be ready for Holly Branson’s nuptials in December
Richard Branson has vowed to rebuild Necker Island in time to host daughter Holly’s December wedding – just hours after a devastating fire swept over the island, raising the luxury Great House to the ground.
Speaking of the previous evening’s events, when actress Kate Winslet bravely swept his 90-year-old mother to safety, he said: ‘The overriding emotion though was a strong sense of relief that we had all got through it unscathed.
‘Special congratulations and lots of hugs went to Kate Winslet’s two beautiful children Mia, 10 and Joe, 7 – they were real troupers and two of the bravest kids I’ve ever come across!’
With the rebuild at the forefront of his mind, Branson wrote on his blog: ‘It will take some time and it will be a few days before we understand the full extent of what is needed but lots of the talk in the middle of the night turned to what we could build, what would it look like, how could we design something even more beautiful.
‘These thoughts kept the emotions at bay and stopped us dwelling on the fact that we had just lost our much beloved home and got us concentrating on the future.’
And on plans for Holly’s wedding to shipping tycoon fiancée Freddie Andrews – which will reportedly be attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Branson said he will start the work ‘as soon as possible’ to have the paradise island ready on time.
‘We have a wedding to celebrate in December and I can’t imagine giving my daughter’s hand in marriage, to the very lucky man (!) who is her fiancée Freddie Andrewes, anywhere other than on Necker Island beach.
‘We would love to get the house rebuilt in time but we know there is so much work to be done but we will start as soon as possible and it’s safe to do so.
‘Simply put we suspect that there may be slightly more tents for the wedding guests on the beach now but Holly and Freddie’s wedding will definitely still happen here!’
Finally, the Virgin boss thanked wellwishers for their support, adding the whole family had been ‘truly moved’ by the messages.
He added: ‘We are so blessed that no one died or was seriously injured and we are counting those blessings together as a family.