Palmer was the daughter of Jerome Carandini, Marquis of Sarzano and Marie Carandini and was born in Hobart, Tasmania. As a child she accompanied her mother on a concert tour in the east, and at an early age developed a soprano voice of excellent range and quality. She toured widely in Australia and New Zealand and married Edward Palmer, a bank official, and settled at Melbourne. There she became the leading soprano singer of her time, taking the soprano part in the performances of the Philharmonic and other well-known societies.
Well trained and a thorough musician, Palmer could be relied upon to give an excellent rendering of the music of her part. There is a well-known story that on one occasion, the tenor's voice failing during a performance, Mrs Palmer sang his music at sight in addition to her own. After her retirement Palmer was a successful teacher of singing. She died at the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra on 16 June 1932. Her husband had died some years before, and she was survived by a son and two daughters of her eight children.