UK & World News

  • 24 April 2014, 8:59

Camilla 'Utterly Devastated' At Death Of Brother

The Duchess of Cornwall's brother Mark Shand has died after suffering a serious head injury during a fall in New York.

Law enforcement sources have told Sky News the 62-year-old travel writer fell at around 3amon Wednesday outside the Rose Bar on Lexington Avenue.

It has also been reported that Mr Shand was lighting a cigarette at the time.

A statement from Clarence House said: "The Duchess, The Prince of Wales and all her family members are utterly devastated by this sudden and tragic loss.

"Mark Shand was a man of extraordinary vitality, a tireless campaigner and conservationist whose incredible work through The Elephant Family and beyond remained his focus right up until his death."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also released a statement.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were saddened to learn this morning of the tragic death of Mark Shand. Their thoughts are with The Duchess of Cornwall and her family at this time."

Mr Shand, Camilla's only brother, was in the city for an auction at Sotheby's in aid of a charity for underprivileged children and the Elephant Family.

A statement from the charity said: "Today we have lost the head of our family.

"Mark Shand was a true force for conservation. He was both a legend and inspiration and above all our great friend. We will miss him always."

The charity, which Mr Shand was the chairman of, aims to save the endangered Asian elephant from extinction in the wild.

The auction was the finale for the month-long Big Egg Hunt NYC by Faberge, in which egg sculptures were sold to the highest bidder.

It raised 950,000 ($1.6m).

Mr Shand wrote a number of books and appeared in documentaries, with elephants and India common themes.

He won the 1996 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Prix Litteraire d'Amis for his book Queen Of The Elephants, which was later made into a BBC documentary.

When Mr Shand was younger he was known for partying.

He was expelled from Milton Abbey School in Dorset for smoking cannabis and spent time as a rally driver and bobsleigh star.

Major Bruce Shand, his father, opted to send him to Australia when he was expelled and Mr Shand stopped off in India, where his fondness for elephants developed.

He was romantically linked to the likes of Bianca Jagger, Jackie Onassis' sister Lee Radziwill and Jackie's daughter, Caroline Kennedy.

Mr Shand married the French actress Clio Goldsmith in 1990 and they had a daughter together called Ayesha.