Duchess of Cornwall's brother Mark Shand dies after fall in New York

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and her late brother, Mark Shand. Photograph: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images The brother of the Duches...

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and her late brother, Mark Shand. Photograph: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
The brother of the Duchess of Cornwall has died after an accident in New York, Clarence House has said.
Mark Shand, 62, was in New York organising fundraising for his conservation charity when he fell and seriously injured his head.
A spokeswoman for Clarence House, which deals with the affairs of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall said: "It is with deep sadness that we have to confirm that the Duchess of Cornwall's brother, Mark Shand, has today passed away in New York. Mr Shand died in hospital as a result of a serious head injury which he sustained during a fall last night. 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."
Shand was the chairman of Elephant Family, a conservation charity, and a travel writer and conservationist. He was attending a party after an auction at Sotheby's in New York in aid of Elephant Family when the accident happened, according to the Mirror. The incident is believed to have happened at the Diamond Horseshoe nightclub at the Paramount Hotel in the West 46th Street. The newspaper quotes a source who said that Shand had stepped outside to smoke a cigarette when he slipped and fell.
He was involved in a major fundraising event called the Big Egg Hunt, sponsored by Fabergé. The hunt involves 200 giant eggs hidden around New York which are then decorated by famous artists and designers and then sold at auction.
The auction that Shand attended at Sotheby's raised $1.6m for his charity. Guests included Diane von Furstenberg, Hayley Bloomingdale, Princess Eugenie of York and Princess Ira von Fürstenberg.
Shand described how he "fell in love" with an elephant called Tara in Madras. He bought Tara and rode her across the north-eastern states of India. It was this journey that inspired him to start Elephant Family in 2000.
The CEO of Elephant Family, Ian Walkden, said: "We have lost the head of our family. Mark Shand was a true force for conservation. He was both a legend and an inspiration to us and above all our great friend. We will miss him always."
Walkden said Elephant Family had delivered £6m of support to the conservation of Asian elephants and was responsible for creative and inspirational fundraising campaigns.


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