The Duchess of Cornwall was joined by The Prince of Wales and son Tom Parker Bowles on Thursday afternoon at a memorial service for her brother Mark Shand at St Paul’s Church, in Knightsbridge.
Mr Shand was killed suddenly in April in New York City in a tragic fall when he stepped out to light a cigarette and hit his head.
Camilla was in Scotland at Birkhall when she received the tragic news of her brother’s heartbreaking accident.
Those in attendance today included Princess Beatrice, Prince and Princess Micheal of Kent, actor Stephen Fry and racing icon Jackie Stewart.
In a piece written by The Duchess of Cornwall, published in The Times on Thursday, she expressed her love for her brother and highlighted what a remarkable person he was:
“On a glorious early Spring day in Scotland where red squirrels scampered over the lawn, breakfasting on a conveniently placed bucket of nuts, and birds of all sizes sang away in their morning chorus, peace reigned and all seemed well – until the shrill ring of the telephone broke the magic. An anguished voice on the other end told me that something terrible had happened to my brother; my indestructible brother, Mark.”
In what is the first time she publicly discussed her brother’s tragic death, The Duchess highlights her brother’s work with Elephant Family was co-founded by Shand in 2002.
Camilla wrote about the visit to India she and The Prince of Wales were on last year, discussing the Kerala corridor and how her brother made the awful weather still bearable:
“Last year, when we were visiting India, he took my husband to see it. In monsoon-like conditions and, much to Mark’s fury, in the absence of any elephants at all (for every living creature, except for two cows, had been frightened off by the hoards of police) my husband was at last able to meet some of the people who had helped with, and benefitted from.”
Camilla’s tribute to Mr Shand is a heartfelt piece showing readers not only her love for brother, but honouring his tireless work with the elephant Family and dedication to Asian elephant conservation.
The full text of the letter may be read here: Times article by The Duchess of Cornwall on her brother, Mark Shand