Camilla leads mourners at brother's funeral

Britain's Prince Charles, right, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, centre, arrive for the funeral of Mark Shand, the brother of the Duchess of Cornwall. Photo / AP
Britain's Prince Charles, right, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, centre, arrive for the funeral of Mark Shand, the brother of the Duchess of Cornwall. Photo / AP

Comforted by her husband Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, led mourners at the funeral of her brother Mark Shand.

The 62-year-old conservationist and travel writer died after falling and hitting his head on the pavement outside the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York on April 22, after attending a charity auction.

His death left Camilla, wife of the heir to the British throne, "utterly devastated", a spokesman for Clarence House said.

Around 180 people attended Shand's funeral tody at the Holy Trinity Church in Stourpaine, a village in Dorset, southwest England, where the family live.

Mourners included Conservative MP Nicholas Soames and Zac Goldsmith.

The duchess's younger brother was known for his dedication to protecting the endangered Asian elephant. He founded the conservation charity Elephant Family.

Shand leaves behind a 19-year-old daughter, Ayesha, by his former wife Clio Goldsmith, the French former actress. The teenager paid a personal tribute at the funeral service.

Shand's nephew Ben Elliot read from his uncle's book, Travels On My Elephant.

The musician Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, flew in from the US to perform an acoustic version of his hit Wild World.

The conservationist's wicker coffin, garlanded by flowers, was carried out of the church to Colonel Hathi's March (The Elephant Song) from the 1967 animated film The Jungle Book.

Charles held his wife's hand as they left the church. The duchess wept and he put his arm around her as they walked to the nearby family home for a private reception.

- AFP

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