The death of the Camilla Parker Bowles’ brother Mark Shand, who fell and banged his head outside a New York hotel bar, has been ruled an accident.
A spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office in New York said the 62-year-old’s death was caused by blunt impact head trauma with skull fracture and bleeding in the brain.
Mr Shand, was in New York for an auction at Sotheby’s in aid of a charity for underprivileged children and the Elephant Family, of which he was chairman, which aims to save the endangered Asian elephant from extinction in the wild.
He was taken to hospital after reportedly slipping while lighting a cigarette and hitting his head on the pavement outside an after-party for the charity event.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have sent their condolences to Camilla.
William and Kate, who are coming to the end of their tour of Australia and New Zealand, passed on their sympathies to Camilla who was left “utterly devastated” by her brother’s death.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were saddened to learn this morning of the tragic death of Mark Shand,” Kensington Palace said.
“Their thoughts are with the Duchess of Cornwall and her family at this time”.
Camilla and the Prince of Wales, who are preparing for a high-profile tour of Canada next month, are believed to have received the bad news at their Birkhall home in Scotland.
A Clarence House spokesman said yesterday: “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”.