Royals

Duchess Camilla's brother Mark Shand dies from head injury in New York

April 23, 2014 at 1:56 PM ET

Video: The royal family reacts to the tragic death of Prince Charles’ brother-in-law, Mark Shand, after a freak fall in New York. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

Mark Shand, the brother of Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, died Wednesday from a head injury he sustained from a fall while visiting New York.

“The Duchess, the Prince of Wales and all her family members are utterly devastated by this sudden and tragic loss,” Clarence House said in a statement confirming his death.

FILE - APRIL 23: Mark Shand, brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is being treated for a serious head injury in hospital after falling in New York...
Pool / Getty Images
Mark Shand and his sister, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Shand, 62, was the chairman of the Elephant Family, a wildlife organization fighting to protect the endangered Asian elephant from extinction. He was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's on Tuesday night, when he fell and hit his head. He died at a hospital where he was taken for treatment.

“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," Clarence House said.

The Elephant Family also issued a statement Wednesday expressing its grief.

"Today we have lost the head of our family," the organization said. "Mark Shand was a true force for conservation. He was both a legend and inspiration and above all our great friend. We ask at this time that people’s thoughts are with his loved ones. We will miss him always."

FILE - APRIL 23: Mark Shand, brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is being treated for a serious head injury in hospital after falling in New York...
WPA Pool / Getty Images
Shand with his brother-in-law, Prince Charles.

In a statement by Sotheby's, the auction house said it was "deeply saddened" by the loss and expressed "profound sympathy" to Shand's family.

"We have been honored to help him raise money for his favored cause at numerous events in London and here in New York last evening," Sotheby's said.

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