The Duchess of Cornwall's brother Mark Shand has died in New York aged 62, as a result of a serious head injury which he sustained during a fall, according to Clarence House.
The Duchess of Cornwall's brother was taken to hospital on Tuesday night after he reportedly slipped while lighting a cigarette outside an after-party for a charity event, and hit his head on the pavement.
His family have been alerted.
Mr Shand was a travel writer, and was visiting New York for an auction at Sotheby's in aid of a charity for underprivileged children, as well as the Elephant Family which he was the chairman of. The fund aims to save the endangered Asian elephant from extinction in the wild.
The charity event raised $1.6 million US dollars (£950,000) for charity and was also attended by Princess Eugenie, according to reports.
The news comes as the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales were preparing fir a tour of Canada.
It appears that Mr Shand had left a charity auction at Sotheby’s on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on Tuesday evening to enjoy a late evening with friends at a midtown club called the Diamond House. It may have been after midnight when some in the group repaired further to the Rose Bar, on the ground of the Gramercy Park Hotel.
It was at roughly 3 am that Mr Shand reportedly stepped outside for a cigarette and fell. When an ambulance arrived soon afterwards he is said to have complained to paramedics of a sharp pain in his head. He was rushed to nearby Bellevue Hospital, regarded as offering the best care for trauma injuries in New York City, but he was declared dead inside the facility.
A friend who was apparently with Mr Shand at the Diamond House spoke to the Daily News in New York of the shock. “It is so sad. He stayed till the end and was on his way to another venue downtown when he fell,” the friend said. “He was jovial and in a good mood enjoying the party,” the friend said
The Gramercy Park, which sits just above the park of the same name at the bottom end of Lexington Avenue, is a luxury hotel. Its restaurants and bars are popular with models, actors and the well-connected set of Manhattan.
Mr Shand had been at Sotheby’s for an auction of Faberge eggs, including one he had entered for sale with a Humpty Dumpty design. He had offered it for sale to raise money for his elephant cause.