London Evening Standard/London

The ashes of the Duchess of Cornwall’s brother Mark Shand are to be scattered in India as his beloved elephant, Tara, looks on.
The adventurer and conservationist died after fracturing his skull when he slipped and fell outside Gramercy Park Hotel following a night out partying in New York last year.
The 62-year-old became a passionate conservationist after a trip to India in 1988, when he saved Tara by buying her from her owners, who were using her for begging.
He and the elephant then embarked on a 1,000-mile journey across the country, which he documented in 1992 bestseller Travels On My Elephant.
Shand later set up the charity Elephant Family, which aims to protect Asian elephants and their habitat.
The Duchess of Cornwall described him as “a golden boy, blessed with good looks, charm and a devil-may-care attitude to life”.
In his honour, nephews Tom Parker Bowles and Ben Elliot will today start a 500km rickshaw race across India to raise £2mn for elephant conservation.
Joined by 88 other competitors including Yasmin Le Bon and her daughter Amber, they will race for a week across Madhya Pradesh to the Kipling Camp in Kanha National Park, where Tara lives.
Elliot, 39, said: “Our trip will be bittersweet. I know it is something Mark would have loved — a mad race across his favourite country, raising money for Elephant Family, getting to spend time with his beloved Tara.
“At the end of the trip my family and I will be scattering Mark’s ashes with Tara at Kipling Camp. We miss him every day.”
Elliot, chairman of health, welfare and education charity the Quintessentially Foundation, said the Travels On My Elephant trek “will be a wonderful, fun, crazy challenge, I hope with not too many misadventures, though Mark would have loved those.
“Mark was an extraordinary spirit with an insatiable love of adventure and a commitment to cherish and save elephants. I regard it as a privilege to continue his work and an inspiration for my life.”
Shand died in April last year after celebrating raising £1mn for his charity at a Manhattan auction, attended by Princess Eugenie.
An inquest found he had suffered a fracture to his unusually thin skull  - just 1mm thick in places  - and bleeding on the brain. Prince Charles and Camilla became joint presidents of Elephant Family after Shand’s death, with Charles calling him “inspirational”.

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