Monday, April 22, 2024

Mark Shand, Brother-in-law of Prince Charles, Adventurer and Environmentalist, Dies after Hitting Head on NYC Sidewalk


Shock: Mark Shand, the great British adventurer and environmentalist, died at age 63 this morning in New York after falling late last night and hitting his head.

Let me tell you why I am so shocked. Before Mark and some friends went over to the Diamond Horseshoe club on West 46th St., he hosted a benefit fundraiser at Sotheby’s for his elephant charity. Jamie Niven helped auction off dozens of Faberge-produced “eggs” designed by artists. One of them, by Jeff Koons, sold for $850,000. The night was a total success.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend Sam Moore, at Shand’s request, brought his whole band including the Uptown Horns, and did a 30 minute set. The whole place was dancing. I was there. Shand danced to “Soul Man” and Moore’s other hits, took the microphone, and sang Sam’s praises. He showed us the elephant tattoo on his right forearm and said, “I got this when I first went to save the elephants.”

One of the eggs was signed by Prince Charles and Shand’s sister,  Camilla Parker -Bowles. The artist turned it into Humpty Dumpty. Everyone wanted it.

It was the one and only time I ever spent in the company of Mark Shand. Even if he hadn’t died, suddenly and tragically, today, I would have told he was one of the most charming, down to earth, nicest people I’d ever met.  The fact that he died in accident a short time later is just stunning. I’m sure everyone who was at Sotheby’s, including his daughter, is in shock.

Lesson that can never be over-stated: Life is precious. Live every day to the fullest.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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