Charles and Camilla joined by Princess Eugenie at Elephant Family event

Yesterday evening, Princess Eugenie joined The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Lancaster House, for reception in aid of Elephant Family.

Charles and Camilla are joint president’s of the Elephant Family, a charity aiming to help conserve the remaining Asian elephant population. The reception was in support of the ‘Travels With My Elephant’ global rickshaw race, to raise funds for the charity.

Prince Charles, a conservationist himself, gave a speech, honouring Mr Shand:

As Joint Presidents of this marvellous charity Elephant Family my wife and I, could not be more proud to support their vital work. 

‘After all, we are all here to ensure that dear Mark’s hard-won legacy is maintained and enhanced. I can’t help thinking he would have been so pleased to know if he had been with us that we have just met the representatives of four conservation charities who are partnering with Elephant Family with the aim of unlocking £20 million pounds to secure one hundred elephant corridors across India by 2025.

‘This evening’s events are designed to highlight the quest to save Asia’s endangered elephants from a frighteningly precipitous decline. There may be no more than 50,000 left in total in the wild across the 13 countries where they are literally clinging to survival.

‘Sadly, it is the case that the pressures of finite space and the needs of an unsustainably growing human population have brought us into conflict with these remarkable creatures. Assam, in North-East India, is home to one of the largest remaining populations of the Asian elephant, but its forest habitat is disappearing at an increasingly alarming rate.

‘Witnessing this conundrum, Mark’s vision was simple but profound; the elephants can survive only if forests survive,’ the Prince said. 

Mark Shand, the Duchess’ late brother, was an adventurer and travel writer, who passionately supported the plight and conservation of the Asian elephant.

‘This is why, ladies and gentleman, Elephant Family and the Quintessentially Foundation, and indeed Asia’s elephants, so sorely need your help.

‘Other great challenges of the ages have unleashed a fleet of ships. This challenge has unleashed a fleet of incredibly artistic tuk tuks!

‘I hope you will agree that in such a guise they are a worthy tribute to the magnificent animal that Aristotle once described as the beast that passeth all others in the wit and mind and which they seek to save,’ Charles finished. 

Princess Eugenie was in Duke of York Square a few days ago, visiting Tara the Elephant, once again supporting the Elephant Family charity. The Princess read an extract of Mark Shand’s book ‘Travels to my Elephant’ to 20 children from a local school.

The end of the evening saw an auction of 20 of the rickshaws, some of which were designed by Mulberry, Diane von Furstenberg and Matthew Williamson. Princess Eugenie’s former employer, Paddle8, auctioned off the tuk tuks.

The Princess is due to move back to London soon, having taken a new job.

Feature image: i-images

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