Mr S was saddened to hear of the untimely death of Mark Shand, the Duchess of Cornwall’s brother. He was a kind and witty man: a natural bon viveur. Parties for his charity, Elephant Family, which campaigned to protect the habitats of the endangered Asian elephant, were always splendid affairs. Shand’s vivacity and generosity came to the fore and partygoers gave generously.

Mr S remembers one bash at Lakshmi Mittal’s gaffe. Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Michiel Mol, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Joanna Lumley, Sarah Ferguson and countless faceless financiers were dolling out cash like nobody’s business.

London society has lost one of its most dashing players. And the Indian elephant has lost its most determined protector. RIP.

Tags: animals, Obituaries