Mark Shand

Mark Shand

Mark Shand's ex-girlfriend has paid tribute to the late conservationist.

Ruth Powys, the on/off partner of Britain's Duchess of Cornwall's brother - who died suddenly in the early hours of Wednesday morning (23.04.14) following a fall outside the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City - has spoken touchingly about her memories of Mark, describing him as her "inspiration in life".

The 39 year old, the CEO of his Elephant Family charity, had reportedly been involved with Mark since his divorce from Clio Goldsmith in 2009.

She told MailOnline: "Mark was my everything, my inspiration in life, he gave me everything I have, he's everywhere I look."

Explaining that she was by Shand's side at Bellevue Hospital at the time of his death, she said:"I had my hand on his heart...he was surrounded by his elephant family."

She continued: "We had been together off and on for many years after Mark was divorced, we were not together at this moment.

"I had moved to New York to try and separate myself from him, but we had the deepest love, we were full of love for each other.

"Our relationship was low key, we had a shared passion for elephants, we had the same spirit. We were trying to separate, it was such a difficult thing to do to try and move on, he wanted me to find someone my own age."

Ruth's twin sister Mary has flown to the US to comfort her sibling following the tragic news of the charity campaigner's death after he fell through a revolving door and sustained a fatal injury to his head.

Prince William and Duchess Catherine have expressed their condolences to devastated Camilla after the loss of her brother, who was just 62.