Wednesday 18 October 2017

Relationship between a woman and her brother can be one of life's most cherished

Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, accompanied by her husband Prince Charles, leaves after attending the funeral of her brother Mark Shand. Photo: Reuters
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, accompanied by her husband Prince Charles, leaves after attending the funeral of her brother Mark Shand. Photo: Reuters
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

The sight of Camilla Cornwall's weeping face at the funeral of her brother Mark Shand was itself a tribute to the attachment that can exist between sister and brother.

To lose a brother is to lose part of your own narrative, your childhood's memory, your shared family experience: and, for a grown woman, to lose an influential masculine presence of platonic kinship. Many a woman, looking at that picture, must have reflected on the impact of a brother's loss.

Mark Shand was not exactly stable husband material – men who run off on the hippy trail to Bali seldom tick that box. Expelled from his posh boarding school at the age of 16 – allegedly for smoking dope – he led an adventurer's life in his prime, and "never tied himself to anything so tedious as a full-time job", as one obituarist wrote.

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