The King and Queen support the Elephant Family


The King and Queen have celebrated the 20th anniversary of wildlife conservation charity Elephant Family, which was established by Her Majesty's late brother Mark Shand.

The King and Queen attend the Animal Ball

At Lancaster House, Their Majesties joined the Animal Ball to celebrate 20 years of remarkable work by the Elephant Family.

The King attends the Animal Ball

The wildlife conservation charity committed to building landscapes that support coexistence between humans and wildlife. Elephant Family supports a wide range of projects that find ways for humans and animals to live closer together - from securing a network of wildlife corridors which act as bridges between islands of forests, to relocating busy highways that slice through primary forest.

The organisation was founded in 2003 by The Queen's late brother, Mark Shand, who was deeply passionate about protecting and supporting elephants and Asian wildlife.

The King with Mark Shand in India

This year’s Animal Ball is a celebration of indigenous communities, hosted by the Elephant Family in partnership with the British Asian Trust. At the event, Their Majesties will present two Elephant Family awards - the Mark Shand Award and the Tara Award - to recognise contributions to protecting Asian wildlife.

Their Majesties present the Tara Award

Their Majesties met the night’s award winners, including members of the Adivasi tribal community from the Nilgiri Mountains in India, and Oscar-winning Indian documentary-maker, Kartiki Gonsalves. The Tara Award is named after Mark Shand’s elephant, who first inspired the establishment of the Elephant Family.

Their Majesties present the Mark Shand Award

In 2020, Elephant Family joined forces with the British Asian Trust in a new philanthropic partnership dedicated to supporting Asia’s wildlife. The alliance brings together the best minds in conservation, management and philanthropy to respond urgently to the growing human-wildlife conflict crisis and the loss of habitat threatening Asia’s elephants, big cats and the rural communities who live alongside them. By combining expertise, the charities are accelerating their response and scale their impact on both.

As The Prince of Wales, His Majesty The King founded the British Asian Trust in 2007 alongside British Asian business leaders. The charity works to reduce poverty and disadvantage for communities in South Asia. This includes work in areas of anti-trafficking, education, livelihoods, mental health and conservation.

Lantana elephants head to the Royal Parks

In 2021, more than 100 life-size Lantana elephant sculptures took over the Royal Parks in London as part of Elephant Family and British Asian Trust's CoExistence campaign. The campaign aimed to raise funds to invest in projects which reduce human wildlife conflict, promote more positive attitudes towards wildlife and support the communities living alongside them.

Some of the Lanterna Elephant sculptures that formed part of the exhibition now live permanently in the gardens at Highgrove and Raymill.

The King and Queen with laterna elephants at Highgrove