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Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla's poignant new garden feature revealed

The royals welcomed some new additions to their home

Emily Nash

The arrival of four life-size sculptures of elephants at the Prince of Wales’s Highgrove country estate this week was a cause for celebration – and reflection– for Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall.

Their adopted family of elephants consists of an adult male, Bamboo Bomman, an adult female, Kamala – Sanskrit for lotus – and young female calves Padosee, meaning neighbour in Hindi, and Mallika, a variety of jasmine flower.

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Their statues are part of the latest initiative from the Elephant Family, the charity Camilla’s brother Mark Shand co-founded in 2002, and she believes her brother – who died in 2014 – would be "so proud".

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"I think they’re so beautiful and my brother, who founded the charity, I think if he saw all these elephants now scattering across the south-west of England, he’d be so proud," said the Duchess.

"When sadly he died, having raised a lot of money for the charity, and my husband and I took it on, I don’t think he would have believed how well it could have [gone]."

The elephants were destined to join a herd of 125 sculptures that had been due to 'migrate' through the Royal Parks and Berkeley Square in London over the summer in the charity’s environmental art exhibition, CoExistence.

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Prince Charles and Camilla welcomed four life-sized sculptures of elephants to their home

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But when plans were put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic, the artworks found themselves locked down in a barn on the Cotswolds farm of Elephant Family's Principle Trustee Ruth Ganesh.

Keen to find a way to support the cause, the Duchess came up with the idea of an elephant adoption agency, placing the sculptures with some of her elephant-loving friends for the winter.

She and Prince Charles, joint presidents of the organisation, were delighted to welcome their own mini elephant family. And HELLO! was there to witness their installation on the lawn outside the Orchard Room at the Prince’s private Gloucestershire home, where they will be on display for visitors until next year.

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Elephant Family was co-founded by Camilla's late brother, Mark Shand

Camilla, in a Musto padded jacket and Dubarry boots, inspected the new arrivals along with her husband, who wore a traditional long woollen coat from Pakistan for the occasion.

"It’s gone from strength to strength and I’m just really proud to be part of it and that we’ve been able, with the help of Ruth, who’s absolutely fantastic, to bring it to this level. To have these elephants here is so special."

The CoExistence exhibition is due to open next May, to coincide with the UN Biodiversity Conference and aiming to raise awareness of the Asian elephant and all wildlife struggling to co-exist with humans.

Pick up the new issue of HELLO! out on Monday for the full story.

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