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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to pay respects to Leicester helicopter crash victims

Credit: PA

Prince William and Kate will pay their respects to the late chairman of Leicester City football club today when they visit the site of the helicopter crash which killed him.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people died in the accident at the club’s King Power Stadium last month.

Both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will give their personal condolences to the son of Mr Srivaddhanaprabha, Aiyawatt, who is the club’s vice chairman and they will praise the work the Thai businessman did for many charities in the city.

The Foxes squad, including Jamie Vardy and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, will also be introduced to the royals.

Many of the players have expressed how devastated they have been since they learned of the death of their former chairman.

Fans have also left thousands of tributes for Mr Srivaddhanaprabha close to the stadium.

His son said the visit was “a remarkable gesture of compassion to the families of those who lost their lives, to the staff and players of the club and to the people of the city whose lives were touched by my father”.

Five people died in the crash in October.

Kensington Palace said that William and Kate wanted to come to the city “to recognise the warmth and compassion that the people of Leicester and fans of Leicester City Football Club have shown in reaction to the accident".

Prince William is President of the Football Association, and that role brought both him and his wife into contact with Leicester’s chairman.

Immediately after the crash, William said: “I was lucky to have known Vichai for several years. He was a businessman of strong values who was dedicated to his family and who supported a number of important charitable causes.”

After their time at the King Power Stadium, the Duke and Duchess will visit the University of Leicester where they will view some of the educational programmes that the club – and its former chairman – supported.

It includes a £1 million donation made by Mr Srivaddhanaprabha earlier this year which is funding medical research at the university through the creation of a Professorship in Child Health.

The club’s owner was killed along with two assistants and two crew members when his helicopter crashed on October 27 at the stadium shortly after Leicester’s 1-1 draw with West Ham.

Today, his son said: “We intend to showcase some of the best of Leicester – both in the way the city has come together in the face of such tragedy and in the great work we will continue to undertake in my father’s name as part of our commitment to his legacy.”