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

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
William and Kate pay their respects (Photo: Getty)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the King Power Stadium in Leicester on Wednesday, to pay tribute to the five victims of the helicopter crash – including Leicester City Football Club’s Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

He died alongside four others when the Thai billionaire’s helicopter crashed shortly after take-off from the ground on October 27.

The royal couple were accompanied by Mr Srivaddhanaprabha widow Aimon and their children Aiyawatt and Aroonroong, as they visited the tribute site to add flowers to the masses that have already been laid there.

Kate and William joined them in a quiet moment of reflection before meeting club manager Claude Puel and players Kasper Schmeichel, Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire. 

The Duke and Duchess join Mr Vichai’s family during a quiet moment of reflection (Photo: PA)

They also spoke with volunteers and club supporters who helped to relocate the thousands of tributes which were left outside the front of the stadium to the site.

The couple donned muted outfits for the sombre occasion, with William in a dark suit and Kate wearing a grey tweed Catherine Walker coatdress, Cassandra Goad pearl earrings and carrying a £495 Aspinal of London Midi Mayfair bag in black croc. 

Prince William was among those who paid tribute when the tragedy happened.

In a statement released by Kensington Palace, the Duke said: “My thoughts today are with the family and friends of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and all the victims of the terrible crash at Leicester City Football Club.

William and Kate speak to Leicester manager Claude Peul and his players (Photo: PA)

“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.

“He made such a big contribution to football, not least through Leicester City’s magical 2016 season that captured the imagination of the world.

“He will be missed by all fans of the sport and everyone lucky enough to have known him.”

Mr Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (born Vichai Raksriaksorn) was the president of Ham Polo Club in London from 2008 to 2012, and Princes William and Harry have played in charity matches. 

Later today, the Duke and Duchess will visit the University of Leicester to hear about some of the educational programmes that Leicester City Football Club has helped to support.

This includes a £1m donation made by Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha in May 2018, which will be used to help fund medical research and training at the University through the creation of a Professorship in Child Health.