The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were at Leicester City Football Club today to pay their personal tribute to the victims of the recent helicopter crash.
The couple were shown around the stadium by Mr Aiyawatt, the son of the late club chairman Mr Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. He died in the helicopter crash with four others when the aircraft came down on 27 October, shortly after takeoff.
The Duke and Duchess visited the crash site to meet players and hear about the various charities Mr Vichai supported, before making their way to the University of Leicester where Mr Vichai donated £1 million for medical research.
Prince William, who is a fan of the game and president of the Football Association, knew Mr Srivaddhanaprabha personally. He said: “He was lucky to have known Mr Vichai for several years” and said “he was dedicated to his family.”
Prince William clasped the hands of Mr Vichai’s son Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha and conveyed his condolences before introducing the Duchess.
Kate was seen laying a bouquet of flowers at the crash site and a condolence card, signed by the couple, which read: “To Vichai and all those who died in this terrible tragedy, you will be dearly missed. Our sincere condolences to the city of Leicester.”
The Duke and Duchess also met members of the club’s staff and volunteers who helped relocate the thousands of tributes left outside the King Power Stadium.
Mr Vichai’s widow Aimon and their daughter were also present at the stadium.
Mr Aiyawatt said it was an “honour” to welcome the royal couple to the King Power Stadium.
He added: “For their Royal Highnesses to visit the city to pay their respects personally is 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.”
Two members of Mr Vichai’s staff, Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai and helicopter pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz, were also killed in the crash.
An investigation into why the helicopter came down soon after takeoff continues.