The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid a poignant visit at the home of Leicester City, where they paid their respects to the five people who died in a helicopter crash in October. Prince William and Kate knew the club's chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabh, who was among the victims, and wanted to visit the city to recognise the compassion shown by the people of Leicester following the tragic accident. The royal couple walked around the tribute site near the stadium, before meeting players and members of the club's management team.
Prince William and his wife Kate also met volunteers and club supporters who helped to move the thousands of tributes that were left outside the front of the stadium to the special stadium. The football club's owner died alongside his employees Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner, Izabela Roza Lechowicz, who was also a professional pilot. The five people were killed on 27 October when the helicopter crashed outside Leicester City's King Power Stadium soon after taking off.
In the aftermath of the crash, William paid tribute to the "big contribution to football" made by the owner of Leicester City. "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," he 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. He made such a big contribution to football, not least through Leicester City's magical 2016 season that captured the imagination of the world." Prince William, who is the president of the FA, then concluded: "He will be missed by all fans of the sport and everyone lucky enough to have known him."
Kate, 36, laid an arrangement of white flowers wrapped in blue, reflecting the Club's colours, with a wreath card reading: "To Vichai and all those who died in this terrible tragedy, you will be sorely missed. Our sincere condolences to the city of Leicester.” It was signed "William" and "Catherine".
Club owner Vichai, who was married and had four children, bought Leicester City for £39m in 2010. He famously led the club to their 5,000-1 Premier League success in 2016.
The royals were also joined by the late club chairman's wife Aimon, son Aiyawatt and daughter Aroonroong.
William, 36, clasped their hands with both of his as he offered his condolences and the couple chatted to them for several minutes.
They also met LCFC chief executive Susan Whelan and team manager Claude Puel, who presented them to captain Wes Morgan, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (son of Man Utd goalie Peter) striker Jamie Vardy and his fellow England stars Harry Maguire and Ben Chilwell and Director of Football Jon Rudkin.
The royal couple looked solemn as they chatted to each player during their visit.
Kate looked at the tributes at the site as William, president of the Football Association and a keen fan of the game, stood beside her.
The Duchess then went on a brief walkabout to meet volunteers and staff from the club who helped to relocate the thousands of tributes left at the site of the crash to a dedicated area near the King Power Stadium.
The royals seen sharing a lovely moment with well-wishers.
Both William and Kate happily chatted away outside the stadium.