Tragedy struck the world of soccer after a helicopter crashed just outside of Leicester City’s stadium on Oct. 27, killing the soccer team’s owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, along with four others on board. Knowing Prince William’s deep love for the sport, he and Duchess Kate will dedicate some time on Wednesday (Nov. 28) for a joint outing paying their respects to the lives lost.
The meaningful visit will take place as part of a broader trip to the city. The parents of three will start off their engagement by seeing the tribute site next to the stadium, after which they’ll greet players and members of the management team. They’ll also spend time chatting with the kind-hearted volunteers who spent hours moving the thousands of tributes, which were left outside the stadium in touching memory of the accident.
Prince William and Kate will then stop by King Power Stadium, where the helicopter initially took off moments before crashing, to meet with representatives from local charities supported by Vichai’s philanthropy. Continuing on with their busy day, the couple will head off to University of Leicester to learn about the educational programs the club has helped fund. One of Vichai’s biggest qualities was his generosity – he donated CA$1.7 million to the university, which helped fund medical research and training. William and Kate will complete their visit with a walkabout trough the school’s Centenary Square to say hello to locals.
Two days after Vichai’s tragic death – along with his staff, Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai, and pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Roza Lechowicz – the Duke of Cambridge released an emotional and heartfelt statement: “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. 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 will be missed by all fans of the sport and everyone lucky enough to have known him.”