Liverpool Leader Asks Royal Family To Attend Stadium Memorial
LONDON (AP) _ A Liverpool City Council leader today urged Queen Elizabeth II or members of her immediate family to attend a memorial service for the 95 soccer fans killed in Britain’s worst sports disaster.
″It is never too late to do the right thing,″ city council leader Keva Coombes said on British Broadcasting Corp. radio. ″All we can do is say we think you’re making a mistake. Please, please come.″
The only members of Britain’s royalty planning to attend Saturday’s service in Liverpool are the Duke and Duchess of Kent. The duke, the queen’s cousin, is president of the Football Association.
Buckingham Palace has said the queen and her husband will send a representative, the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Kenneth Stoddart. A message from the queen will be read aloud by church leaders conducting the service.
Coombes, leader of Liverpool’s Labor Party-controlled local government, said the royal family is out of touch with ordinary Britons.
″It looks as if their advisers are ... are starting to lose the feel of ordinary men and women up and down the country, who are very keen on the monarchy,″ he said.
Britain’s royal family also was criticized for failing to attend a memorial service for the 270 people killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
Coombes said either the queen, her husband or one of their children should attend Saturday’s service for Liverpool fans who were crushed to death at a soccer match in Sheffield on April 15.
Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife Princess Diana visited the injured at a hospital in Sheffield. Buckingham Palace said today that Charles would visit the Liverpool Football Club next week.
″Everybody appreciates their going to the hospitals and comforting those who are alive, but I think they need to listen a bit more closely perhaps to ordinary men and women than some of their advisers in London,″ Coombes said.