Asia

Storm forces William and Kate’s royal plane to abandon Islamabad landing

LAHORE, Pakistan: A fierce storm in Islamabad forced a plane carrying Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate to abandon two landings before returning to Lahore late on Thursday (Oct 17), reporters travelling with them said, in a dramatic end to a day of cracking cricket balls and touring the towering historic Badshahi Mosque.

The Voyager, a British Royal Air Force jet transporting the couple during their five-day tour of Pakistan, was caught in one of the thunderous storms that periodically rock the capital in October.

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"The pilot circled for an hour but the lightening – and turbulence – was so bad we had to fly back," tweeted the Daily Mail's royal correspondent Rebecca English, who was on board the plane.

"Few of us have experienced turbulence as bad as that," she added.

Mid-air drama as the RAF Voyager carrying the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had to abandon its landing in Islamabad and return to Lahore due to terrible storms.

— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 17, 2019

"If I'm honest … that was the most nervous I've ever felt in a plane," added ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship.

Daily Telegraph correspondent Ben Farmer said the pilot had tried to land twice, once at a military base in the garrison city of Rawalpindi adjacent to Islamabad, and once at Islamabad International before abandoning the attempt and returning to Lahore, some 270 kilometres flying distance away.

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However all on board appeared to be safe, with English tweeting that Prince William – himself a pilot – had joked with the press pack that he had been flying.

Fortunately William has taken it in his stride – he just came back down the plane to see if we were ok and joked that he was flying!

— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 17, 2019

English said it was unclear when they would be able to take off again. There was no immediate statement from Kensington Palace.

SPORTING VISITORS

The mid-air flight drama came after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had spent the day exploring Lahore, Pakistan's cultural capital.

The royal couple kicked off their fourth day in Pakistan with a visit to the SOS Children's Village orphanage, where Kate gave a brief speech along with a short greeting in Urdu and celebrated children's birthdays.

"Earlier this year I talked about the fact that it takes a village to raise a child. The village we've seen here today is the best representation of that ideal that I could have possibly imagined," she said.

The Duke and Duchess later took to the crease at the National Cricket Academy, where they both hit a few runs as they played alongside a host of current and former cricket stars, including current bowling coach Waqar Younis.

After an outfit change, the duo headed to Lahore's famous Badshahi Mosque – one of the world's largest.

William sported a cream-coloured linen suit and Kate donned a light green shalwar kameez, wrapping her hair in a matching headscarf anRead More – Source

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