The Duke of Cambridge showed his sense of humour after the plane they were travelling on to Islamabad had to turn back following two aborted landings due to a thunderstorm on Thursday evening. Prince William and Kate were travelling with their team and members of the media en route to Islamabad for the final day of their royal tour of Pakistan.
However, thunder and lightning meant the RAF Voyager was in the air for more than two hours for what should have been a 25-minute journey, and they had two failed landing attempts before returning to Lahore.
Once the turbulence had calmed down, Prince William did his best to put their fellow passengers at ease, and went to check with the travelling media if they were all okay. “I was flying!” the former air ambulance pilot joked.
The Duke and Duchess’ aircraft was unable to land at the Pakistani Royal Air Force base and a commercial airport during the storm, which one passenger was “pretty serious,” with the flight described as a “rollercoaster”. Their flight returned to Lahore where the royals spent an unscheduled night, before flying out early on Friday morning to carry out their final day of engagements on the tour before returning home.
Earlier in the day, William and Kate had visited a government-run school in Islamabad, where they met a group of teenagers and discussed their aspirations from when they were younger. They also took part in a cricket tournament in Lahore, before paying a poignant visit to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, the same hospital which was visited by Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana, in 1996.
The Duke and Duchess have travelled to Pakistan at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and it has been their first official visit to the country.