On Oct. 17, Duchess Kate, Prince William and members of the media boarded a flight from Lahore to Islamabad that should have gone without incident. The couple, their tour entourage, journalists and the crew piloting the plane were expected to only spend 25 minutes in the air. Instead, they ended up flying for more than 2 hours before the pilot aborted two landings in Islamabad and everyone headed back to Lahore for the evening.
Videos from reporters who were on the flight show a frightening amount of lightning circled around the plane’s right wing, along with horrendous turbulence as the plane moved through choppy weather. When they landed, everyone was quite shaken, and just happy to be back on the ground.
“The pilot circled for an hour but the lightening [sic] – and turbulence – was so bad we had to fly back,” Rebecca English of the Daily Mail tweeted.
A mid-air drama for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - and the entire press pack - as storms force our RAF Voyager to twice abandon landing in Islamabad and return to #Lahore The pilot circled for an hour but the lightening - and turbulence - was so bad we had to fly back. pic.twitter.com/mvTRVfHhiW
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 17, 2019
Once they’d landed, William decided to try and make everyone feel better. He did it with concern and also pulled out some much-needed levity.
“[He] came rushing back to us on the plane to check if we were okay,” said Nick Dixon, Good Morning Britain’s royal correspondent, according to numerous outlets. “As a pilot, he clearly felt fine, but joked the turbulence made him spill his vodka and tonic.”
The cheeky Duke of Cambridge, who was once a helicopter pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance, also joked that he had been flying the plane, hence why it was such a bumpy ride! He’s clearly inherited both his late mother Princess Diana’s empathy and her amazing sense of humour.
Everyone spent the evening in Lahore instead of trying to head back to Islamabad, but this unfortunately meant that William and Kate had to cancel an engagement in the Khyber Pass on Oct. 18, meaning they had just one engagement at the Army Canine Centre in Rawalpindi before boarding their flight home to the UK.
Overall, though, the tour seems to have been a resounding success for the couple, despite this brief hiccup. Kate wowed with her incredible wardrobe – and William even stole the show by stepping out in a teal sherwani at one point! They also reconnected with Diana’s memory multiple times, from visiting Kalash villagers to making a trip to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, for which Diana helped fundraise in 1996.