Prince Harry and Meghan are quite used to flying, given their own personal travels before meeting and now as they jet across the South Pacific on tour. But they likely weren’t prepared for what happened during their return to Sydney on Friday (Oct. 26), when their pilot had to make a split-second decision and pull up seconds before landing on the tarmac.
Over the speaker, pilot Nigel Rosser – who flew the Qantas Boeing 737 that day – could be heard calling the incident a “missed approach,” adding: “There was another aircraft on the runway that was a little bit slow to roll and unfortunately hadn’t cleared the runway. We were too close, so the decision was made to abort the landing.” Luckily, the pilot was able to regain control and land safely, but that had to have been a scary experience for more than 100 passengers aboard, including the royal parents-to-be and other Kensington Palace staff members.
The moment our quick-thinking @Qantas co-pilot Ann Cole (and Captain Nigel Rosser) aborted landing at @SydneyAirport due to an unexpected plane on the runway. The Sussexes (and us!) were in great hands. Fantastic flying✈️ pic.twitter.com/cb8G6ja1L7— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 26, 2018
The mishap comes on the heel of their final day in Tonga, where they were greeted by 50 civil servants – and the cutest Tongan kids, with signs reading “Free hugs!” – before meeting with Tongan Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pōhiva. The Sussexes enjoyed a colourful afternoon at the Fa'onelua Convention Centre, where they looked at handicrafts and tried on traditional clothing. A quick outfit change later found them at Tupou College, where the duke and duchess watched a boys’ choir ( they made Meghan cry! ) and helped unveil The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, which aids in forest conservation in the stunning country.
And the tour must go on! The couple jumped back into their engagements following their dramatic landing, with Harry and Meghan looking refreshed and excited as they stepped out clad in their finest for the Australian Geographic Society Gala Awards, during which the 37-year-old handed out the award for Young Conservationist of the Year. The mom-to-be looked every inch the modern-day princess in what some are calling the best look of the tour, a graphic Oscar de la Renta dress with a full tulle skirt and striking bird embellishments. Her hubby looked dapper too in his navy suit.
It’s certainly been quite an exciting ride for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who began their first-ever overseas royal tour together by announcing that a future Baby Sussex is on the way! Combined with baby news, Meghan’s incredible outfits, sweet moments with their well-wishers and, of course, a day of private time in Fiji, it’s certainly been a trip to remember.