After finishing a jam-packed day in Lahore that consisted of a visit to a children’s centre, playing cricket, travelling to Pakistan’s most iconic mosque and dropping in to a renowned cancer hospital, Duchess Kate and Prince William boarded a flight to Islamabad to finish their tour. But they didn’t land there – they ended up back in Lahore, where they were forced to make an emergency landing due to a massive electrical storm!
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were supposed to spend only 25 minutes in the air, flying from one city to the other. That ended up being two hours, as their Royal Air Force plane circled the capital trying to make a landing at both a Pakistan air force base and a commercial airport. Frustrated, the captain turned back to their point of origin after the flight experienced heavy turbulence.
“A terrifying electrical storm hit as we tried to land at Islamabad,” Simon Perry of People tweeted. “Lightning seemed to be crashing around the right wing.”
Phew. Landed! But in Lahore. A terrifying electrical storm hit as we tried to land at Islamabad. Lightning seemed to be crashing around the right wing. Despite the best efforts of the pilot of William and Kate’s RAF Voyager plane we couldn’t couldn’t land there.
— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) October 17, 2019
Emma Bowden of the Press Association shared a video from on board, which is truly terrifying and shows the extent of the lightning.
“Those big flashes are the RAF Voyager, carrying William, Kate and traveling media, going through [lightning] – two aborted landings at Islamabad due to the storm and we’re back in Lahore,” she tweeted.
Those big flashes are the RAF Voyager, carrying William, Kate and travelling media, going through lighting - two aborted landings at Islamabad due to the storm and we’re back in Lahore @PApic.twitter.com/6q45Em3E53
— Emma Louise Bowden (@emmabowds) October 17, 2019
William attempted to lighten the mood with a joke once they were all back on the ground. He asked the media members if they were all okay after the turbulence and scare they had, and then said, “I was flying!”
It’s not known how this will affect the final leg of William and Kate’s tour, which ends Oct. 18. It is also not known if they will attempt to return to Islamabad in the morning or later this evening, or be forced to alter their plans. William reportedly said they would make the decision over the next few hours as to whether they would spend the evening in Lahore or return to Islamabad, according to People.