Prince William and Duchess Kate‘s plane was forced to make an emergency landing on Thursday, October 17, due to an electrical storm in Pakistan as the royal couple wrapped up their five-day tour of the country.
The Duke, 37, and Duchess of Cambridge, 37, boarded the RAF Voyager headed to Islamabad from Lahore for what was supposed to be a 25-minute flight. Instead, an electrical storm hit and the aircraft experienced severe turbulence. After being in the air for two hours and attempting to land at two airports, the aircraft was forced to return back to Lahore.
Emily Andrews, The Sun’s Royal Correspondent who was on board the flight, tweeted that Prince William checked to make sure other passengers weren’t harmed and joked that he had been flying the plane. The Press Association’s Emma Bowden tweeted a video of terrifying lightning strikes over the wing of the plane.
William and Duchess Kate’s visit was their first official trip to Pakistan. They traveled without their three children Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 17 months, who stayed home in London.
Staff have called the excursion “the most complex tour” the pair have taken. Over the course of the trip, the couple planned to “pay respect to the historical relationship between Britain and Pakistan, but will largely focus on showcasing Pakistan as it is today — a dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking nation,” Kensington Palace tweeted on Monday, October 14.
Earlier on Thursday, William and Duchess Kate visited the SOS Children’s Village, a charity that supports and cares for over 150 children. While there, they attended a birthday party for three residents — Iman, 12, Ibrahim, 6, and Daniyal, 8 — who they helped celebrate with music, games and cutting cake. The Duchess also gave a speech during the festivities. Later that day, William and Duchess Kate played a cricket match with a group of children at the National Cricket Academy.
The royal couple’s busy schedule also included taking in the sights at the Chiatibo Glacier in northern Pakistan and visiting a settlement of the Kalash people where they learned about their culture and heritage.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan also recently took an official trip. The new parents took their 4-month-old son Archie to South Africa from September 23 to October 3 for their first royal tour as a family.