After their plane was forced to make an emergency landing after encountering an electrical storm, Kate Middleton is speaking out about the “pretty bumpy” ride. Arriving in Islamabad on Friday morning, roughly 18 hours after she and husband Prince William were initially scheduled to get there, the Duchess of Cambridge thanked those aboard the flight for getting them back to the ground safely.
“We were looked after so wonderfully by the RAF who did a great job. Hugely grateful to everyone,” Middleton told reports, according to PEOPLE. “think it was quite an adventure really, it was pretty bumpy up there. We were looked after so wonderfully by the RAF who did a great job liaising with everyone and got us home safely.”
Middleton arrived in Islamabad nearly 24 hours after she was set to get there, the couple’s staff and the British High Commission officials rushing to rearrange their packed schedule after the aborted landing Thursday night.
According to reports, the couple had disembarked on a RAF Voyager from Lahore to Islamabad, a flight that is only supposed to take 25 minutes, when they encountered a scary electrical storm that had them experiencing severe turbulence. Video from aboard the flight showed lightning striking near the right wing as the plane rolled from side to side.
The pilot attempted to land the plane at two different airports before being forced to turn around and land back in Lahore about two hours after they had taken off, William reportedly reassuring the other passengers aboard the plane and joking that “he was the one doing the flying.”
After spending an additional night in Lahore, the royal couple eventually made it to the final stop on their royal tour of Pakistan Friday morning, visiting the Army Canine Centre, a program that trains military dogs to detect explosive devices.
Later in the day, the couple again boarded a plane, this one headed back to London where they will reunite with their three children – Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1. The trio had been left under the care of their trusted nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, and their grandparents, Mike and Carole Middleton, while the duke and duchess embarked on “the most complex tour” they have taken “given the logistical and security considerations.”
Prior to their engagements, their outings had not been publicized as a means of security, with Kensington Palace explaining that the tour would “largely focus on showcasing Pakistan as it is today — a dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking nation.”
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