Prince William and Kate Middleton’s scary mid-air experience during their royal tour of Pakistan may have evoked plenty of nerves, but it had a surprising silver lining. After being forced to spend another night in Lahore when their flight to Islamabad encountered an electrical storm, the couple’s staff and the British High Commission officials rushed to rearrange their schedules, with the Duchess of Cambridge requesting that they pay another visit to SOS Village, a charity that provides a home and family structure to more than 150 boys and girls.
The couple had first visited the orphanage earlier in their trip, helping three children celebrate their birthdays, before returning on Friday, Oct. 18. According to sources who spoke to PEOPLE, Middleton had requested her aides to factor in a second visit so that they could “delve deeper into the stories of the children, and the graduates, of the remarkable set-up.”
During the visit, the royal couple reportedly spoke with more of the orphanage’s previous residents, who now mentor the current residents.
“Some of the things I’ve been looking at back home are how best do you support children and what do they need to have a successful life. One, it’s about quality relationships and two, the environment,” Middleton said. “What’s great is that you have both here.”
Later, the couple joined the children for an impromptu game of cricket before receiving friendship bracelets with them and joining them for an art group.
“I’m so glad we came back to get the full picture,” Middleton said.
The night prior, William and Middleton had disembarked on a scheduled 25-minute flight from Lahore to Islamabad, where they were to spend the final day of the tour. During the flight, however, the plane encountered a scary electrical storm, the pilot attempting to land the plane twice before aborting the landing and returning to Lahore two hours later.
“We were looked after so wonderfully by the RAF who did a great job. Hugely grateful to everyone,” Middleton told reporters of the flight. “I 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.”0comments
After staying the night in Lahore, the couple successfully made the trip to Islamabad later the following day, visiting the Army Canine Centre, a program that trains military dogs to detect explosive devices.
That evening, they again boarded a plane to return home to London, where their three children – Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1 – had remained for the trip.