Prince William and Kate Middleton have had an action-packed visit to Pakistan. From following in the footsteps of the late Princess Diana to getting in a game of cricket, they’ve balanced fun with serious, poignant moments.
They did that yet again after their flight was caught in a terrifying electrical storm.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were aboard their Airbus A330 RAF Voyager jet, flying back to Islamabad from Lahore, when an electrical storm caused major issues. The jet tried to land at two different airports but was unable to, forcing them to turn around. Thankfully, their staff rearranged their schedule so that they would begin their morning with a private engagement in Lahore before returning to Islamabad to carry out their scheduled afternoon activities.
The first activity up happened to be a fantastic one for the couple after enduring the stressful ordeal. William and Kate visit a program that trains military dogs to detect explosive devices. Judging by the photos from the engagement, the sweet pups were just what the couple needed.
Prince William and Kate Middleton experienced an unexpected change in plans during their five-day royal tour of Pakistan. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were expected to depart Lahore for Islamabad Thursday night but were stopped mid-flight by an intense electrical storm.
Their plane had already taken off for what was supposed to be a 20-minute flight. Then the storm hit, leaving passengers of the Airbus A330 RAF Voyager jet in limbo as the pilot made two failed attempts to land near Islamabad.
Kate spoke to reporters regarding the incident during their day on Friday. “We were looked after so wonderfully by the RAF who did a great job. Hugely grateful to everyone,” the Duchess of Cambridge said, according to People.
“I think it was quite an adventure really, it was pretty bumpy up there,” she continued. “We were looked after so wonderfully by the RAF who did a great job liaising with everyone and got us home safely.”
The Cambridges staff worked with the British High Commission officials to rearrange the couple’s schedule. They carried out a private engagement in Lahore on Friday morning before heading back to Islamabad.
When they arrived in Islamabad, they went back to their previously scheduled engagements. William and Kate spent the afternoon with dog handlers who train the animals to locate explosive devices.
The couple, who lovingly welcomed cocker spaniel Lupo to their family before they started having kids, got to hang out with two sweet yellow Labrador puppies named Sky and Salto. The Cambridges got to watch the pups in action on an agility course.
The Army Canine Centre, which is the facility the couple visited, mirrors the UK’s Defense Animal Training Regiment center in the English Midlands. Britain has been assisting the Pakistan Counter Improvised Explosive Device program handle security issues in the region for a decade.
Part of their alliance is the breeding and training of these adorable pooches, who go on to do some very serious work. The program has been a huge success, according to Pakistani officers who work within the program.
The dogs in the program are credited with finding 19 tons of explosives and 700 homemade bombs in the past three years. Bombing incidents have also fallen 30% since 2015, which is a huge improvement.
“The whole week we have been hearing about security in Pakistan and it’s really brought home to Catherine and I the importance of the relationship between the UK and Pakistan,” William told reporters, according to the BBC, before noting just how much goes into fostering that relationship.
“A lot of lives have been lost by the Pakistanis in securing large parts of this country over the years and those sacrifices from the Pakistanis should be acknowledged. It’s been a huge, huge undertaking for them,” he explained.
“Actually what happens here in Pakistan directly correlates to what happens on the streets of the UK,” William added. “We are involved with the Pakistanis for a very good reason. It will actually keep people safe back in the UK.”
Friday is the final day of the tour for the couple, who boarded a flight back to London at the Pakistani Air Force Base Nur Khan. It was indeed the “complex” tour that royal staff had anticipated, but the couple seemed to enjoy their time in the country and are now safely on their way home.