The Duchess of Cambridge fed and petted trainee bomb sniffer dogs today as she and Prince William visited the Islamabad Army Canine Centre before boarding a plane back home at the end of their historic tour of Pakistan.
William and Kate were accompanied by Golden Labrador puppies Sky and Salto as they walked around the facility, where British servicemen help their Pakistani counterparts train the animals to fight terrorism.
They touched down in Pakistan’s capital at around midday – hours later than expected after a terrifying electrical storm forced their pilot to abandon the first attempted landing and overnight in Lahore.
Speaking at the centre, Kate, who was wearing a black flora coat from Beulah London, admitted she had endured a bumpy ride when the flight but said she had enjoyed the ‘adventure’.
‘I think it was quite an adventure really, it was pretty bumpy up there. But we were looked after so wonderfully by the RAF who did a great job liaising with everyone and got us home safely, so we are hugely grateful to them.’
William also spoke of how important security ties with Pakistan were for the UK and said events in Pakistan had a direct effect on security on the streets of Britain.
‘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,’ he said. ‘We are involved with the Pakistanis for a very good reason, it will actually keep people safe back in the UK.’
Later the couple, both 37, were seen waving from the steps of their RAF Voyager plane as they prepared to return to Britain to rejoin Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and one-year-old Prince Louis.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in good spirits as they visited an Army Canine Centre in Islamabad on the final day of their five-day visit to Pakistan. Kate changed her outfits midair, switching from a traditional kurta to a black coat from Beulah London
The royal couple laughed as they played with trainee bomb dogs Sky and Salto at the Islamabad training centre, which is modelled on the UK military’s own dog training centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
The couple, both 37, landed in Islamabad just after midday and will fly back home later today to rejoin Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and one-year-old Prince Louis
William and Kate wave from the steps of their RAF plane as they prepare to fly back to Britain after their successful five day visit
Kate showed her natural affinity with dogs as she petted the adorable animals at the training centre on the last day of the Pakistan trip. The couple own a cocker spaniel called Lupo
The Duchess of Cambridge throws a ball for one of the bomb sniffer dogs to chase during her and William’s visit to the rescue centre in Islamabad
Kate and William showed no signs of the strain from their stressful flight last night as they chatted to Lieutenant Colonel Colin Whitworth
The royal couple greeted servicemen at the Army facility, where dogs are trained so they can identify explosives laid by terrorists
British Army servicemen provide support to their Pakistani counterparts at the training centre, which forms a key part in the country’s defences against terrorism
The visit to the training centre looked like an enjoyable way to end the five-day trip before the couple fly back to their children later today
The dogs were clearly pleased at the royal attention and ran around excitedly as they were petted by the Duchess of Cambridge
Kate pets golden labrador Polka during the visit to the Army centre, where servicemen proudly showed off their animals
Excitable dogs are hard to control whether you are a royal or not – as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge found out during their visit today
Prince William gave a talk about the importance of security in Pakistan, telling the audience that what happened in the country had an impact on people in the UK
The Duchess of Cambridge with Captain Aqeel of the Pakistan Army and his excitable Belgian Malinois dog, called Tutu
One dog showed it had a mind of its own by tugging on the lead despite Prince William’s attempt to keep the animal walking straight
Details of the royals’ schedule over the last five days. They left Pakistan this afternoon to fly back to Britain on an RAF Voyager
Their Royal Highnesses joined handlers training dogs to recognise and scout out hidden explosives, before taking some of the puppies through their paces on an agility training course.
The couple walked two Golden Labrador puppies, called Sky and Salto, who are being trained as search dogs.
The newly opened centre is modelled on the UK military’s own dog training centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
Pakistan has faced waves of suicide bombings in the past 15 years as the country has battled militancy and extremism. Homemade bombs and suicide attacks have killed thousands.
British troops are currently giving training and advice to Pakistan’s Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) programme, which in part breeds and trains bomb sniffer dogs.
Pakistani officers say the dog programme has been a huge success, finding 19 tons of explosives and 700 homemade bombs in the past three years. Bomb incidents have fallen 30 per cent since 2015.
The couple are due to fly back to the UK this afternoon, concluding a hugely successful five-day visit to the country on behalf of the British Government.
Last night, British High Commission officials sprang into action to find the couple a hotel room, along with their entourage, security team and around fifty journalists – almost 100 rooms in all.
William and Kate waited for an hour at the airport before being whisked away in a convoy to stay at the nearby Pearl Continental Hotel, where they were taken in a private entrance straight to their rooms.
Meanwhile royal aides and diplomats hurriedly re-arranged the couple’s schedule, reluctantly cancelling an important visit to a Pakistani military post on the Afghan border and a helicopter flight over the famous Khyber pass, which hadn’t been revealed in advance for security reasons.
Instead William and Kate undertook a private engagement in Lahore the following morning, surprising fellow hotel guests as they walked through the lobby to their waiting car.
The media have only been now been able to report the fact they had stayed in Lahore overnight for security reasons. Royal officials wanted to ensure the couple safely made their way back to Islamabad first.
The couple privately thanked their RAF pilots and praised royal aides and British High Commission officials for coming up with an emergency backup plan so quickly and with minimal fuss.
William also personally insisted that journalists travelling with himself and Kate, who were also on the flight, came with them to the hotel and were found a bed for the night.
He even came down the plane to check that everyone was fine following the hair-raising flight.
‘The Duke’s immediate reaction was that nobody was being left behind, we were all in it together. He was adamant about that,’ a source said.
The mid-air drama occurred yesterday evening as their RAF Voyager plane attempted to land in the capital Islamabad.
The Duchess displayed her usual effortless poise as she walked around the grounds of the dog training facility in Pakistan’s capital
There were plenty of more dogs to pet for the Duchess as she went inside the centre to speak to members of the Pakistani Army
William managed to gain control of his dog after having to pull its lead to make it walk straight on a loop around the outside yard
British troops are currently giving training and advice to Pakistan’s Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) programme, which in part breeds and trains bomb sniffer dogs
Playtime! Kate holds a tennis ball in the grounds of the training centre as she and William played with the animals
Their Royal Highnesses joined handlers training dogs to recognise and scout out hidden explosives, before taking some of the puppies through their paces on an agility training course
The newly opened centre is part staffed by British servicemen modelled on Britain’s own dog training unit in Leicestershire
Pakistani officers say the dog programme has been a huge success, finding 19 tons of explosives and 700 homemade bombs in the past three years. Bomb incidents have fallen 30 per cent since 2015
Golden labrador Polka is held by the collar by a Pakistani army officer as the Duke of Cambridge prepares to throw a ball for him to chase
Kate – whose mother, Carol, breeds her own dogs – was clearly comfortable in Polka’s company at the Islamabad training centre
The royals watched Pakistani soldiers taking the dogs through their paces on a training course, which included flaming hoops
The dogs are trained to sniff out explosives in dangerous situations so much be at the very peak of athleticism
William also spoke of how important security ties with Pakistan were for the UK and said events in Pakistan had a direct effect on security on the streets of Britain
Kate and William share a private exchange during the visit (left) and watch on as Army personnel explain their important work
The Duke and Duchess board an RAF Voyager plane to fly back to Britain to see their children after the triumphant visit
William’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales, famously visited the country, and he has spoken of his emotion at following in her footsteps
The Duchess of Cambridge at Lahore airport preparing to leave (left) and items of clothes being carried across the runway onto the plane
Kate is surrounded by diplomats and dignitaries as she walks along the red carpet towards a waiting British Army plane
In all the airbus was in the air for more than two hours in total, either circling or trying to land through the ‘serious storm’, with passengers describing the flight as a ‘rollercoaster’.
‘It’s the worse turbulence I have ever encountered,’ said one of the experience, which saw passengers lifted off their seats and others experience severe nausea.
William, who went to check on travelling media, made a reference to his time as an air ambulance pilot, joking: ‘I was flying!’
One passenger said it was a ‘pretty serious storm’, describing the flight as a ‘rollercoaster’.
Another said: ‘It was pretty hairy at times.
‘The plane was making large jerking movements as we tried to battle through the wind. It was a relief to land safely in Lahore.’
Lightening could be seen flashing violently around the right-side of the plane as the pilot did his best to land both at the main international airport in Islamabad and then the Pakistan Air Force Base Nur Khan, Rawalpindi.
But in the end he was forced to announce that the aircraft would be returning to its departure airport to refuel and allow senior High Commission staff, police and royal aides what step to take next.
After landing, William, who asked travelling media how they were feeling and even joked: ‘I was flying!’ The duke is a former air ambulance pilot.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been flying around Pakistan each day on the British Government’s official Voyager aircraft, courtesy of the Royal Air Force.
The Duchess of Cambridge wowed onlookers in a traditional white kurta from Pakistani brand Élan as she and William left Lahore airport this morning to fly back to Islamabad
Their plane hit a huge storm yesterday, forcing the couple to overnight in Lahore, where they are pictured on the airport runway this morning before a flight to the Pakistani capital
British High Commission officials sprang into action to find the couple a hotel room, along with their encourage, security team and around fifty journalists – almost 100 rooms in all
The royals insisted journalists and diplomats were given a hotel room for the night after last night’s terrifying ordeal, as royal aides hurriedly changed their schedule
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting the historical Badshahi mosque in Lahore yesterday. Pakistan media praised her ‘eastern elegance’ as she donned a stylist turquoise headscarf
The Duchess of Style! How Kate vowed Pakistan with her ‘eastern-influenced’ style
Traditional clothes and nods to Diana, Princess of Wales were the themes of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe during her tour of Pakistan.
Kate wore a series of colourful outfits for the five-day visit, with one of the days including three changes.
Blue featured in Tuesday’s first outfit, a traditional kurta, before the duchess changed into a vibrant green coat to meet prime minister Imran Khan. Kate’s glittering green Jenny Packham gown was a nod to the home country’s flag on Tuesday night, before she changed into a traditional Chitrali hat in the Himalayan foothills on Wednesday
Kate wore a white shalwar kameez by Gul Ahmed and a casual pair of white plimsolls to play cricket on Thursday. Then, for a trip to Badshahi Mosque, the duchess changed into an emerald green shalwar kameez by Maheen Khan with a matching headscarf. On Friday, she wore a traditional white kurta from Pakistani brand Élan
Frightening footage filmed on board Prince William and Kate Middleton’s RAF Voyager plane shows it shaking and bouncing in a fierce thunderstorm over Pakistan that forced the pilot to abandon his landing
Rod Ardehali for MailOnline and Rebecca English for the Daily Mail
Frightening footage recorded on board the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s RAF Voyager plane last night captures it shuddering and bouncing during a fierce thunderstorm over Pakistan.
The aircraft, carrying Prince William and Kate Middleton, had to abandon its landing in Islamabad and return to Lahore due to horrendous storms.
Footage shows passengers on board the flight nervously laughing and holding onto the headrests in front for support as the plane rolled violently in the storm.
Prince William took the mid-air drama in his stride however – walking down the Airbus A330 to check if everyone on board was OK – and even joking that the turbulence made him ‘spill his vodka and tonic at one point.’
An RAF Voyager plane sits on the tarmac at Lahore Airport last night after the plane had to be diverted back to Lahore after storms in Islamabad prevented the plane from landing
Footage shows passengers on board yesterday’s flight nervously laughing and holding onto the headrests in front for support as the plane shook violently in the storm
Passengers filmed dramatic flashing through the windows over the skies of Pakistan last night – creating dangerous conditions for flying
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Badshahi Mosque in Lahore yesterday, where Kate was praised by Pakistani media for ‘channeling eastern elegance’
The pilot had tried to land twice at two different airports amid significant lightning and turbulence, but was forced to go back to Lahore Airport for safety reasons.
Nick Dixon, a reporter for Good Morning Britain who was on-board, said: ‘We unfortunately flew into horrendous weather.
‘There was violent thunder and lightning, it was bumping and rolling outside. It was pretty horrendous to be honest.
‘When we did land, Prince William came rushing back to check we were okay. As a pilot he clearly felt fine but joked the turbulence made him spill his vodka and tonic.’
The RAF Voyager was in the air for more than two hours, with one passenger saying it was a ‘pretty serious storm’, describing the flight as a ‘rollercoaster’.
‘The pilot circled for an hour but the lightening – and turbulence – was so bad we had to fly back,’ tweeted the Daily Mail’s royal correspondent Rebecca English, who was on board the plane.
‘Few of us have experienced turbulence as bad as that,’ she added.
Royal correspondent Rebecca English, who was travelling on the plane with other members of the press, described the experience – saying ‘few of us have experienced turbulence as bad as that’
‘If I’m honest … that was the most nervous I’ve ever felt in a plane,’ added ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship.
Daily Telegraph correspondent Ben Farmer said the pilot had tried to land twice, once at a military base in the garrison city of Rawalpindi adjacent to Islamabad, and once at Islamabad International before abandoning the attempt and returning to Lahore, some 270 kilometres (170 miles) flying distance away.
The flight from Lahore to Islamabad following a day of visits to a mosque, cancer hospital, cricket academy and children’s home was only meant to take 30 minutes.
But the plane was ten minutes from landing when it encountered significant storms, with passengers filming dramatic flashing through the windows.
The Voyager then circled for an hour before trying to land at two airports – the main airport in Islamabad and then the Pakistan Air Force Base Nur Khan, Rawalpindi.
This graphic shows a band of thunderstorms over Pakistan and its bordering countries yesterday
Prince William and Kate are pictured getting off the plane at Lahore Airport yesterday because their uncomfortable ordeal
However, the turbulence became too much for the plane to land, with passengers being lifted off their seats and left feeling extremely travel sick.
William, who asked travelling media if they were OK following the landing back at Lahore, joked: ‘I was flying!’ The duke is a former air ambulance pilot.
The plane was left sitting on the runway at Lahore last night, as officials wait to see if they will try again if the weather improves, or go to an emergency backup plan.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been flying around Pakistan each day on the British Government’s official Voyager aircraft, courtesy of the Royal Air Force.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been flying around Pakistan each day on the British Government’s official Voyager aircraft, courtesy of the Royal Air Force. They are pictured during a visit to Badshahi Mosque in Lahore yesterday
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s RAF Voyager is seen at Islamabad Airport on Monday
The Airbus A330, pictured on Monday night, has 58 business-class seats and 100 economy
The couple arrived in Islamabad on Monday evening at Pakistan Air Force Base Nur Khan, Rawalpindi, before flying to Chitral on Wednesday and Lahore today.
The Airbus A330 plane can in civilian configuration carry 335 passengers, although it is instead fitted with 58 business-class seats and 100 economy seats.
The plane was first unveiled in July 2016 when David Cameron was prime minister and nicknamed ‘Cam Force One’ after America’s presidential jet.
The aircraft is based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and was refitted for £10million to provide transport for ministers and members of the Royal Family.