LONDON — A plane carrying Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II back to London from Scotland on Tuesday ahead of the Platinum Jubilee was forced to delay its landing due to a lightning storm.
The monarch, who is 96, was returning from her Scottish residence of Balmoral which she visited for a short break before the busy four days of nationwide festivities celebrating her 70 years on the throne.
“The Queen’s flight was delayed due to a lightning storm, all correct procedures were followed and there were no safety concerns,’’ a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told NBC News early Wednesday.
The queen returned to Windsor Castle ahead of the nationwide party that is due to begin Thursday, the palace had confirmed late Tuesday.
But not before a little drama, according to local media reports.
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An electrical storm, rain and hail forced the 13-seater jet she was flying in to abort the landing and return to the skies just seconds before it was due to touch down in north London, the U.K.’s Sun newspaper reported. The plane ended up circling over the capital for around 15 minutes until it was deemed safe enough to make a second attempt to land once the lightning had passed, the newspaper added. NBC News has not confirmed the reports.
The Platinum Jubilee festivities will include an official parade, flypast and star-studded concert. Millions are also expected to take part in street parties and lunches held in the queen’s honor across the nation.