British Airways plane carrying Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex returns to Heathrow for emergency landing after ‘technical issue’ on way to Gibraltar
- The Earl and Countess of Wessex were heading to Gibraltar for a visit today
- Their British Airways plane turned around after reaching French coast
- Plane had been set to touch down in Gibraltar this afternoon but is now delayed
A plane carrying Prince Edward and his wife Sophie to Gibraltar has been reportedly forced to make an emergency landing after a mechanical fault.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex were heading to the British overseas territory on a visit when their British Airways Flight had to return to London following the technical issues.
The plane had been set to touch down later this afternoon, before Edward and his wife Sophie were due to walk down Gibraltar’s Main Street.
A plane carrying Prince Edward and his wife Sophie to Gibraltar was reportedly been forced to make an emergency landing
The news was revealed in a tweet by GBC News, Gibraltar’s main broadcaster.
It said: ‘BA Press Office tells GBC pilots on flight 490 decided to return to Heathrow as a precaution due to a minor technical issue, and the aircraft landed normally.
‘It’s arranging for a replacement aircraft to operate the flight and thanks customers for their patience.’
The Earl and Countess of Wessex’s visit to Gibraltar was confirmed in March.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex were heading to the British overseas territory on a visit when their British Airways Flight had to return to London following technical issues. Above: Tracking website Flight Radar showed how the plane got as far as the French coast before turning back
Spain, which has long laid claim to Gibraltar, is said to have protested the visit.
They believe the visit is ‘not appropriate’ due to ongoing negotiations over their post-Brexit relations with Gibraltar.
A BA spokesman said: ‘Our pilots decided to return to Heathrow as a precaution due to a minor technical issue, and the aircraft landed normally.
‘The issue has now been fixed and the aircraft is due to depart again shortly.
‘We’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding.’
Prince Edward and Sophie will get a later flight to the territory.
The royal couple recently returned from a visit to Northern Ireland for a celebration in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The couple first visited Belfast before heading to Bangor in County Down.
In Belfast, the Earl and Countess met groups of performers, including the Belfast Busking Band.
On the beachfront of Bangor, which has newly been awarded city status, the pair joined members of the public at a vintage, seaside funfair.
Edward and Sophie are visiting Gibraltar to see the Royal Gibraltar Regiment parade its new colours.
Prince Edward had presented the colours at a ceremony at Windsor Castle in March.
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