Kate and William in mid-air scare
William and Kate are very used to flying, but nothing could have prepared them for a mid-air scare.
British Airways has confirmed that on Nov. 2 -- when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were returning to London from Copenhagen on an Airbus A320-200 -- the pilot had to abort his landing less than 200 feet from the ground to avoid a collision with an aircraft that had not cleared the runway at Heathrow.
Ascending quickly, the plane perfomed a "go-around" as the runway was cleared for a safe landing.
The airline played down the incident, calling the manoeuvre to avoid disaster as “standard procedure.”
“Our crew were told by air traffic control to perform a go-around -- a perfectly standard operation with no safety implications -- because an aircraft from another airline hadn`t fully cleared the runway," a spokesperson said.
No one on the 162-passenger jet was hurt in the incident, though one source told The People that it "would have been terrifying for those on board."
“For anyone who didn’t know what was going on it would have been extremely worrying.”
The royal couple was in Copenhagen to tour the UNICEF emergency supply centre.
WILLIAM PONDERS EXTENDING MILITARY STAY
For Prince William, a seat in a Sea King helicopter is far more comfortable than one beside a throne.
Shielded by military garb, the prince’s duties as a search-and-rescue pilot have been a good excuse to avoid full-time royal duties and word now comes that he’s likely to be extending his time in the RAF even further.
"The Duke is very keen on his flying, very good at it, and he wants to continue with his military career,” a royal aide told the Sunday Telegraph.
William has served for six years already and was due to end his military commitment in 2013, when it was expected he would assume a more active role in the Royal Family.
Together with his wife Catharine, Duchess of Cambridge, the couple is clearly the star of the royal show, as evidenced whenever they step out in public. But, beyond the charity angle to their appearances, the couple relishes private time.
Another few years in the military would accord them the time to start a family away from the harsh media spotlight, or at least minimize the required exposure.
"Should the Duke and Duchess choose to have children within the next few years, he is keen to bring them up as children of a serviceman for as long as possible,” the aide told the paper.
"He is in no hurry to take up a more prominent role within the Royal Family, and there is absolutely no pressure from the Queen or anywhere within the royal household for him to do so.”
If the 29-year-old prince stays in uniform, he could well go down as the last legion of military personnel to pilot the Sea King. Government cutbacks have mandated that the helicopter be retired by March 2016 and the private sector take over search-and-rescue.
The Royal Family, of course, has had a deep tradition of military service, but there has usually been a relatively early retirement from active duty.
"The Duke is conscious of other members of the Royal Family, including his grandfather (Prince Philip), who gave up their military careers to take up greater official responsibilities, but he is not keen to do this if he doesn't need to,” the Telegraph quotes the aide.
"When the time comes, down the line, he wants to be able to look servicemen in the eye and say 'I did my time'."
William is currently serving in the Falkland Islands until next month, when he returns to RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales.