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Royal couple delayed after their Gibraltar flight turns back to London due to 'technical issue'

The Earl and Countess of Wessex were on a British Airways flight to the Rock this Tuesday afternoon for a visit to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, but the pilot decided to go back to Heathrow as a precautionary measure

DEBBIE BARTLETT Gibraltar

Gibraltar was ready to turn out for flag waving and cheering to welcome the Earl and Countess of Wessex this Tuesday afternoon (7 June), as the royal couple walked down Main Street from the Convent (the residence of the Governor of Gibraltar) to City Hall in the sunshine, but unfortunately technical problems with the plane in which they were travelling meant that their arrival was delayed.

The British Airways flight took off from London Heathrow and was due to land in Gibraltar at 14.35h. However, the airline has confirmed that the pilots decided to turn back as a precautionary measure due to a minor technical issue. It appears from flight tracking radar that the plane was in the vicinity of the Channel Islands at the time. A replacement aircraft was expected to take the passengers from Heathrow to Gibraltar instead.

Prince Edward, who is the Queen's youngest son, and his wife Sophie had still not arrived on the Rock at 16.45h, and Gibraltar Airport live flight information only has the BA flights down as 'delayed'.

The Gibraltar authorities have confirmed that the agenda for the royal visit will be rescheduled. Originally, the Earl and Countess were due to visit some of the Rock's places of interest tomorrow, but they will undoubtedly be keen to have the opportunity to greet well-wishers as well.