Earl and Countess of Wessex's plane forced to make unscheduled landing due to 'technical issue'

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A plane carrying the Earl and Countess of Wessex has been forced to make an unscheduled landing due to a "technical issue".

Prince Edward and his wife Sophie were on their way to visit Gibraltar to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee when their flight was disrupted at the last minute.

Buckingham Palace said alternative arrangements were made for their arrival, which took place safely later on Tuesday.

British Airways said its plane "landed normally" back at Heathrow after pilots made the decision to return as a precaution.

The royal couple were met by Sir David Steel, the governor, and Fabian Picardo, the chief minister, on landing at Gibraltar International Airport.

They were due to be welcomed with a Guard of Honour formed of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment at Gibraltar's RAF base.

The trip is said to feature a special Queen's Birthday Parade near the 19th century British-built barracks in Casemates Square on Thursday.

Buckingham Palace said: "The Earl and Countess of Wessex's arrival in Gibraltar has been delayed slightly, after their flight was diverted safely back to the UK due to a technical issue."

BA said: "Our pilots decided to return to Heathrow as a precaution due to a minor technical issue, and the aircraft landed normally."

The Earl and Countess of Wessex had joined other members of the Royal Family over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend and were pictured riding in a carriage for Trooping of Colour on Thursday.

They also attended Jubilee celebrations in Northern Ireland on Saturday, where they met groups of performers and heard stories of the city's diverse communities over the past 70 years.

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