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Queen Elizabeth II's plane forced to delay landing because of lightning storm

The queen has returned to Windsor Castle ahead of Britain's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which are due to begin Thursday and last through Sunday.
Image: Queen Elizabeth II attends an audience with the President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis at Windsor Castle on April 28, 2022 in Windsor, England.
Buckingham Palace said there were "no safety concerns" after a plane carrying the queen was forced to delay its landing because of a storm.Dominic Lipinski / WPA Pool via Getty Images file

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 because of 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 due to begin Thursday, the palace had confirmed late Tuesday.

But not before a little drama, according to local media reports.

An electrical storm, rain and hail forced the 13-seater jet she was 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 landing attempt once the lightning had passed, the newspaper added. NBC News has not confirmed the reports.

Full coverage: Latest news and updates on Queen Elizabeth II

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.

The queen is expected to attend some of the official events after she had to withdraw from a number of recent public appearances because of mobility issues.