Queen Elizabeth's Flight Forced to Delay Landing Due to Lightning Storm Ahead of Her Platinum Jubilee

The Queen, 96, returned to Windsor Castle on Tuesday after her private flight was caught in a lightning storm

Queen Elizabeth II returns to Windsor Castle after her 4 day break in Balmoral
Queen Elizabeth on her way back to Windsor Castle . Photo: Shutterstock

Queen Elizabeth is back at Windsor Castle after a bumpy flight home.

The Queen's plane flew through a lightning storm before landing at RAF Northolt in northwest London on Tuesday evening as Britain prepares to celebrate her 70 years on the throne.

The pilot of the Queen's 13-seater plane was forced to abort the jet's landing just seconds before it was due to touch down due to lightning, heavy rain and hail, The Sun reports. The pilot made a second and successful attempt when the weather cleared.

Buckingham Palace played down the drama, with a spokesperson saying: "The Queen's flight was delayed due to a lightning storm, all the correct procedures were followed and there were no safety concerns."

The monarch, 96, was returning from a short visit to her Balmoral estate in Scotland, where she was resting ahead of her four-day Platinum Jubilee celebration.

"She will have gotten her energy back," a close insider tells PEOPLE of her brief stay. "She will feel energized."

Queen Elizabeth II returns to Windsor Castle after her 4 day break in Balmoral
Queen Elizabeth II returns to Windsor Castle after her 4 day break in Balmoral, Scotland. Shutterstock

The monarch appeared unruffled as she was pictured being driven from the Royal Air Force station in London to her Windsor Castle home. One of her corgis was even perched happily in the back seat behind her.

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The Platinum Jubilee celebrations kick off on Thursday with her traditional birthday parade, Trooping the Colour, followed by a flypast by Royal Air Force jets, which she and senior members of the royal family will view from the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) is given a tour of the 2022 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 23, 2022. - The Chelsea flower show is held annually in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Queen Elizabeth. DAN KITWOOD/POOL/AFP via Getty

Later on Thursday, more than 3,000 beacons will be lit around the country (and many more around the Commonwealth) in celebration of the start of her Platinum Jubilee weekend. On Friday, the royal family, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, will gather for a National Service of Thanksgiving in the Queen's honor.

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A pop concert will take place outside of Buckingham Palace on Saturday, and the events come to a close with community lunches and a celebratory pageant on the streets near the palace on Sunday.

The Queen, who has been dealing with ongoing mobility issues in recent months, is hoping to attend some of the events. Last Monday, she attended the Chelsea Flower Show (where she debuted her new royal ride!), and the previous week, she opened a new rail line named in her honor at Paddington station.

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