The Duchess of Cambridge has expressed her gratitude to the RAF for keeping everyone safe after a plane carrying her and William was caught in a thunderstorm.

The RAF Voyager plane carrying the couple was forced to abort two landings in the Pakistani city of Islamabad on Thursday and turn back to Lahore.

Kate and William stayed at the Pearl Continental Hotel in the capital of Punjab overnight.

Describing the flight as “quite an adventure really”, Kate told reporters on Friday that she and the duke had been “looked after so wonderfully”.

“It was pretty bumpy up there,” she told reporters.

“But we were looked after so wonderfully by the RAF who did a great job liaising with everyone and got us home safely, so we are hugely grateful to them.”

The plane was in the air for more than two hours, despite the journey from Lahore to Islamabad usually only taking about 25 minutes.

The RAF Voyager aircraft on the tarmac in Lahore
The RAF Voyager aircraft on the tarmac in Lahore (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Lightning strikes could be seen from the carrier plane near the right wing as it shook with heavy turbulence.

William, who came to check on travelling media, joked “I was flying!”, as he made a reference to his time as an air ambulance pilot.

One passenger said it was a “pretty serious storm”, describing the flight as a “rollercoaster”.

“It was pretty hairy at times,” another said.

“The plane was making large jerking movements as we tried to battle through the wind.

“It was a relief to land safely in Lahore.”