Prince Charles' Emergency Landing in Helicopter With Camilla Was 'Hairy'

Friday, 24 May 2013 08:23 AM

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Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were forced to make an emergency landing Thursday when their helicopter developed a technical problem.

The royal couple was 15 minutes into their flight from London to the Hay Literary Festival in Powys when a technical problem forced the pilot to make an emergency landing at Denham Aerodrome in Buckinghamshire.

"The pilot carried out a controlled emergency landing after diverting to the airport," a spokesman for Prince Charles said. "It was quite a hairy experience."

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Authorities are investigating what triggered the malfunction that diverted the aircraft, which had five additional people onboard besides Prince Charles and Camilla.

After transferring to cars, the royal couple made it to the Literary Festival three hours later.

"The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were very determined to get to Hay and carry out their engagements as planned," the spokesman said.

Several hundred people greeted them at the festival, an annual gathering of authors, politicians, and celebrities.

"They were unflappable despite what they went through," one festivalgoer told reporters. "If anyone else had gone through what they did they would have cancelled their day."

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Ironically, Prince William (Prince Charles' son) is a fully trained pilot with the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force Search and Rescue team. The prince, a Flight Lieutenant based at RAF Valley on Anglesey in North Wales, commands helicopter missions to help stranded climbers and stricken vessels in the area.

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