…journalists to cover Prince Harry and Meghan Markle African tour
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s trip to Africa kicked off with a shaky start when the travelling press pack’s British Airways flight was delayed by 21 hours.
The scrum of journalists was supposed to depart Heathrow for Cape Town on Friday evening – two days before Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their son Archie are expected to jet off on their commercial plane.
But an unspecified technical fault with the Boeing 747 prevented it from taking off and saw it held at the terminal overnight.
ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship vented his frustration at having to reclaim his checked-in luggage before enduring a tedious wait at the London airport.
On Friday night he tweeted: ‘Good start to #RoyalTourAfrica… Tonight’s British Airways flight to Cape Town (with most of the US and UK press onboard) has been cancelled.
We’re now collecting our bags having gone, err, nowhere at Heathrow Airport.
“Hope Harry and Meghan don’t have this problem.”
As travellers were left in limbo wondering if they would be boarding a plane, the broadcaster added the airline was ‘waiting for “some managers’ to work out what the hell to do with 300 passengers and their bags at 10.30 at night.”
While journalists were waiting for news of their cancelled flight, Harry and Meghan were flying back from Rome where they had enjoyed a two-day trip to celebrate the star-studded wedding of fashion designer Misha Nonoo, DailyMail reported.
After a near day-long delay, the BA flight finally took off last night for the 11-hour flight to South Africa, where it has now landed.
Cape Town will mark the first stop on Harry and Meghan’s 10-day tour of the continent which begins with a visit to a township on Monday.
There, the Sussexes will tour a workshop which teaches children about their rights and safety by providing classes such as self-defence lessons.
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Four-month-old Archie is not expected to make a public appearance in South Africa but will be involved in the couple’s visit.
They will also visit Botswana, Malawi and Angola – where Harry will pay homage to mother Princess Diana’s work campaigning for landmines to be outlawed during a visit she made to the country in 1997, according to MailOnline.
British Airways has grabbed headlines recently after a series of pilot strikes caused misery to holidaymakers.
The walkout saw hundreds of flights scrapped after eleventh-hour talks with pilot unions ended with the sides still at loggerheads.
After all BA flights were cancelled on September 9 and 10, fresh gloom will be brought to travellers as a day of strikes on the 27 is still planned.
A spokesperson for BA said: “Safety is always our top priority and we have apologised to our customers and provided them with hotel accommodation, after a technical issue ahead of their flight’s departure.
“We kept them up to date with information and their flight took off the following day and has since arrived in Cape Town.”