Alison Fleming: How change of wind threw King visit plans in new direction

The King's Jet arrives in Belfast. Pic PA
The King's Jet arrives in Belfast Credit: PA

There's always a sense of anticipation at airports.

Excitement for going on holiday, or coming home to loved ones. But there's never been a day like this at Belfast City Airport.

There was almost a hum of electricity in the air, knowing this is was the most historic day in its history. The sadness of the Queen's death remains, but today Northern Ireland prepared to meet it's new Monarch.

A new king doesn't just land, and head off to the next destination. Years of rehearsal go into this exact moment.

Staff and media were in position hours before the arrival. Scissor lifts tested, vehicles checked.

Camera operator John Vennard in position to capture the king's arrival in Northern Ireland. Credit: UTV

Camera Operators John Vennard and Alan Deans running through the shots with Satellite Operator Errol Reeves.

And all the rehearsal, the volumes of notes, and albums of pictures pinpointing exactly where the cameras and trucks should be - all disregarded as the team at the airport advised that the wind had changed, and so too would the final approach of the plane.

King Charles is greeted as he arrives in Belfast. Credit: UTV

This means hastily rearranging camera angles and shifting the scissor lift to a new location.

For UTV, this was a big day, as we were providing the "pool" feed - the pictures of the King's arrival which would be watched live around the world.

It was a big day too for Forge Integrated Primary School P7's Lucas Watt and Ella Smith.

The 10 year olds were part of the greeting party to meet the new King as he touched down here for the very first time as monarch.

They found out on Sunday night that they would be part of the most important welcoming committee in Northern Ireland.

"I was pretty excited but nervous at the same time," said Lucas, who bowed his head like a practised professional when he met the Monarch.

"He said 'Are you getting a day out of school?'."

And there was no doubt about just how momentous a day this was for everyone involved.

"It'll just be amazing to look back on and think 'I met the King'", said Ella, who along with Lucas gave the royal couple a gift of flowers from the gardens at Hillsborough and some chocolates.

"I think it'll probably be the best day of our lives. The day we met the king, and it's going to be pretty historic"

And a note of reflection from Lucas, after one of the biggest moments in his wee life. "I think when we get older we'll probably appreciate it a bit more".

The remarkable life of the Queen remembered in our latest episode of What You Need To Know