Prince Andrew was left “fuming” after being stranded at Heathrow airport for seven hours at the weekend.

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The 47-year-old prince – known as ‘Air Miles Andy’ because of his love of frequent flying – was forced to wait for engineers to fix a faulty plane on Sunday (03.02.08), only to see the commercial flight to the US cancelled because of a sick passenger.

Andrew was forced to return to his Royal Lodge home, on royal estate Windsor Great Park, before eventually catching a flight yesterday (04.02.08). A British Airways source told The Sun: “By the time the luggage had been taken off for the ill passenger the pilots were over their time on duty and the flight was cancelled.

“The prince, not to mention the other passengers, were fuming.”

Andrew has travelled to the US for an 11-day official tour of the country in his role as Britain’s Special Trade Ambassador. He has already been criticised for hiring a private jet for his visit at a cost to taxpayers of UKP100,000.

Meanwhile, Andrew has blasted the US government for failing to listen to the advice of the British government over the Iraq war, which began in 2003 when America invaded the country over claims they were harbouring weapons of mass destruction.

In an interview with the International Herald Tribune he said: “There have been occasions when people in the UK would wish that those in responsible positions in the US might listen and learn from our experiences as a colonial power. We understand how to operate in a military insurgency campaign and should have been listened to.”

The prince’s criticism represents a break from royal protocol, which traditionally mean members of the royal family refrain from commenting on sensitive international and political issues.