Flying High: The Secret Life of a King

June 5, 2017
By Gerben van Es/Ministerie van Defensie [CC0 or CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has led a secret life as an airline pilot for the last 21 years!

Yes, this story seems like one straight out of a Hollywood movie script where the king disguises himself as an airline pilot, but it’s true! In addition to performing his royal duties, King Willem-Alexander also serves as co-pilot of short distance flights on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines twice monthly. When asked why he flies planes, he simply said that it was a hobby that helped him relax and concentrate on something entirely different from his royal duties.

And how is it that he’s been able to keep this other job a secret for so long? It’s been 16 years since any passenger has been allowed to visit the cockpit and he welcomes passengers on behalf of the captain and the crew instead of using his own name! So the next time you’re flying on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, be sure to listen up to see if King Willem-Alexander is piloting your plane!