If you have travelled on any European short-haul flights to or from the Netherlands in the past 21 years, it’s entirely possible the actual Dutch King was flying your plane!
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf has recently revealed that HRH Willhem-Alexander’s second job, when he’s not cutting ribbons or unveiling various symbolic plaques as the figurehead of the country, is actually being a commercial airline pilot!
Approximately twice a month, the King-by-day enjoys ferrying unknowing passengers around the continent, limiting his roster to short-haul flights in case duty calls and he has to return urgently to the Netherlands.
Before 9/11, when cockpit doors were open, more people tended to notice the royal co-pilot in action, but these days his presence is much more of a secret – well until now, that is.
Despite the King’s double life being made public, it is said he will continue his part-time job with his own nation’s airline, although he will have to go back to flight school now that his usual plane, the Fokker 70, will be taken out of the fleet’s commission.
According to the De Telegraaf article, the King considers flying to be a ‘relaxing’ distraction and it remains a hobby he is quite passionate about, even after more than 2 decades.
So next time you’re journeying in or out of the Netherlands and someone asks you to buckle your seat belts via the loudspeaker, it’s probably best to consider it a royal command.