Dutch King Reveals He’s Been Moonlighting as a Pilot for 21 Years

May 18, 2017

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Being a royal is a job that comes with many public duties — from military service to charity events to foreign diplomacy. But one royal, Dutch King Willem-Alexander, pursued another career during his reign — commercial airline pilot.

The Dutch king revealed to De Telegraaf newspaper that he has worked as a KLM pilot twice a month for the past 21 years. Willem-Alexander acceded to power in 2013 when Queen Beatrix abdicated the Dutch throne, but didn’t quit his day job. While the monarch did admit to being recognized occasionally, he conceded that it was a rare occurrence when donning his KLM uniform and pilot’s cap.

“The advantage is that I can always say I am speaking on behalf of the captain and crew to welcome (passengers) aboard, so I don’t have to say my name,” the royal told the newspaper.

The king, who only flew short haul flights in case he was needed back at home, said he found taking a break from his royal duties to fly “relaxing.” With KLM upgrading their short haul fleet to Boeing’s 737, the royal will be taking a short break from flying to learn the controls of the new plane. The king intends to continue flying after his training, so stay alert on your next KLM flight — you may be in the presence of royalty.

And, as always, Twitter’s got jokes:

H/T: The New York Times 

Featured image of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima courtesy of Patrick van Katwijk via Getty Images.

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