The Secret Life of Dutch King Willem-Alexander

When Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated in 2013, her son Willem-Alexander became king. Few people knew until this week that he was a pilot, and has continued flying Fokker 70 planes for KLM after he ascended the throne. Willem-Alexander has been a co-pilot on KLM flights twice a month for 21 years, yet passengers had no idea who was in the cockpit.  

Willem-Alexander once said that if he had not been born in a palace, his dream would have been to fly a big passenger plane such as a Boeing 747, so it is no surprise that he intends to retrain for the updated plane.

He told De Telegraaf that he never used his name when addressing passengers and was rarely recognised in uniform and wearing his KLM cap. However, he admitted that some passengers had recognised his voice.

"The advantage is that I can always say that I warmly welcome passengers on behalf of the captain and crew," he said. "Then I don't have to give my name."

He maintains his flying schedule in order to keep his pilot's license. Read more about the king's second job at BBC News.


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