The King Of Holland Has Been Secretly Co-Piloting Commercial KLM Flights For 21 Years

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NY Times- For two decades, the king of the Netherlands has been putting the royal in KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

King Willem-Alexander said in an interview published Wednesday that for the last 21 years, he has flown twice a month as a commercial airline co-pilot for KLM’s Cityhopper subsidiary, a regional carrier that flies among European cities.

He was seldom recognized in uniform, particularly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when safety protocols were introduced to limit access to cockpits, he said.

The king would often greet passengers over the intercom, but not readily identify himself. “The advantage is that I can always say that I wish everyone a heartfelt welcome in the name of the captain and the crew,” he told De Telegraaf newspaper. “So I don’t have to say my own name. But most of the people don’t listen anyway.”

“For me the most important thing is that I have a hobby for which I need to concentrate completely. You have an airplane, passengers and a crew. You carry responsibility for that. You cannot take your problems from the ground with you in the sky. You can for a brief moment disconnect and concentrate on something else. That is the biggest relaxation of flying to me.”

The King of Holland has been casually co-piloting commercial KLM Airlines flights for 21 years, twice a month! I love it. King Willem-Alexander could easily get his flying fix on a private jet, or if he doesn’t have that certification, just an empty, quiet, low-risk commercial plane. But nope, he’s a man of the people. Wants to shepherd around a bunch of his weary, unsuspecting citizens from Amsterdam to wherever the hell they go. Casually makes announcements about holding patterns and delays in silly Dutch (Dutch is silly) and the passengers groan because they don’t know it’s the goddamn KING talking to them.

Imagine if it came out tomorrow that twice a month for the last 21 years, Trump throws on a fake moustache and sunglasses and drives a greyhound bus from Milwaukee to Cincinnati just because he loves driving people in buses. Would completely change the public perception of him. Nobody would be talking about “leaking information” or “Russia.” He’d just be Trump: part time Greyhound driver, part time POTUS.

Humble brag time: I’ve met this king. Actually had dinner with him, his wife, and their 3 young daughters. I used to tutor kids for a living in NYC and often worked with some pretty hoodrich families, some of whom had royal friends. The Dutch royal family came over for dinner one night to the house of a family I was working with, and we all sat down for pork chops. After dinner, his youngest daughter reenacted the Robin Van Persie “flying dutchman” goal from the 2014 World Cup. It was cute but kinda tiresome. She didn’t look anything like him.

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