Next time you take a flight, you just never know who might be at the controls. It could be a king. Holland's King Willem-Alexander has just revealed he has been secretly flying planes for the Dutch carrier KLM for the past 21 years, completely unbeknown to his passengers. The 50-year-old king got his military pilot's license as a member of the Royal Netherlands Air Force when he was in his twenties. He developed a love of flying and trained to become a commercial pilot. He revealed his secret life as a pilot in an interview with Dutch media. He flew for KLM twice a month. The king said he was now preparing to upgrade his skills. He is back on the aircraft simulator to train to fly Boeing 737s.
King Willem-Alexander told reporters that his passion for flying meant he could relieve all stress while up in the skies. He explained: "You have an aircraft, passengers and crew. You have responsibility for them. You can't take your problems from the ground into the skies. You can completely disengage and concentrate on something else. That, for me, is the most relaxing part of flying." He said it was easy to keep his anonymity while flying, and that very few passengers ever knew he was piloting their plane. He said: "I always say that I wish everyone a heartfelt welcome on behalf of the captain and the crew. I don't have to say my own name, but most people don't listen anyway."