King Willem-Alexander—aka King of the Netherlands—recently revealed his secret life as a KLM Airlines co-pilot to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
"I find flying simply fantastic," he told the newspaper. "You can't take your problems with you off the ground. You can completely switch off for a while and focus on something else. That, for me, is the most relaxing part of flying. "
For the past 21 years the King has secretly taken flight on the commercial planes and while very few have recognized him, he's had no trouble strolling through the airport in his pilot uniform going mostly unnoticed. In fact, unless passengers recognized the royal's voice via telecom, Willem-Alexander managed to keep his hobby and second profession completely under wraps...until now.
"The advantage is that I can always say I am speaking on behalf of the captain and crew to welcome them on board, so I don't have to say my name," Willem-Alexander further explained to the paper. "But then, most people don't listen anyway."
So what prompted the sudden reveal? Willem-Alexander is heading to training to fly Boeing 737s—the model of plane that is replacing the current aircrafts used by the airline company.
While it has been awhile since the king has been taking orders, he is excited to fly the new planes.
"It also seemed nice to fly to other destinations one day, with more passengers and bigger distances. That was the real motive for training on the 737," said Willem-Alexander.
Even with the new changes and public exposure, the king plans to keep up his hobby of co-piloting twice a month.