The reigning monarch of the Netherlands has been part-timing as a pilot for the KLM Cityhopper for more than two decades. He flies twice a month for an unbelievable purpose -- to decompress from his royal duties. He said that his alternate occupation helps him focus on tasks at hand.
Before his work with the KLM, he used to pilot for the Dutch carrier Martinair. The royalty said, "For me, the most important thing is that I have a hobby for which I need to concentrate completely." He added that the most relaxing part of being a pilot is that he is able to disengage from his royal obligations and focus on something else.
The King will not give up flying soon because he is currently training to fly Boeing 737s that will replace the Fokker 70 fleet of the KLM Cityhopper, according to CNN. He already has a vast flying experience. While still a student, King Willem-Alexander has experienced his first flight. In the late '80s, he worked as a volunteer pilot for the medical aid organization, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the African Medical Research & Education Foundation.
The 2001 ban of access to the cockpit of the plane following the 9/11 attacks has prevented the public from knowing that he is piloting flights. He said that he can address the passengers and welcome them aboard without knowing that the King is co-piloting the aircraft.
The reigning monarch got his private pilot license in 1985 and his commercial pilot license in 1987 as reported by Today. Aside from King Willem-Alexander, Prince Charles of Great Britain is a licensed pilot. Prince William has worked as a pilot for a search-and-rescue chopper while his younger brother Prince Harry has flown an Apache helicopter to Afghanistan as part of Britain's Army Air Corps.
These monarchs can serve their countries in a pilot's capacity whether in war or in rescue. King Willem-Alexander has been serving his people in anonymity as a co-pilot. While in service, he also gets the relaxation he needs.