Ever had a real King fly you somewhere? Well, if you have been flying on KLM airlines during the last 20 years you may have had that privilege. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands is telling Dutch media that he has been working as a co-pilot on KLM Cityhopper flights for 20 years. KLM Cityhopper is the regional airline subsidiary of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

The king told Holland’s Telegraaf newspaper he co-pilots two KLM Cityhopper flights per month. And now he is training to fly with the big boys, Boeing 737s for KLM itself — coincidentally known as Dutch Royal Airlines.

“You can completely switch off and focus on something else,” he told the Telegraaf. He said it is impossible to fly a plane if you bring “problems from the ground with you.”

Willem-Alexander, 50, said he often walks through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in his pilot uniform without being recognized by his subjects. He said that, before the Sept. 11 terror attacks, cockpit doors were often open and some people peeking in “found it fun or amazing to see me” at the controls.

“After September 11th, the cockpit door is closed and there is much less contact between the cabin and the cockpit,” he said. “But yes, some people recognize my voice during the flight.” – USA Today

So next time you get on a KLM flight take a look in the cockpit as you walk by and see if ‘Royalty’ is flying your airplane!

Featured image of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands by Jasper Juinen / Today

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands