Dutch king reveals secret job as KLM pilot

You might have been on one of his flights!

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A favourite complaint of anti-monarchists is that the Royal family don't have the most robust work-ethic.

Sure, the Duke of Edinburgh is stepping down from royal duties at the ripe old age of 96, and the Queen is a busy bee for a woman of 91 - but other members have come under fire for doing, well, no one knows.

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In the Netherlands however, things are slightly different.

Their King, Willem-Alexander, ascended the Dutch throne in 2013 after his mother, Beatrix, abdicated saying it was time for the throne to be held by "a new generation".

So, for the last four years, Willem-Alexander has been a full-time monarch, a husband and dad of three girls.

But that's not all.

To the delight of his people - and the world in general - Willem-Alexander has been secretly piloting KLM passenger flights for 21 years.

King Willem-Alexander posing in front of a KLM Cityhopper aircraft at Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam

He may have even been piloting a plan you were on at some point.

The King revealed he'd regularly flown flights for a subsidiary of the Dutch flag carrier for over two decades in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf .

Describing his part-time role as a "hobby", the King explained he'd been taking to the cockpit as a co-pilot of KLM Cityhopper for over two decades.

It's been a passion of his for a long time.

Here he is in the cockpit

In the late eighties he journeyed to Kenya where he worked for the African Medical Research & Education Foundation (AMREF), and later for the Kenya Wildlife Service.

The King flies twice a month and, with flying requiring all of his concentration, uses these occasions as an opportunity to decompress from royal life

"For me the most important thing is that I have a hobby for which I need to concentrate completely," he said.

He's been doing it for over two decades

"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 told De Telegraaf.

Surely he gets recognised ALL the time?

Well, no. Since the 9/11 terror attacks have restricted passengers' access to the cockpit, there is a much reduced chance of any of the public seeing him.

"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 continued.

"So I don't have to say my own name. But most of the (passengers) don't listen anyway."

The revelations come in the week after another European royal showed a more down-to-earth side.

Prince Sverre, son of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit performed the popular 'dab' move as the Norwegian royalsgathered on the balcony of an Oslo palace to celebrate the King Harald and Queen Sonja's 80th birthdays.

Somehow we can't see our lot being this fun.

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