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The Quiet Piloting Life of the Netherlands' King

Running a country is hard work—or, at least, it seems like it is—so it makes sense to see royals and world leaders out playing sports or taking up other hobbies to unwind.

But King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has a hobby that brings him particularly close to his people—while they're cruising at 30,000 feet.

The king is "a qualified pilot who sometimes flew KLM [Royal Dutch Airlines] passenger flights." Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf recently reported that Willem-Alexander would fly two times a month, but "will now retrain to fly Boeing 737s as the [Fokker 70 planes he flew] are being phased out of service."

According to The Associated Press, "The 50-year-old father of three and monarch to 17 million Dutch citizens calls flying a 'hobby' that lets him leave his royal duties on the ground and fully focus on something else."

When he gives announcements, he is not required to give his name, as he co-pilots. He admits that "he is rarely recognized by passengers."

Potential Preaching Angles: Does the story of a king who "lowers" himself to the status of a commoner and serves others sounds familiar? The example of Willem-Alexander might recall certain words about another king in history who "made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant" (Phil. 2:7).

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