Archive images of Prince Bernhard highlight some of this controversial Dutch royal’s wartime flying activities

Ben Dunnell explores The Aeroplane’s outstanding archives to cast new light on past stories

HRH Prince Bernhard (right) being handed his overcoat following arrival at an unknown airfield in Beech D17S PB1 during 1943.

King Willem-Alexander, the reigning Dutch monarch, calls flying “a hobby”. It was widely known that he had spent many years, both during his time as Prince of Orange and now as king, flying regular scheduled services for first Martinair and then KLM Cityhopper. What only became publicly apparent from a recent interview was the extent of this commitment. Willem-Alexander had done his part-time job twice a month, and now KLM is retiring the Fokker 70 he’s converting to the Boeing 737.

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