“I have no idea what I started,” laughs Maxima as she arrived at the barracks in Breda on Wednesday morning. “I find that very exciting, but of course I do it to support men and women in defense and experience what they are going through.”
Before the literal climax, the Queen toured the school, which has been providing all parachute training within the Armed Forces since 2008. In the training hall, among other things, a demonstration on free fall was given, Maxima gave a parachute folding demonstration and saw soldiers practicing for their descent from jumping tower.
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A so-called tandem jump for the queen is planned at the end of the round. They are attached to a specially trained paratrooper and then land together on a parachute. He joked that the tandem teacher Mark is the “chosen one”. Bringing the Queen back to Earth safely is no small feat. “A unique experience, but I am just as focused as if I had to jump with another civilian or soldier. No, I didn’t sleep less last night,” he confirms.
Queen Maxima skydives during her working visit to the Defense Para School.
ANP / HH
When the moment finally comes, the Queen looks as relaxed as ever. Meanwhile, the elegant outfit and stiletto high heels were replaced by safe clothing and sneakers. Persistently, Maxima boarded the plane at Breda International Airport. “It’s great that she’s doing that,” says Army spokesman Jacques Van Elten. Certainly: if we had not trusted her, we would not have invited her. But, Van Elten admits: “Skyding is never without risk.”
After a few minutes a tiny black dot floats over Breda: Queen and Mr. tandem. With a smile from ear to ear, Máxima sets foot on the ground again after a jump of about four kilometers. “Of course I got more nervous as the moment approached,” she says, filled with adrenaline. “I had to tell myself: keep breathing.”
“She did a great job,” says the tandem teacher. “Exactly as he showed us on the ground. The landing was also perfect. She can be proud of that.”
It wasn’t only Máxima who found her nerve-wracking, but the princesses also wondered if “The Mummy” was really sure about the jump. “But why not!” The Queen says boldly.
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