Queen Máxima completed a parachute jump in Breda on Wednesday afternoon during a visit to the Defensie Para School (DPS), which has been training all paratroopers within the armed forces since 2008. On her arrival at the barracks, the queen said the jump was “scary.” Máxima took part in her first official tandem jump after an orientation session.
For a moment it seemed that the planned jump would not take place, because Breda had to contend with a great deal of rain showers on Wednesday. By 2 p.m., the sky cleared enough for a safe jump.
“I really had to say to myself, ‘You still have to breathe,’” Máxima said afterwards. But she eventually jumped “confidently,” thanks in part to the good guidance and explanation she received beforehand, she said. “It was very exciting. And of course you get more nervous as the moment approaches.” She described the moment that she was sitting on the edge of the plane succinctly. “Fast.”
The DPS annually trains about 800 to 1,000 military personnel to become parachute jumpers. The training is primarily intended for the special forces of the Commando Corps and the Marine Corps. The DPS also provides paratrooper training for the Army’s Air Mobile Brigade.
During the visit, the queen was given an explanation of the responsibilities of the organization. She also spoke with military personnel about their training and with instructors about their work and operational deployment in missions. For example, the Defense Para School supported missions in Mali and Afghanistan.
After the explanation, Queen Máxima was given a tour of the training hall, where she was given a demonstration about parachute folding.