CanadaInfo Navigator Bar

The Netherlands in Canada

By an act of Parliament in 1943, a hospital room in Ottawa was temporarily declared to be Dutch soil completely out of Canadian jurisdiction. Read on to discover why this unique event occurred.


Princess Juliana, heir to the Dutch throne, sought refuge in Canada after the Netherlands fell to the German invaders in 1940. While here, the Princess gave birth to a daughter, Margriet Francisca on January 19, 1943. By an Act of Parliament, the maternity room at the hospital became part of The Netherlands so that Margriet could be born "on Dutch soil". A Dutch flag flew from the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill to celebrate the birth of the new Princess.

It was not until August 1945, when the Netherlands had been liberated, that Princess Margriet first set foot on Dutch soil. Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard returned to Soestdijk Palace in Baarn, where the family had lived before the war. Upon the return home of the Royal Family, the people of the Netherlands sent 100 000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa to thank Canadians for their part in the Liberation. The next year, Princess Juliana made a personal gift of 20 000 bulbs. Since then, the Netherlands has sent 10 000 bulbs every year. Canada contributes to the tulip legacy by purchasing more than 500 000 bulbs each year. Canada's Capital has more tulips than any place outside of the Netherlands.

Tulip FestivalTulip Festival
Canadian Tulip Festival

See also
Provinces and Territories
Canadian Lands Abroad
Foreign Lands in Canada

External Links
55th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands - Veterans Affairs Canada
"A Tulip Legacy" - National Capital Commission

Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt