Our Gift of Tulips From Princess Juliana of the Netherlands

Our Gift of Tulips From Princess Juliana of the NetherlandsEvery year Ottawa receives 20,000 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands Royal Family and the Dutch Bulb Growers, a thank you for sheltering the Royal Family and for Canada's help with liberation of the Netherlands during WWII.

Here's a little more:

In 1943 Princess Margriet Francisca, the younger sister of the current Queen of the Netherlands, was born at Ottawa Civic Hospital - the only royal ever to be born in North America. The Dutch Royal Family had fled to Canada in 1940 after the WWII invasion of their country. Among their problems - the expected royal child needed to be delivered on Dutch territory to be a Dutch citizen. So, Canada ceded this one hospital maternity room temporarily to the Netherlands. In appreciation, in the fall of 1945, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs.

Now you know how the world's largest tulip festival in Ottawa came to be.

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Comments (9 - click here to join in!)

Blind Dave

I've always loved this story. A fabulous part of our history.

February 5, 2013 @ 1:03 PM


My 100 year old Father is a WW2 vet. In 1995 he and my Mother went to Holland for the anniversary of the liberation. They were treated like royalty. Mom & Dad said the Dutch people were so warm, welcoming and THANKFUL. The Dutch people know more about our participation than a lot of Canadians do, which is sad. We should be proud of our history. :)

February 5, 2013 @ 1:44 PM

Mississauga Phil

I am embarassed to say that I am one of the Canadians Jenny mentioned who did not know this part of our history.

This makes me even prouder to be Canadian, it's also good to know that the Dutch remember and appriciate it.

I sincerly doubt our neighbours to the south would have ceded one inch of their land, for even a nanosecond, in order to help a friendly nation in peril.


February 5, 2013 @ 3:05 PM


Goose bump proud.

February 5, 2013 @ 7:21 PM


That's an awesome bit of history there - declaring a hospital room to another nation so the princess could be born on 'native soil'. How utterly....Canadian is that!

February 7, 2013 @ 3:37 AM


I've been to the Tulip festival a few times in Ottawa... My wife is Dutch so she made sure I knew all about the history...

At least they sent us some really nice flowers instead of their nasty cuisine.. Their food is horrible..

February 12, 2013 @ 1:18 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


As a guy who spent a couple of weeks in Amsterdam last year, I agree 100%. Beautiful flowers, awful food.

February 12, 2013 @ 1:20 PM


Canada also turned away boats of Jews running away from the nazis. Still so proud?

February 18, 2013 @ 2:12 PM


Well, I'm proud. Why not be proud. Sure would be nice to get rid of God keep our land from Oh Canada though. It wasn't there many years ago. Anyway, so Dutch food is horrible. I don't have plans to go there anyway.

July 2, 2013 @ 5:07 PM

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