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May 5, 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945. 

The Netherlands has sent tulips to Ottawa since 1945 in gratitude to Canada for sheltering future Queen Juliana and her family during WW2. 

Princess Juliana gave birth to Princess Margriet at the Ottawa Civic Hospital in January 1943. The maternity ward was temporarily declared to be extraterritorial by the Canadian government, thereby allowing Princess Margriet's citizenship to be solely influenced by her mother's Dutch citizenship.

Bob Sheppard adds the following personal comments concerning Canada's role in the liberation of The Netherlands.

"My Dad was injured near Nijmagen, (the oldest city in the Netherlands) during the fighting. Took some shrapnel and was sent back to England for recovery, which included treatment with penicillin. He also contracted tuberculosis and was in a sanatorium on his return to Canada. Had to be routinely tested for many years. He never talked about his wartime experience as I think it was too traumatic. He would have been 19 years old".

Retired Ottawa Passenger Service Agent, Claire Bertrand, sent us the three photographs below showing herself receiving bouquets of tulips from His Excellency, Tho. H. Bot, the Netherlands Ambassador.

Claire had this honour for three consecutive years 1970 to 1972. The tulips were then carried by Air Canada to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on behalf of the Capital Region Tourist Council of Ottawa.

The Tulip Festival has been an annual event since 1953 and, thanks to technology, can be enjoyed again this year on the festival's website

you tube linkTulip Festival YouTube channel
you tube linkA special message from H.R.H. Princess Margriet of the Netherlands

Please see the links below for further references:


Tulip Festival Official website

Canadian Encyclopedia

Ottawa Tourism


tmb 250 claire bertrand 01 tmb 250 claire bertrand 02
The colour photograph below is from the 1972 festival where Liberace (seated in the centre) gave the opening concert.
tmb 550 claire bertrand 03

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