Saturday, July 9, 2011

Princess Margriet Francisca of the Netherlands

Historical link to Ottawa's Annual Tulip Festival

Born in 1943 in Ottawa at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.

First royal baby to ever be born in North America.

Is the third daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Member of the Dutch Royal House and currently ninth in the line of succession to the Dutch throne.

The Princess was born in Ottawa, Ontario, as the family had been living in Canada since June 1940 after the occupation of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany. The maternity ward of Ottawa Civic Hospital in which Princess Margriet was born was temporarily declared to be extraterritorial by the Canadian government. Making the maternity ward outside of the Canadian domain caused it to be unaffiliated with any jurisdiction and technically international territory. This was done to ensure that the newborn Princess would derive her citizenship from her mother only, thus making her solely Dutch.

The Dutch royal family was so impressed with Ottawa that they donated tulip bulbs to the city, which led to the establishment of the annual Tulip Festival in Ottawa.

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