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Embassy of The Netherlands delivers 100 bouquets of tulips to The Ottawa Hospital

The Embassy of The Netherlands delivered 100 bouquets to The Ottawa Hospital on May 8, 2024. (The Ottawa Hospital/Handout) The Embassy of The Netherlands delivered 100 bouquets to The Ottawa Hospital on May 8, 2024. (The Ottawa Hospital/Handout)

The Embassy of The Netherlands delivered a gift of tulips to the Ottawa Hospital along with a special video message from the Dutch royal family in time for the start of the Canadian Tulip Festival this weekend.

Nurses and staff were on hand to accept the delivery of 100 bouquets and spread them throughout the hospital as the Civic Campus prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary this fall.

In a video message, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, who was born at The Ottawa Hospital's Civic Campus in 1943, extended her gratitude to Canada, who offered a safe haven to the Dutch royal family during the Second World War and congratulated the hospital for the milestone anniversary.

"Naturally, I have always felt a very strong connection to the country and the city of my birth," Princess Margriet said in a video posted to the Ottawa Hospital's website.

"As a token of her gratitude for Canada's hospitality, my mother presented Dutch tulpius to Canada after the war. A gift, a gesture that has continued every since."

Following her country's occupation by the Nazis, Princess Juliana, future Queen of The Netherlands, accepted an invitation to come to Canada in 1940.

A bouquet of tulips gifted to The Ottawa Hospital in celebration of its 100th anniversary. (The Ottawa Hospital/Handout)

To ensure her newborn Princess Margriet would hold exclusively Dutch nationality, the Canadian government temporarily declared the room where she was born extraterritorial — outside Canadian jurisdiction.

An annual gift of tulips from the Dutch royal family is planted in two flower beds at the Civic Campus and in Commissioners Park. The tulips bloom in shades of pink and purple – Princess Juliana’s favourite colours.

The rest of the tulips around the city are planted and cared for by the National Capital Commission (NCC) and Ottawa residents and businesses.

"We in the Netherlands will always be conscious of the sacrifices made by so many young Canadians. For our sake, for our liberty," Princess Margriet said.

The Canadian Tulip Festival was established to celebrate the Dutch royal family gift of tulips following the war, as a symbol of international friendship and has been held every year since 1953.

The festival will start this weekend from May 10 until May 20. Top Stories

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