tulips for Cee and Chris

Bruce Miller

Ottawa, Canada

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Artist's Description

Do you remember that tulip festival I mentioned in Ottawa?
Princess Margriet of Holland 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.1 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.

It is a common misconception that the Canadian government declared the maternity ward to be Dutch territory. Since Dutch nationality law is based primarily on the principle of Jus sanguinis it was not necessary to make the ward Dutch territory for the Princess to become a Dutch citizen. Since Canada followed the rule of jus soli, it was necessary for Canada to disclaim the territory temporarily so that the Princess would not, by virtue of birth on Canadian soil, become a Canadian citizen.
After the war ended the family was repatriated and as a thank you to Canada gave thousands of tulip bulbs to the city of Ottawa. Thus was born the annual Tulip Festival whith huge beds of tulips spinging up all over the city at this time of year. It’s an extraordinary sight.

Artwork Comments

  • John Douglas
  • Bruce Miller
  • CeePhotoArt
  • CeePhotoArt
  • AliceDoodles
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