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Canadian History for Kids: Princess Juliana of the Netherlands

June 11, 1940 – Princess Juliana of the Netherlands arrives in Canada to seek refuge during the Second World War.

This Canadian History for Kids exclusive looks at Princess Juliana of the Netherlands.

On June 11, 1940, during the Second World War, Dutch Princess Juliana was living in exile in Ottawa, Canada. This was the beginning of a lifelong love affair.

Princess Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina, was born on April 30, 1909, and was the only child of Queen Wilhelmina, Queen of the Netherlands. On September 8, 1936, Princess Juliana announced her engagement to German Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. Prince Bernhard signed a prenuptial agreement specifying what he could and could not do and what money he would get. They married on January 7, 1937, in the Hague. Their first two children, Princess Beatrix and Princess Irene were born in Baarn.

In May of 1940, the German invaded Netherlands and Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard were forced to move their family to Britain. Princess Juliana and her daughters would then be moved to Ottawa, Canada where they would reside in exile for five years at Stornoway.

On January 19, 1943, Princess Juliana’s third child, Princess Margriet, was born at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. To keep Princess Margriet in the line of succession, the Governor General of Canada at the time, Alexander Cambridge, granted a law declaring their rooms at the Hospital as extraterritorial so Princess Margriet would have Dutch nationality. The Dutch flag was flown on the Peace Tower at the news of Princess Margriet’s birth.

In May 1945, upon her return to the Netherlands, Princess Juliana was so moved by Canada’s hospitality, and then by the aid supplied by Canadian soldiers during the liberation of Netherlands from the Germans, that she sent Ottawa 100,000 tulip bulbs. The next year she sent another 20,000 tulip bulbs asking that some of the bulbs be planted at the Ottawa Civic Hospital where she gave birth to Princess Margriet.

Her last child, Princess Marijke Christina was born in 1947.

The inauguration of Queen Juliana was held on September 6, 1948, in Amsterdam. She was considered a kind and down to earth woman. She enjoyed visiting schools and public speaking. She was particularly interest in the refugee problem and in child welfare in developing countries.

In 1953 when the Netherlands was hit by a severe storm where more than 2,000 people died, Queen Juliana insisted on helping her people personally by delivering food and clothing to the displaced citizens.

In 1973, on her Silver Jubilee, Queen Juliana donated the money raised for her Jubilee to organizations for children.

On April 30, 1980, on her 71st birthday she abdicated her thrown to her eldest daughter, Beatrix.

On March 20, 2004, at the age of 94, Queen Juliana died.

And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!

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