More today from Commissioners Park, starting where I left off. The Crown Princess of the Netherlands, Princess Juliana, was sent to Canada with her daughters for safety after the fall of the Netherlands, while her mother Queen Wilhelmina stayed on in London, doing what she could for her people. Juliana settled in Ottawa and did the same, working tirelessly.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
The War Origins Of The Festival
Her husband Prince Bernhard spent much of the war in Britain with his mother-in-law working for the cause, but visited Juliana and their daughters periodically. Out of this came the birth of a royal princess in North America. Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa; the Canadian government at the time passed a motion designating the maternity suite as extraterritorial, preserving her royal status.
Margriet would have many godparents, and her christening was held at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church downtown. The photographs displayed on this panel were taken by Yousuf Karsh, the Canadian photographer who had already made a name for himself internationally with his Churchill portrait earlier in the war. Karsh would end up one of the world's most esteemed portrait photographers of the 20th century, all while calling Ottawa home.
The end of the war saw the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian soldiers, and the formation of a strong and lasting friendship between two countries that has endured ever since.
Princess Margriet herself has often come back on visits.
The Dutch started sending tulips to Canada in thanks after the war. Malak Karsh, brother of Yousuf and himself a famous landscape photographer, made the recommendation of a festival organized around the tulips, and so he is deemed the father of the Tulip Festival.
I passed by this bed, with the sculpture in its midst.
This was beyond it.