Dutch flag flies on Parliament Hill to mark 70th birthday of Princess

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JANUARY 18, 2013 OTTAWA – In recognition of Skeena-Bulkley Valley’s many Dutch-heritage constituents, MP Nathan Cullen attended a ceremonial flag-raising on Parliament Hill today marking the Ottawa birth 70 years ago of Princess Magriet of the Netherlands

The princess was born on Jan. 19, 1943 at Ottawa Civic Hospital.  Her room was granted extraterritoriality so the princess could be granted Dutch nationality. The birth was celebrated by hoisting the Dutch flag on the Peace Tower, the first and only time in Canadian history a foreign flag has flown from the iconic tower.

“Canada and Holland have a truly remarkable friendship,” said Cullen. “Today’s celebration marks the strength of our friendship, in war and in peace, which is demonstrated every day in the international cooperation our countries enjoy.

“The flow of Dutch immigrants to Canada after World War II brought enormous contributions to this country,” Cullen said.  He noted that many communities in Skeena-Bulkley Valley have strong Dutch populations, making today’s ceremony especially meaningful for him.

Cullen was joined at this morning’s flag ceremony by other MPs and Dutch embassy officials and citizens.

Princess Margriet paid an official visit to Canada in May 2010 for the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by the Canadian troops.

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Contact: Shelley Browne, cullen1@parl.gc.ca 250-877-4140