Tulips have been a symbol of friendship and peace between
the Netherlands and Canada for more than 60 years.
The Dutch royal family has been sending tulips to Ottawa,
Ontario, since 1946 as a thank you for housing the royals
during the Second World War. Occupied by enemy forces, the
Netherlands wasn't a safe place for the family, especially
for the pregnant Princess Juliana. They sought refuge in Ottawa,
where Juliana gave birth to Princess Margriet in the Ottawa
After the royal family returned home, the Dutch sent a gift
of 100,000 handpicked tulip bulbs to Canada in gratitude.
The present acknowledged the hospitality and recognized the
efforts of Canadian troops in the liberation of the Netherlands.
Moved by her countrymen's display of gratitude, Juliana sent
20,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa the next year. Today, the Dutch
royal family sends a gift of 10,000 bulbs every year, which
is matched by the International Flower Bulb Centre in Holland.
These Dutch tulip blooms are among the first colorful signs
of spring in the nation's capital.