Princess Margriet of the Netherlands has sent a video message to Canadians to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.
Canada holds a special place in the hearts of the Dutch Royal Family. The country took them in during the Second World War, and it is where Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa (the maternity unit was placed outside Canadian domain so that Margriet was born in international territory – making her solely Dutch).
The Princess and her husband were due to travel to Canada later this month to personally thank Canadians for their role in helping liberate the Netherlands. The couple were also due to meet veterans. However, due to COVID-19, the visit is not possible at this time.
Margriet delivered her message in English from her home in Apeldoorn and began by saying, “From our lockdown to your lockdown, dear Canadians, this year we commemorate and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.”
The Princess said that she and her husband had planned to visit Canada, but the current crisis makes it impossible. She said that “we all must be patient” and alluded to a future visit when travel is once again safe. Margriet mentioned how many Canadians were due to visit the Netherlands to mark the liberation and how veterans would have been welcomed with open arms and celebrated.
Her Royal Highness stressed in her remarks: “Canada and Canadians always have a special place in our hearts. As you know, my family found a safe haven in Ottawa during the Second World War. As I was born in Ottawa, I particularly feel strongly attached to your country.
“Whenever I visit, Canada gives me the feeling of coming home, my second home. Canada’s hospitality toward my family and Canada’s pivotal role in the liberation of my country from the Nazi occupation are at the basis of the special bonds between our two countries to this very day.”
The Princess also stated: “Many Canadian servicemen have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Their graves are tended with love and care. Our deep-felt gratitude has renewed and will never perish.”