Nova Scotia Archives

'An East Coast Port'

Halifax in Wartime, 1939-1945


Princess Juliana of the Netherlands departing Halifax with her children Princess Irene and Princess Beatrice

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Princess Juliana of the Netherlands and her daughters Beatrix and Irene arrived safely on a Dutch warship in Halifax Harbour on 11 June 1940. The following day, the Princess bade farewell to the Dutch seamen before boarding a train for Quebec and then Ottawa where she lived during the rest of the war. From the quarterdeck of the Dutch vessel in Halifax Harbour, the Princess expressed that all might have a happy reunion in Holland after the Nazi invaders have been defeated. The Halifax Mail, 13 June 1940, p.5, reported her final acts before leaving Halifax: "A roll of drums and a blare of trumpets marked Princess Juliana's departure from the warship. Armed sentries at the gangplank stood at attention and the ship's company were lined on the decks and on the rigging of the war vessel. Once the royal party was aboard the train, the sailors dashed down the gangplank and ran out in front of the train, ranging themselves for a couple hundred yards along its route. From the observation platform the Princess and her two children received the cheers of the bluejackets. The cheering continued until the train disappeared around a curve."

Date: June 13 1940

Reference: Robert Norwood Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-480 370