WTF Fun Fact 13046 – The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War

What’s now referred to as the Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War was not really a war by modern standards. But technically it’s true that the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly (off the coast of Great Britain) were in a diplomatic state of war for 335 years. But it’s because they forgot to sign a peace treaty.

The longest “war’?

Also called the Dutch-Scilly War, the bloodless war didn’t officially end until 1986.

During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians fought the Royalists for control of the government. When Cromwell took Cornwall, the Royalist Navy retreated from England into the Isles of Scilly.

At the time, the Dutch Navy was aligned with the Parliamentarians. They took heavy losses from the Royalist fleet. In 1651, Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp went to the Scilly Isles to demand payback for the Royalists’ attacks on their ships. But there was no agreement, and he declared war on the Isles of Scilly themselves.

How does a war last three hundred and thirty five years?

The Parliamentarians won the English Civil war, so the fact that the Dutch had declared their war on the Royalists on the Isles of Scilly meant very little after that. The Dutch left without ever firing a shot.

However, since the war was peripheral to the main event, they never declared peace either. Tromp’s declaration of war was so obscure and relatively meaningless that no one really noticed it was happening.

It wasn’t until a historian on the Isles of Scilly started researching the legend of the war that he realized it was technically still in effect. Roy Duncan wrote to the Dutch Embassy in London and that’s when everyone discovered there was no peace treaty.

As a result, Duncan invited the Dutch ambassador Jonkheer Rein Huydecoper to visit Scilly and declare peace on April 17, 1986, 335 years after the war began.

Huydecoper joked that it must have been terrifying to the residents of the island “to know we could have attacked at any moment.”  WTF fun facts

Source: “Dutch Proclaim End of War Against Britain’s Scilly Isles” — New York Times

WTF Fun Fact 12916 – Princess of Netherlands Born in Canada

It may not seem like a big deal for a princess to be born in another country, but some royal families (any families, really) find it important for their children to be citizens of just one country. So when Princess Magriet of the Netherlands was born in Ottowa in 1943 after her family fled from the Nazis, a Canadian hospital did something remarkable.

The Netherlands in Canada

Crown Princess Juliana was going to give birth to her child in Canada regardless since she couldn’t go back to the Netherlands during the war. If she had a boy, he would have been next in line for the Dutch throne after his mother, making it very important that he be a Dutch citizen. Being born in Canada meant that the child could be considered a British subject (since it’s part of the British Commonwealth).

To avoid any controversy, the maternity ward was temporarily declared extraterritorial by the Canadian government so the child would not be a sole Canadian citizen. This was the case even though the baby happened to be a girl – Princess Magriet.

The Canadian tulip tradition of Princess Margriet

Princess Margriet is indeed a citizen of the Netherlands thanks to Canada’s gesture, and the family remains grateful to the country as a result. When they returned to their home after the war in 1945, the royal family send 100,000 tulip bulbs to the Canadian people. This is the origin of Ottawa’s annual Tulip Festival.

To this day, the Netherlands sends 10,000 tulip bulbs to Canada every year in thanks.

Princess Magriet has returned to Canada many times over. the years and has also attended the tulip festival in Ottawa.

Another fun fact: There is a reference to Magriet’s mother Queen Juliana being pregnant in the Diary of Anne Frank.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Princess of Netherlands Born in Canada” — The Canadian Encyclopedia

WTF Fun Fact 12778 – Krokettenmotie

The Krokettenmotie is an obscure motion passed by a council in northern Holland, the Netherlands that entitles council members to a bit of a snack if their meetings run late.

Frankly, it sounds pretty civilized.

How did the Krokettenmotie come to be?

When the future Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende, served on the municipal council of Amstelveen in 1993, he proposed the motion. And he fully admits to having had a juvenile sense of humor back in his younger days.

While the “croquettes motion” was meant as a joke, the other council members apparently agreed that any meeting that ran past 11 pm made them deserving of a little snack. The motion passed. Even better, it’s still in force (because why repeal a law that says you get a free deep-fried snack?!).

Updates to the Krokettenmotie

While it has never been repealed, the Krokettenmotie has been modified over the years, specifically to accommodate vegans and vegetarians.

In 2019, a vegetarian option was added. But that was likely a page taken out of a copycat motion passed in 2002 in Zwolle, which set the time limit to 10 pm and mentioned the option of a vegetarian snack as well.

Croquette controversy

As the Netherlands has focused more on healthy lifestyles and eating, all of the Krokettenmoties have come into question. After all, it’s not exactly the healthiest snack option. So many municipalities that have debated the croquette controversy have had members demands snacks such as fruit, nuts, and even hummus wraps as alternatives.

It may all sound ridiculous, but the justification behind the genuine debates is that the council is bound to do better work in the late evenings if they’re not hungry. Council members have pointed out that a bit of a nosh will help them make better decisions with clear minds.

Frankly, we’re just glad someone takes their snacks as seriously as we do.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Krokettenmotie” — Wikipedia