Variations on "Ottawa, Kingdom of the Netherlands".
November 23, 2006 12:12 PM   Subscribe

People born in administratively unusual places?

When part of the Dutch royal family lived in exile in Canada during WWII, Princess Margriet (daughter of Princess Juliana) was born. At the time of her birth, a wing of the hospital was temporarily declared Dutch territory to ensure her being born on Dutch soil. (Under Canadian law, had she been born in Canadian territory she would have automatically received Canadian citizenship.) Thus, effectively, Princess Margriet was born in "Ottawa, Kingdom of the Netherlands".

Do you know of any comparable examples?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane to Society & Culture (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
And yes, I might use your examples for a future FPP.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:14 PM on November 23, 2006

Emilio Marcos de Palma, first human baby born in Antarctica, and is subject to an unusual, deliberately uncertain legal status with respect to national sovereignty. Wikipedia notes he could claim Argentine or British Citizenship (or both?) due to overlapping treaty/sectoral claims.
posted by Rumple at 12:27 PM on November 23, 2006

The same story goes for Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia at Claridge's in London (allegedly Yugoslav soil was sprinkled under the bed).

You might also like to look at French overseas departements and regions, which are considered part of France itself. Among other things, this means the European Union has a land border with Brazil. Spain has similar places in North Africa.
posted by cillit bang at 12:35 PM on November 23, 2006

The footballer Rio Mavuba was born in a boat in international waters off the coast of Angola and was able to choose which country to represent at international level. He chose France.
posted by fire&wings at 1:00 PM on November 23, 2006

All his back-of-the-book biographies state that Canadian writer & artist Douglas Coupland was "born on a Canadian Air Force base near Baden-Baden, Germany."
posted by Milkman Dan at 1:04 PM on November 23, 2006

I wasn't born in an administratively unusual place, yet customs all around the world have had trouble to belief this. For the Frisian municipality in which I was born, is called 'Smallingerland'. And it too often takes time to explain the status of this other 'land' in my passport.
posted by ijsbrand at 1:20 PM on November 23, 2006

Douglas Coupland was "born on a Canadian Air Force base near Baden-Baden, Germany."

Now it's a commercial airport.
posted by grouse at 3:52 PM on November 23, 2006

I'm Sorry, pleased to meet you.
posted by Rumple at 4:15 PM on November 23, 2006

John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, which apparently does not affect his natural-born citizenship for purposes of a presidential run.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 5:27 PM on November 23, 2006

Saucy Intruder, to be a natural born citizen you just have to have citizenship by birth (American parents OR born on US soil), not both.
posted by atrazine at 5:46 PM on November 23, 2006

I was born in a military hospital in Tokyo during the Occupation; it was technically U.S. soil, so despite having been born in Japan I am eligible to be president. I trust I can count on all your votes.
posted by languagehat at 5:48 PM on November 23, 2006

Saucy Intruder, to be a natural born citizen you just have to have citizenship by birth (American parents OR born on US soil), not both.

We'll see about that now won't we?
posted by Pollomacho at 6:41 PM on November 23, 2006

a friend of mine was actually born in international waters.

it happened in the north sea, they were sailing towards germany when his mother went into labor - far premature. a german rescue cruiser called Wilhelm Kaisen (pic: similar ship, different name) came out from the island of helgoland. he was born in their onboard hospital. the germans offered two entries for the birth certificate, either "on board of sea emergency cruiser wilhelm kaisen" or the first port they went to, which happened to be Cuxhaven. they took the first one.
posted by krautland at 9:24 PM on November 23, 2006

There have been several instances of children born at Disneyland. Here's but one example.

The park offers them honorary "citizenship."
posted by frogan at 12:16 AM on November 24, 2006

I was born in a tiny village in rural South East England (think Miss Marple) that declared itself an independent state after some legal wrangles involving a donkey derby.

True story.
posted by unmusic at 12:30 AM on November 24, 2006

Re the above:

Passports, stamps and currency were issued. The stamps were used locally during the national postal strike and "Cuckoo" notes were legal tender in Cuckfield. Five Cuckoos were worth one shilling.
posted by unmusic at 12:31 AM on November 24, 2006

Similar to languagehat, I was born on an American air force base in Japan. My passport is about ten pages long, but I'm an American citizen and always have been. I used to think it would have been cool if I'd been born on Japanese soil, but the reality is that Japan is tough on awarding citizenship to non-indigenous people in general, so it probably would have just made things more complicated.
posted by bingo at 7:03 AM on November 24, 2006

Just a note that this has more practical consequence in American terms than otherwise, because America is one of the relatively few countries that grants citizenship based upon where one is born. Most other countries grant citizenship based upon parental citizenship, reglardless of place of birth. (Sometimes it's the mother's citizenship, sometimes it's the father's, sometimes either.) The U.S. also grants citizenship based upon either parent being American, but you have to prove paternity if you're a foreign-born child of an unmarried foreign woman.
posted by MattD at 7:24 AM on November 24, 2006

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