The Prince of Sealand is Dead, Long Live the Prince

The Prince of Sealand is Dead, Long Live the Prince

Even though I don’t have the financial resources to participate in the micro-nation or sovereignty movements I’ve followed the attempts and developments with interest for several years.  This week those movements lost their most successful practitioner and one of the founding fathers monarchs; Prince Roy, born Paddy Roy Bates of The Principality of Sealand.  For his love of liberty, contributions to both the sovereignty and micro-nation movements and entrepreneurial spirit we induct Prince Roy into Prepography’s Virtual Wall of Honor.  The Prince of Sealand is Dead, Long Live the Prince (Roy’s son, Prince Michael).

We’ve mentioned Sealand briefly before in our article on another budding micro-nation but Sealand is both the most successful and the most micro of micro-nations…the history of Sealand is really Prince Roy’s story as well.

Before founding and becoming the Prince of Sealand on several abandoned World War II anti-aircraft platforms in the North Sea, Prince Roy had already

  • Fought in the Spanish Civil War as a volunteer at age 15 in the International Brigade
  • Fought his way throughAfrica, theMiddle EastandItalyin World War II
  • Survived a plane crash and being taken as a prisoner of war (POW) where he narrowly escaped execution by firing squad
  • Been promoted to Major in the British Army as an Infantry Officer
  • Numerous war wounds including a grenade explosion
  • Established and run several businesses
  • Founded a ‘Pirate’ Radio station named Radio Essex to broadcast Rock & Roll music to Great Britain during the years it was banned in the 1960’s

Prince Roy and Princess JoanIt was from this last endeavor that Prince Roy developed an interest in what came to be known as the Sovereignty movement.  He broadcast Radio Essex from just offGreat Britain’s shores until he was prosecuted under maritime law at which point he moved out to international waters by occupying several abandoned World War II anti-aircraft platforms.  He declared independence and the Principality of Sealand was born.

Prince Roy used Sealand’s special, possibly unique status under international law to promote a number of business ventures over the years including a passport business, a server farm for offshore (pun intended) data storage and most recently the Principality has begun bestowing Prince Roy of Sealand as a young mannoble titles (for a fee of course).  Sealand has also survived a devastating fire and invasion (by a group of international ‘businessmen’ that Prince Roy had refused to do business with) since its founding.  You can read more about Sealand’s history at their official website.

Prince Roy was once quoted as saying “I might die young or I might die old, but I will never die of boredom.”  Prince Roy was 91 years old and is survived by his wife, Princess Joan; his son and the acting Sealand Regent, Prince Michael and his daughter, Princess Penny.

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