With an area of nearly 4,000 square meters, less than a football field, the country Sealand is considered one of the smallest in the world. It is located in the coastal area of England and was once used by the Royal Navy during World War II. In 1967, a Briton named Paddy Roy Bates decided to take over the base and turn it into an independent country. For the past 50 years, it has been his family who have supported it, but Sealand has never been recognized as an independent country.
This does not prevent Paddy to put his own flag, as well as the official motto – E Mare, Liberats. Translated it means “From the sea, freedom.” In such a small area we will find that this place has a very interesting and exciting history.
In the last 5 decades of its existence, it has managed to see the death of kings, to go down in history with a hostage situation, to be a territorial dispute and even to fight helicopter battles. You may have never heard of it, but it has a very serious history and that is why it is considered an extremely special area. How does it all start? With the help of a pirate radio. In 1965, former Major Paddy Roy Bates created Radio Essex, an illegal radio station that broadcast from the sea in an abandoned military fort called Knock John. During the war, Britain built many such bases, hoping to repel German attacks on the water. After the war ended, most were abandoned and waiting to collapse, that is, the turbulent waters to swallow them and disappear.
On September 2, 1967, it was given its official name, and then the royal family of the small country was enlarged by two more people. The creation of an independent country turned out to be a very unpleasant detail for the British crown, and we will notice that even then rumors began that this would be a territory that would play the role of Cuba on the east coast of Britain. At first there was a lot of publicity, most people expressed their fears, and it was not until 1968 that the British army officially sent helicopters to destroy some of the military towers near Sealand.
No one understood exactly how bequeathed military equipment could be a problem for the country, especially since it is used to sound music, but Sealand has been officially attacked. The family says they watched the towers explode with incredible height, collecting the remains of the water in the following days. It is clear that they were worried about another potential attack that would hit themselves. By the way, a warship passed by, shouting that they would be next.
In response, Prince Michael Bates also fired several warning shots with a pistol, the country’s heavy combat arsenal, to make history as a revolutionary and patriot. British sailors turned the boat around and sailed far to the shores of their country. In response, Britain sent a summons to the gentlemen to appear and answer why they had shot at Her Majesty’s ships.
At regular intervals, Sealand traded with Britain and received provisions from the coast. The country’s infrastructure is not well developed and the economy is not very developed, so the orders are draconian, because the next schedule can never be officially confirmed. Sometimes they have to stare at the sea for days and wait for provisions to appear while surviving on the edge, but even that has its charm. Sealand’s problems did not end there, and although they defeated Britain in their own game, the Germans soon began to show particular appetites. In 1978, a man named Alexander Achenbach claimed to be the country’s true prime minister. He tried to make a special coup on the fort, using a helicopter with a group of mercenaries, while His Majesty Paddy Roy Bates was not in the country.
Prince Michael was immediately taken hostage. For 4 days, the prince was imprisoned in exile without food and water. The answer was not late and the king prepared a counterattack. His strategy forced most of the Germans to flee immediately, while the rest of the inhabitants hurried to hold at least one German hostage to cool the passions.
The German ambassador to Britain had to fly to the country and negotiate the release of the attacker. For the second time, Sealand finds itself under the blows of fate, and for the second time, more interesting terms will be agreed. The people of the smallest country in the world were sure that they were already recognized by two countries, so there can be no doubt that the territory is completely independent and free.
In the 1980s, the UN issued a convention extending Britain’s waters and including the fort. At that time, the British Foreign Office officially stated that there could be no foreign territory in its territorial waters, therefore its status had to be changed. Despite the attempts, the prince and the king did not surrender so easily and to this day continue to rule their territory completely independently. Paddy Roy Bates died in 2012. Prince Michael continues to control his territory and admits that his children also grew up while he controlled his kingdom from Essex. In 2016, Joan Bates also died and Michael should be considered the official king.
In the 1990s, the family remembered having to reissue their passports because many had used them to commit fraud. In 2006, the area was hit by terrible fires and the only source of electricity left the entire area without electricity. In 2007 it was even put on sale, but again without any success. At that time, many interesting financial proposals were made, but without much success. The kingdom finally finds a very good option for its maintenance, without having to spend too much.
Today, anyone can become an aristocrat and receive a noble title for a price.
Trading titles such as Lord or Lady are an option on the territory’s website. Stamps, stamps, cups and even table flags are for sale. Today we will find that only a few people live on the territory. Mike Barrington and Joe Hamill served the area for two weeks and then returned to the UK. the royal family continues to control England and pays close attention to all matters. From time to time, journalists and close friends who wish to visit the distant territory are allowed.