The Principality of Sealand, located on an abandoned World War II anti-aircraft platform seven miles (11 km) off the English coast, claims that it is a legitimate independent country, but that's quite doubtful.
In 1967, retired British Army major Roy Bates occupied the abandoned Rough's Tower, located 60 feet above the North Sea, northeast of London and opposite the mouth of the Orwell River and Felixstowe.
He and his wife, Joan, discussed independence with British attorneys and subsequently declared independence for the Principality of Sealand on September 2, 1967 (Joan's birthday).
Bates called himself Prince Roy and named his wife Princess Joan and lived on Sealand with their two children, Michael and Penelope ("Penny"). The Bates' began issuing coins, passports, and stamps for their new country.
In support of the Principality of Sealand's sovereignty, Prince Roy fired warning shots at a buoy repair boat that came close to Sealand. The Prince was charged by the British government with unlawful possession and discharge of a firearm. The Essex court proclaimed that they didn't have jurisdiction over the tower and the British government chose to drop the case due to mockery by the media.
That case represents Sealand's entire claim to de facto international recognition as an independent country.
(The United Kingdom demolished the only other nearby tower lest others get the idea to also strive for independence.)
In 2000, the Principality of Sealand came into the news because a company called HavenCo Ltd planned on operating a complex of Internet servers at Sealand, out of the reach of governmental control.
HavenCo gave the Bates family $250,000 and stock to lease Rough's Tower with the option of purchasing Sealand in the future.
This transaction was especially satisfying to the Bates as the maintenance and support of Sealand has been quite expensive over the past 40 years.
There are eight accepted criteria used to determine whether an entity is an independent country or not. Let's examine and answer each of the requirements of being an independent country with respect to Sealand and its "sovereignty."
1) Has space or territory that has internationally recognized boundaries.
No. The Principality of Sealand has no land or boundaries at all, it's a tower built by the British as an anti-aircraft platform during World War II. Certainly, the government of the U.K. can assert that it owns this platform.
Sealand also lies within the United Kingdom's proclaimed 12-nautical-mile territorial water limit. Sealand claims that since it asserted its sovereignty before the U.K. extended its territorial waters, the concept of being "grandfathered in" applies. Sealand also claims its own 12.5 nautical miles of territorial water.
2) People live there on an ongoing basis.
Not really. As of 2000, only one person lived at Sealand, to be replaced by temporary residents working for HavenCo.
Prince Roy maintained his U.K. citizenship and passport, lest he ends up somewhere where Sealand's passport wasn't recognized. (No countries legitimately recognize the Sealand passport; those who have used such passports for international travel likely encountered an official who didn't care to notice the passport's "country" of origin.)
3) Has economic activity and an organized economy. A State regulates foreign and domestic trade and issues money.
No. HavenCo represents Sealand's only economic activity up to now. While Sealand issued money, there's no use for it beyond collectors. Likewise, Sealand's stamps only have value to a philatelist (stamp collector) as Sealand is not a member of the Universal Postal Union; mail from Sealand can't be sent elsewhere (nor is there much sense in mailing a letter across the tower itself).
4) Has the power of social engineering, such as education.
Perhaps. If it had any citizens.
5) Has a transportation system for moving goods and people.
6) Has a government which provides public services and police power.
Yes, but that police power is certainly not absolute. The United Kingdom can assert its authority over Sealand quite easily with a few police officers.
7) Has sovereignty. No other State should have power over the State's territory.
No. The United Kingdom has power over the Principality of Sealand's territory. The British government was quoted in Wired, "Although Mr. Bates styles the platform as the Principality of Sealand, the U.K. government does not regard Sealand as a state."
8) Has external recognition. A State has been "voted into the club" by other States.
No. No other country recognizes the Principality of Sealand. An official from the United States Department of State was quoted in Wired, "There are no independent principalities in the North Sea. As far as we are concerned, they are just Crown dependencies of Britain."
The British Home Office was quoted by the BBC that the United Kingdom does not recognize Sealand and, "We've no reason to believe that anyone else recognises it either."
The Principality of Sealand fails on six of eight requirements to be considered an independent country and on the other two requirements, they're qualified affirmatives. Therefore, I think we can safely say that the Principality of Sealand is no more a country than my own backyard.
Note: Prince Roy passed away on October 9, 2012, after battling Alzheimer's. His son, Prince Michael, has become the regent of Sealand.
See the rest here:
- Christmas saved in Sealand as Santa will be coming to the town - LeaderLive - November 30th, 2019
- Rare images of Chester FC's Sealand Road home after it's closure in 1990 - Cheshire Live - October 31st, 2019
- Major police incident on Sealand Road as Texaco garage was shut off to public - Cheshire Live - October 27th, 2019
- Sealand Capital Galaxy (LON:SCGL) Will Have To Spend Its Cash Wisely - Simply Wall St - October 27th, 2019
- Bloodied stab victim collapsed on Texaco garage floor while the other 'bought beer and energy drinks' - Daily Post - October 27th, 2019
- Moshe Oved silver ring, rare British petrol pump globe and William Gladstone's grandfather clock six auction highlights that caught bidders' eyes in... - October 27th, 2019
- Appeal launched over refusal of plans to store cars and caravans on green barrier land in Sealand - Deeside.com - October 20th, 2019
- Coleg Cambria volunteers clean-up streets and rivers of Deeside for community event - Wales247 - October 20th, 2019
- Land and whole farms launched as supply improves in Wales - FarmersWeekly - August 18th, 2017
- Almost 800 drivers caught by new boundary road speed camera in three months - The Chester Standard - August 16th, 2017
- Almost 800 drivers caught by new boundary road speed camera in three months - LeaderLive - August 14th, 2017
- Sealand Natural Resources, Inc. (OTCMKTS:SLNR) Files An 8-K Other Events - Market Exclusive - August 13th, 2017
- What You Must Know About Sealand Capital Galaxy Limited's (LSE:SCGL) Major Investors - Simply Wall St - August 10th, 2017
- Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) Is Yet to See Trading Action on Aug 9 - Herald KS - August 9th, 2017
- Chester floodplain housing scheme unanimously rejected - ChesterChronicle.co.uk - August 5th, 2017
- sealand | eBay - August 3rd, 2017
- Chaiken Money Flow For Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) Above Zero - Stock Rover - August 3rd, 2017
- Zeroing in on Yesterday's High: Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - Nelson Research - August 3rd, 2017
- Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) Mesa Moving Average Climbs Above FAMA - JCTY News - August 2nd, 2017
- What Do The Technicals Boil Down To For Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR)? - Rockville Register - August 1st, 2017
- Late night shopping scheme in Chester sees Park & Ride services extended - ChesterChronicle.co.uk - July 30th, 2017
- Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) Ichimoku Reveals Negative Momentum - Rockville Register - July 29th, 2017
- What Kind of Picture Are the Technicals Painting For Sealand Capital Galaxy Limited (SCGL.L)? - Concord Register - July 26th, 2017
- What Kind of Picture Are the Technicals Painting For Sealand ... - Concord Register - July 26th, 2017
- Oddfellow's Casino - The Quietus - July 26th, 2017
- Sealand | Fifth World Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - July 22nd, 2017
- Sealand - Wikitravel - July 22nd, 2017
- Range Rover invasion at Chester supermarket site - ChesterChronicle.co.uk - July 20th, 2017
- Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) Pushes Higher 37.14% - DARC News - July 20th, 2017
- WATCH: New Oddfellow's Casino - The Quietus - July 19th, 2017
- Students create app to improve post-stroke care - USC News - July 18th, 2017
- Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) is a Volume Leader - Nelson Research - July 13th, 2017
- Flooding on Chester's Sealand Road after downpour - ChesterChronicle.co.uk - July 11th, 2017
- About Sealand - Become a Lord, Lady, Baron or Baroness - July 9th, 2017
- Neighborhood Notes: the first week of July - Mission Local - July 8th, 2017
- Maersk ransomware attack may hit 'tens of thousands' of shippers, warns analyst - The Loadstar - June 30th, 2017
- Independence Day 2017 SeaLand & Port Schedule - American Journal of Transportation - June 28th, 2017
- Pivot Points in Focus: Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - Nelson Research - June 22nd, 2017
- Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) Moving -40.00% in Session - BVN - June 17th, 2017
- Unusual Activity Spotted in Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - BVN - June 15th, 2017
- sealand toilet | eBay - June 15th, 2017
- Watching the Tape Move for Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - BVN - June 15th, 2017
- Inquiry date for Chester flood plain homes plan - ChesterChronicle.co.uk - June 14th, 2017
- How Are Analysts Interpreting Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR)'s Relative Strength? - Nelson Research - June 8th, 2017
- Malawi govt over paid farm input suppliers by K61billion - Nyasa Times - June 6th, 2017
- Watching the Tape Move for Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - Benton Bulletin - June 3rd, 2017
- Needle Action Activity Spotted in Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - BVN - June 1st, 2017
- Registered sex offender from Sealand jailed over downloading indecent images - LeaderLive - May 30th, 2017
- Active Runner in Focus: Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - The Times - May 30th, 2017
- Unusual Activity Spotted in Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - Melville Review - May 26th, 2017
- China regulator punishes Sealand Securities for "chaotic" management - Reuters - May 23rd, 2017
- China regulator punishes Sealand Securities for 'chaotic' management - Yahoo Finance UK - May 23rd, 2017
- Volume Moving the Tape For Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - Concord Register - May 23rd, 2017
- Tale of the Ticker: Orthometrix Inc (OMRX), Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) Moving on Volume - Stock Talker - May 23rd, 2017
- Just the Fundamentals: Checking in on Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - Nelson Research - May 18th, 2017
- Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) Needle Moving 44.23% - The Standard - May 18th, 2017
- Can Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) Continue its Near-Term Run? - Union Trade Journal - May 18th, 2017
- Needle Action Activity Spotted in Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - Pearson Press - May 17th, 2017
- Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) Needle Moving on Volume - DARC News - May 13th, 2017
- Home SEC Filings Sealand Natural Resources, Inc. (OTCMKTS:SLNR) Files An 8-K Unregistered Sales of Equity... - Market Exclusive - May 11th, 2017
- HISTORY: 15 old pictures from the Principality of Sealand - Harwich and Manningtree Standard - May 6th, 2017
- SeaLand: Canada Freight Forwarders eManifest Guidelines - American Journal of Transportation - May 4th, 2017
- A Successful Business Transformation from Defence Stalwart to F-35 Global Assignee, DECA Sealand - Business News Wales - May 2nd, 2017
- HISTORY: 15 old pictures from the Principality of Sealand - Gazette - April 30th, 2017
- BRIEF-Sealand Securities' Q1 net profit down 33.5 pct y/y - Reuters - April 28th, 2017
- Unusual Activity Spotted in Sealand Natural Resources Inc (SLNR) - Morgan Research - April 28th, 2017
- Lords of Sealand Releases New Single - Motion - The Deli Magazine National (blog) - April 23rd, 2017
- Sealand and Queensferry Dementia Caf launch garden club - LeaderLive - April 12th, 2017
- Sealand and Queensferry Dementia Caf launch garden club - News North Wales - April 10th, 2017
- Gardening club launch at Sealand and Queensferry Dementia Caf - Deeside.com - April 10th, 2017
- Speed camera on Sealand Road "worth it if it saves a life" - LeaderLive - April 3rd, 2017
- Speed camera on Sealand Road "worth it if it saves a life" - News North Wales - April 2nd, 2017
- Sealand returns after bond scandal - IFR Asia - April 2nd, 2017
- Media - Principality of Sealand - March 31st, 2017
- Sealand church invites 164 wed couples on anniversary - BBC News - March 29th, 2017
- Sealand church celebrates 150 years of weddings with exhibition - LeaderLive - March 29th, 2017
- Work on the new A548 Sealand Road 'average speed' camera system set to begin today - Deeside.com - March 29th, 2017
- Speed camera on Sealand Road will 'prevent the same heartache' - LeaderLive - March 29th, 2017
- Sealand Road 'average speed' camera system to be up and running in weeks - Deeside.com - March 23rd, 2017
- SeaLand To Establish Corporate Headquarters In Miramar ... - March 17th, 2017