The Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Sealand was established to defend the Principality should it come under threat or attack. It was originally formed by Prince Roy and Prince Michael of Sealand after the invasion of 1978.
The Order was made up of a group of select individuals with noble titles that could be called upon to defend our sovereign nation should such a situation arise again.
During the Second World War, the British government built several Fortress islands in the North Sea to defend its coasts from German invaders. Some of these forts were built illegally in international waters.
These sea forts housed enough troops to man and maintain anti-aircraft weaponry designed to shoot down German aircraft and missiles. They were situated along the east coast of England, on the edge of British territorial waters. One of these forts, consisting of concrete and steel construction, was the now famous Roughs Tower, situated in the North Sea. In contrast to the original plan to locate the tower within the sovereign territory of Great Britain; this fortress was situated at a distance of approximately 7 nautical miles from the coast, which is more than double the then internationally accepted 3 mile range of territorial waters. To put it briefly, this island was illegally placed in the international waters of the North Sea, but such restrictions were overlooked in a time of war. Following WWII, the naval personnel and marines were withdrawn from all of these forts by the British Admiralty. None of them were ever manned by the United Kingdom again, leaving the forts deserted to nature and the elements, thus abandoning their sovereignty. Save the aforementioned fortress, the other forts outside UK international limits were subsequently demolished. This resulted in the portentous uniqueness of the Roughs Tower fortress, situated at the high seas, it had been deserted and abandoned, ‘res derelict’ and ‘terra nullis’. From a legal point of view, it therefore constituted extra-national territory. This paved the way for occupation.
In the early 60’s, Roy Bates, a Major in the British army, established a radio station, situated offshore on an abandoned ex naval fort named “Knock John”. The theory behind this location was an attempt to bypass the draconian broadcasting restrictions of the time, which permitted little more than formal broadcasting by the BBC.
Roy’s station, “Radio Essex”, and others like it, were known affectionately by the media as “Pirate” radio stations, and were much loved by the British public, as they supplied everything that the BBC did not at the time; Pop music and amusing presenters. In the years that ensued, Roy fought an unsuccessful legal battle with the UK government, which questioned the legality of his occupation of said fort. It was ruled that “Knock John” fell under UK jurisdiction. Smarting from his setback, Roy weighed his options. Another abandoned fortress, Roughs Tower, identical in construction to the Knock John existed further offshore, and crucially, outside of the three mile limit to which the UK jurisdiction extended. Roy proceeded to occupy Roughs Tower, on Christmas eve 1966, with the intention of revitalising his dormant radio station. This was until he conjured a different plan entirely. After consulting his lawyers, Roy decided to declare this fortress island the independent state of “Sealand”, Claiming “Jus Gentium” (“Law of Nations”) over a part of the globe that was “Terra Nullius” (Nobody’s Land).
On the 2nd of September 1967, accompanied by his wife Joan on her birthday, his son Michael (14), daughter Penelope (16) and several friends and followers, Roy declared the Principality of Sealand. The founding of this country was marked by the raising of a newly designed flag, and in an extremely romantic birthday gesture, the bestowing of a new title on his beloved wife, to be know from that moment on as “Princess Joan”.
Shortly after the declaration of independence, Roy’s son, Prince Michael, repelled no less than seven armed invasion attempts, employing an arsenal of guns, Molotov Cocktails and homemade projectiles. By late 1968, Sealand would find itself battling for survival on several fronts as the British government had become aware of Sealand, and the potential problems associated with a new country seven miles off of their coast.
On the 25th of September 1975, Prince Roy proclaimed the Constitution of the Principality of Sealand. Over time, other national treasures were developed, such as it’s national anthem, stamps, as well as gold and silver coins, minted as Sealand dollars. Principality of Sealand passports were produced and issued to many of those who have contributed to the formation and continuation of the Principality.
No treaty has been signed between Britain and Sealand to divide up the overlapping areas, but a general policy of dividing the area between the two countries down the middle can be assumed. International law does not allow the claim of new land during the extension of sea rights, so Sealand’s sovereignty was safely ‘grandfathered’. Some nations might have tried to use this as an excuse to try to subvert international law and claim all of the territory of the smaller and less recognised nation, however, this has not been the case. Britain has made no attempt to take Sealand, and the British government still treats Sealand as an independent State.
There are 582 National's including myself. One of the famous and notable nobles is Ed Sheeran of Sealand. I also own a piece of Sealand territory
The world's smallest micronation.