Good evening, dear reader, I do hope you're well! I had something of a wonderful discovery yesterday.
I discovered that by this time next week, I could be a Baron. Unfortunately, there are two small snags with my becoming nobility. The first snag is that I would be a baron of the unrecognised micronation known as the Principality of Sealand. The second snag is that I need to pay 30 of my English quids to become a Baron. As it is a purchased title, it is not legally recognised. On the other hand, it will still go straight to my head and I'll constantly refer to myself as 'Baron Teddy'. I will also feel important and use my title to get discounts at small shops that don't know any better. In fact, I should probably talk to you a little bit about Sealand. Are you sitting comfortably, dear reader?
Her Majesty's Fort Roughs was built in 1943, 7 miles off the coast of Suffolk. You can see it on a clear day, as I have. It was constructed as one of the Maunsell Forts, designed to defend against German air raids. In those days, that stretch of coast only had a territorial radius of 3 miles, and Fort Roughs was 4 miles further out. Therefore, it was in international waters and the British Empire had no jurisdiction there. That was the first of two oversights by British senior military officers. The second oversight occurred at the end of WW2, when the forts were systematically decommissioned. And by 'decommissioned', I mean 'destroyed'. The second oversight is that Fort Roughs was not destroyed, perhaps because it fell into international waters and therefore we would have been in a legally dubious position. Regardless of the reason, Fort Roughs was, and is, the last Maunsell Fort in existence, although it was still legally abandoned and derelict. Fast-forward to 1967. Roy Bates had a dream. Unlike Martin Luther King, he did not dream about equality. Unlike me, he did not dream about zombie outbreaks. No, he had a dream about owning his very own pirate radio station. He figured that a good place to run it from would be the arse-end of nowhere, outside of English jurisdiction. So he went to Fort Roughs with his family. He ran his lovely little illegal station for a year before British workmen entered, what Roy was now claiming, his territorial waters. His son, Micheal, attempted to scare off the workmen by firing warning shots from the platform. Understandably, this (frankly retarded) act did not go down so well back in England. Roy was summoned to court, and after a lengthy trial, it was ruled that Britain had no jurisdiction over Fort Roughs, as it was outside of our territorial waters. Without skipping a beat, Roy declared the Principality of Sealand it's very own country, and made himself prince, with Micheal serving as prince-regent.
In 1978, the self-proclaimed Prime Minister of Sealand, Alexander Achenbach, took Micheal Bates hostage while his parents were in England. I'm not entirely sure what they hoped to gain. Enraged, Roy returned to Sealand via helicopter, accompanied by mercenaries. I am not making this up. They ejected the kidnappers.
For the low, low price of £30, I could be a Baron of that gleefully mad place. According to Wikipedia, the current population is 2 people. Even so.
Until next time!