A living reminiscent of the Second World War, the Principality of Sealand is an old sea platform located in the North Sea, 10 km from the coast of England. The microstate is a separate world, which even requires you to enter with a passport. However, what attracts people’s attention is the physical attribute of the state. The Principality of Sealand is a country without a national boundary and is neither attached to any land. But has its own passport, which the citizens can use to travel to sixty other countries.
The Rise Of Sealand – The Smallest Country In The World
Today famous as the smallest country in the world, the Principality of Sealand is merely a sea platform, home to the Roughs Tower, built by the British during WWII. Back in 1943, the construction of HM Fort Roughs was intended to defend the shipping lanes during the Second World War. Royal Navy officers resided in the facility up to 1956. At one time, 300 people were living within the platform.
Moving to the 1960s, the lost land again rose to fame when some enterprising DJs used the space to set up their illegal radio station. They wanted to introduce pop music to British listeners. Taking advantage of the remote location, the group continued their unscrupulous activity, giving a hard time to the British authorities. Especially it was BBC that had to face the most impact and was losing out on audiences.
The group did challenge the existing schedule and organized sole control of BBC over the British Radio industry. Also, there was this man named Paddy Roy Bates, who was completely fascinated by the idea. And left his job as a businessman to set up his own radio station at Knock John naval fort. The particular was used to broadcast music to Essex, England.
Getting Named As The Principality of Sealand
It was never a one-day decision, and neither was it easy for the Principality of Sealand to gain its existential validation as the smallest country in the world. After a few years of operating Radio Essex from the Knock John naval fort, Paddy Roy Bates finally had enough of the social world. And eventually, he decided to take his whole family and move to one of the Naval Forts. With the vision to create his own country.
The plan became even more concrete once the British government allowed the commercialization of radio. Roy Bates had the idea of running his own radio station and living far from the shore for the rest of his life. It was 1967’s 2nd of September that Paddy Roy Bates declared the “Rought Towers” as the Principality of Sealand.
Over the years, the Principality of Sealand gradually became more powerful. There were new currency notes, stamps, and passports. However, from then till now, only 300 passports have been issued, only whom the Principality of Sealand deeply trusted. The new country was the focus of multiple people, some with good intentions, and some did want to cause harm.
Gaining The Status Of A Country
One with pretty harmful intentions was Achenbach, a German lawyer. In 1978, he claimed as the Prime Minister of the Principality of Sealand and took hostage the family of Bates living there. The event’s intensity made the German and British governments come forward. At some point, Roy Bates regained control, locking up Achenbach and his men. The German government did send diplomats to negotiate and set Achenbach free.
However, according to Roy Bates, sending a diplomat to Sealand meant Germany recognizing the place as a real country. And hence from then, the Principality of Sealand still today stands tall, rising and shining through all the odds.