Sealand | Dylan Taylor-Lehman
The True Story of the World's Most Stubborn Micronation and Its Eccentric Royal Family
336 pages | Diversion Books
In 1967, a retired army major and self-made millionaire named Paddy Roy Bates cemented his family's place in history when he inaugurated himself ruler of the Principality of Sealand, a tiny dominion of the high seas. And so began the peculiar story of the world's most stubborn micronation on a World War II anti-aircraft gun platform off the British coast.
Sealand is the raucous tale of how a rogue adventurer seized the disused Maunsell Sea Fort from pirate radio broadcasters, settled his eccentric family on it, and defended their tiny kingdom from UK government officials and armed mercenaries for half a century. Incorporating original interviews with surviving Sealand royals, Dylan Taylor-Lehman recounts the battles and schemes as Roy and his crew engaged with diplomats, entertained purveyors of pirate radio and TV, and even thwarted an attempted coup that saw the Prince Regent taken hostage. Incredibly, more than fifty years later, the self-proclaimed independent nation still stands--replete with its own constitution, national flag and anthem, currency, and passports.
Featuring rare, vintage photographs of the Bates clan and their unusual enterprises, this stranger-than-fiction account of a dissident family and their outrageous attempt to build a sovereign kingdom on an isolated platform in shark-infested waters is the stuff of legend.