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The Principality of Sealand (located in the North Sea, 6 miles off the coast of England)

Six miles off the coast of Suffolk, England, a 6-acre offshore sea fort with 5,920sq of living area is a self-declared independent sovereign state named Sealand.

Aerial map of Sealand

It was founded on September 2nd, 1967 by Prince Roy Bates when he took over the abandoned sea fort known then as Roughs Tower.

Sealand being moved into position circa 1942

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Roughs Tower was a WWII-era Manusell naval fort measuring 168ft x 88ft and was functional 1943-1956. Dormant for a decade, it was claimed by British Army Gen. Roy Bates in 1966.


Roy needed a secluded spot to broadcast his pirate radio station, ‘Radio Essex’. Roy soon renamed the fort Sealand and decreed the Sealand Royal Family (consisting of him, his wife Princess Joan and their two children) the ruling authority of newly established micronation Sealand.

Prince Roy & Princess Joan, the Sealand Royal Family

According to the official Sealand Government website, Sealand “was founded on the principle that any group of people dissatisfied with the oppressive laws and restrictions of existing nation states may declare independence in any place not claimed to be under the jurisdiction of another sovereign entity.”

Sealand’s official Coat of Arms

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By virtue of being located in international water, Sealand maintains that it is therefore beyond the scope of British dominion.

Prince Roy of Sealand (born 1921, died 2012)

However, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) states that “any artificial islands automatically come under the jurisdiction of the nearest coastal state.”

British Army General Roy Bates before he became Prince Roy

Sealand was ruled by Prince Roy for forty-five years from 1967 until his death in 2012. Sealand is now ruled by his son Prince Michael (born 1952).

Prince Roy’s son Prince Michael, Princess Lorraine and their daughter

In 1978, 26-year old Prince Michael was taken hostage by a German mercenary who rappelled down from a helicopter with a machine gun.

Sealand’s official flag

Sealand has their own: passport, flag, stamps, currency (The Sealand Dollar), soccer team, two national holidays (September 2nd Independence Day and August 8th Regents Day) and more.

Sealand’s official coins, stamps and passport

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Sealand’s soccer team, the Sealand National Football Association, was founded in 2003 and players must wear life jackets at all times.

Sealand National Football Association (founded 2003)

There are currently over 50 people living on Sealand full-time.

Sealand Royal Family: The Bates

You can purchase noble titles (become a Lord or Lady), buy Sealand ID card, even buy a piece of Sealand.

Playing soccer at Sealand!

To visit Sealand, you must apply for a visa and arrange transportation.

Principality of Sealand: wanna become a Sealander?


The Principality of Sealand
Lat. 51.53 N
Lon. 01.28 E
The North Sea
[email protected]

Princess Charlotte gazes out into the North Sea

The Principality of Sealand official government website

The Official Sealand shop

Principality of Sealand Facebook page

Sealand’s soccer team the Sealand National Football Association Facebook page

Viva los Principality of Sealand!


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