Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Sealand/Felixstowe: Prince Roy of Sealand dies aged 91

09:15 11 October 2012

Roy Bates under the national flag of Sealand

Roy Bates under the national flag of Sealand

Archant

A RETIRED Army major who occupied a former anti-aircraft fortress off the coast of Felixstowe and declared it the sovereign principality of Sealand has died aged 91.

The Sealand story

1942: Roughs Tower built, right.

1967: Kingdom of Sealand declared

1968: Flag, currency, stamps and passports issued

1969: British Government offers £5,000 for fort so it can be demolished – Major Roy Bates, below, stays put.

1975: Constitution for Sealand signed.

1978: Germans and Dutch raiders seize fort but Bates family and friends recapture it in surprise dawn helicopter attack.

1990: Mini-state at centre of court case after shooting incident.

1998: Fears that forged Sealand passports used for money laundering

2000: Sealand at centre of global terrorist investigation.

2002: Mini-state becomes the base for an offshore internet company.

2006: Tenancy put up for sale, offering people chance to run their own island.

2010: Principality is taken off the market.

2011: Prince Michael signs deal with literary agent to write story of Sealand.

Roy Bates, also known as Prince Roy of Sealand, established the tiny country after getting involved in the pirate radio movement of the 1960s and setting up Radio Essex on the Knock John forts in the Thames Estuary.

After being prosecuted under the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act, Mr Bates moved his family to the Roughs Tower island fort, seven-and-a-half miles off Felixstowe in the North Sea, according to his obituary on the website.

On his wife Joan’s birthday, September 2, 1967, Mr Bates declared the fort independent from the UK and bestowed her the title of “princess”.

Mr Bates passed away on Tuesday at a care home in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, according to his son Michael Bates.

He leaves behind his wife, son and daughter Penny.

In a 1980s television interview, Mr Bates said: “I might die young or I might die old, but I will never die of boredom”.

The fort, with an area of just 550 sq metres, was initially built by Britain during the Second World War to guard approaches to the Thames Estuary.

During that war, Mr Bates served in Africa, Italy, Iraq and Syria, was once taken prisoner, and suffered horrific wounds after a grenade exploded near his face, his obituary said.

After the war his wounds healed and he ran various businesses before getting involved with pirate radio and then founding Sealand.

Since declaring independence, Sealand has issued its own stamps, passports and money. Its official language is English and the Sealand Dollar has a fixed exchange rate of one US dollar, according to the country’s website.

The country has its own red, white and black flag, and a national motto of E Mare Libertas, or “From the Sea, Freedom”.

In June 2006, a fire that started in the main power generator caused an estimated £500,000 worth of damage to Sealand.

In January 2007, the island was seeking to transfer tenancy of the island to an investor, although the owners said it was technically not for sale because sovereignty cannot be sold.

Sealand’s starting price was set at £550 million and those interested in making a bid were asked to propose a project for Sealand’s future.

It is not known how much money the country received.

0 comments

Ipswich Town have signed up for the 'Pigs Gone Wild' event. Lee Hyde (left), Neil Hawes and Rosie Richardson are pictured with the pig.

With a bolt through his neck, a ripped black suit and a green tinge to his skin, Frankenswine looks just like the fictional character that inspired his design.

Warning over online sextortion attempts

Sextortion’ reports to Suffolk police nearly trebled last year, according to the constabulary’s figures.

Wellie upcycling ahead of the Suffolk Show 
Children from Claydon primary School, Ipswich get creative with old wellies

Schools in Suffolk have been getting involved in a project to promote reuse and upcycling – using their wellies.

AXA Friends and family emabarked upon a 5K charity walkin Felixstowe  in aid of EACH on Sunday 22nd May.

More than £1,000 was raised by AXA staff and their families when they embarked on a six-mile walk around Felixstowe on Sunday.

Police are investigating

Burglaries to two commercial properties in Martlesham and Ipswich last month are believed to be linked, prompting a police appeal for witnesses.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train

Frustrated rail passengers in Suffolk and Essex have signed a petition urging rail operators to reduce fairs involving bus replacement services.

Pupils from Great Barton C of E Primary Academy choosing the plants they will planting in their Show Garden at the Suffolk Show.

Primary school pupils from across the county will be showcasing their skills in gardening and landscape design at this year’s Suffolk Show.

Missing Woodbridge man Carl Hammond

Police are appealing for help in tracing 34-year-old Woodbridge man Carl Hammond who has not been seen since Monday.

Inspector Julian Ditcham with the Drager Alcotest used by Suffolk Constabulary tests a motorist.

A 55-year-old woman has been jailed after driving while nearly four times the legal alcohol limit less than five months into a drink-drive ban.

Alan King

A Suffolk D-Day veteran honoured with France’s highest honour for bravery has given a detailed account of landing on the Normandy beaches.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24