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Arise Sir Richard: Sealand swimmer knighted

PUBLISHED: 16:54 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:54 30 August 2018

Richard arrives on the beach at Felixstowe after swimming from Sealand Picture: FACEBOOK RICHARD ROYAL

Richard arrives on the beach at Felixstowe after swimming from Sealand Picture: FACEBOOK RICHARD ROYAL

Archant

The man who made the inaugural swim from Sealand to Felixstowe has received a knighthood from the micronation’s prince.

Sir Richard Mark Royal of Sealand received his official documents, signed off by Prince Michael Picture: RICHARD ROYALSir Richard Mark Royal of Sealand received his official documents, signed off by Prince Michael Picture: RICHARD ROYAL

Richard Royal, 32, from Hull, swam from the off-shore platform back to the coast on August, 20, completing the gruelling 7.5-mile swim in just under three-and-a-half hours.

• Want to read more about Richard’s journey? See here.

Now, Mr Royal has been dubbed Sir Richard Mark Royal after he received official documents from the prince of Sealand making him a member of the Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Sealand.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been awarded a knighthood by Prince Michael of Sealand, it’s priceless to me after all the planning and work that went into the swim.

Richard atop the micronation of Sealand Picture: RICHARD ROYALRichard atop the micronation of Sealand Picture: RICHARD ROYAL

“It’s important to me to be respectful and courteous of Sealand and it’s owners, so to have their blessing for the swim in the first instance, and be gifted such an award subsequently is a huge honour.”

Whilst Sir Michael of Sealand would not comment he was reportedly pleased with Richard and the respect his showed the micronation in seeking official permission.

Sir Richard spent two years planning his sea-based venture and, despite many other punters seeking permission, he was the only one given official consent from the micronation to attempt the feat.

He was almost pipped to the post by Nick Glendinning, 52, from Woodbridge, who completed a swim from the micronation, in the heart of the North Sea, to Bawdsey just two days before Richard’s journey to Felixstowe.

The micronation of Sealand off the coast of Felixstowe Picture: RYAN LACKEYThe micronation of Sealand off the coast of Felixstowe Picture: RYAN LACKEY

However, because Nick had not sought permission from Sealand to attempt the swim he will not be receiving a knighthood anytime soon.

Next week Sir Richard will take on a completely different challenge as he competes at the European Masters Swimming Championships, in Slovenia.

Sir Richard said: “Whilst I’m representing Great Britain, I’ll be taking my Sealand flag along and will make sure it is waved alongside the other nations.”

The new knight of Sealand has several ideas about what he wants to do after the championships but he wants will be keeping his cards close to his chest.

He said: “I’m the sort of person who is constantly pushing myself and testing my boundaries, so I’ve no doubt I’ll have future challenges.”

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