The World’s smallest country for sale

The World’s smallest country, Sealand, is for sale. The country has it’s own passports, currency, stamps and national football team. The price has not been disclosed, however offers of eight-digit sums will be considered.

The country has several benefits – lots of sea views, total privacy and the potential to be a tax haven. However it is far from paradise! Sealand is actually a concrete platform balanced on conrete pillars. Located just off the the coast in Essex, UK, it is only accessible by helicopter or boat. All the buildings are low and long and are made of steel, and cannot be described as pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Generators which power the country and permanently on, and make the buildings rumble all day long.

Although a relatively new country – Sealand has only been recognised since 1967 – it has a rich, adventurous history with parts which wouldn’t look out of place in a fairy tale. In 1967, Paddy Bates, a former English major, settled on the fort with his family. He announced that the island was now his own state and that he was it’s prince. The English Royal Navy disagreed with his claim and tried to evict him, however Bates shot at them from his fort.

The claim went to court, and a judge ruled that because Sealand was more than three miles away from the coast, it was out of Britain’s territorial waters and was therefore out of the Government’s control. Bates soon introduced a constitution, along with a flag, national anthem, currency (the Sealand dollar) and passports (of which there are around 300).

On 1978, Dutch and German businessmen entered onto the island under the guise of a business deal. While they were there, they kidnapped the Prince’s son and over-ran Sealand by force. The Prince’s son was soon freed by an air attack and the Prince held the invaders as prisoner’s of war. The German Government requested that the British Government intervene to have the men released, however the British Government were unable to do anything as it had already been decided the island was beyond their jurisdiction. After some time, the Prince chose to release the men.

Since this episode, life has returned to it’s calmer, more normal pace. The island has a new Prince – Prince Michael – who has reigned since 1999 when his father handed him control of the country due to his failing health. Roy Bates now spends the majority of his time on the mainland.

So, if you are looking for something with a bit of wild history, and you don’t want to spend your money on a property or island in the pacific or meditteranean, you could do worse than to buy this eccentric principality off the coast of Britain and in doing so, also become a prince or princess.

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  1. Lesha Holmgren | Jul 22, 2010 | Reply

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your site and wanted to point out that I’ve enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. I’ll be subscribing to your rss and I hope you write again shortly!

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