HM Fort Roughs was one of
several World War II installations, that were designed by Guy Maunsell and
known collectively as His Majesty's Forts or as Maunsell Sea Forts, and its
purpose was to guard the port of Harwich, Essex. It was constructed in
1942. On February 11, 1943 the fort was towed by three tugs to a location on
Rough Sands where its base was intentionally flooded so that it sank to a
resting place on the sandbar located approximately six miles from the coast
of Suffolk and eight miles from the coast of Essex. It is an United Kingdom
war II gun tower. It
later became a self-proclaimed, unrecognized state called the Principality
In 1965, he ousted Radio City
staff who had occupied Knock John Tower, a Maunsell Sea Fort (a World War II
British naval defence platform). Using the military equipment that was
left on the platform, Bates used an old United States Air Force radio beacon
to broadcast his station. From Knock John Tower, he ran Radio Essex from
1965 to 1966 and succeeded in becoming the first pirate radio station to
provide 24 hour entertainment. The station changed its name in October 1966
to Britain's Better Music Station (BBMS) after Bates had been convicted of
violating Section One of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949. Bates was then
fined £100 for his continued illegal broadcasting. Due to insufficient
funds, BBMS went off the air on Christmas Day of 1966. Bates moved his
operation to the nearby Roughs Tower, another Maunsell Fort further out
beyond the then boundary of the United Kingdom's territorial waters, but,
despite having the necessary equipment, he never began broadcasting again.
On 14 August 1967, the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act of 1967 came into
effect which forbade broadcasting from certain marine structures, namely
platforms such as Bates'. 19 days later, on 02 September 1967, Bates
declared the independence of Roughs Tower and deemed it the Principality of
Sealand. Paddy Roy Bates
is a former British
Army Major. In 1966 he
operated Radio Essex and Ronan O'Rahilly who operated Radio Caroline landed
on Fort Roughs and occupied it. However after disagreements Roy Bates seized
the tower as his own. O'Rahilly attempted to storm the fort in 1967, but Roy
Bates defended the fort with guns and petrol bombs and continued to occupy
the fort. The British Royal Marines went on alert and the British
Authorities ordered Roy Bates to surrender. In his refusal, Roy Bates
founded the Principality of Sealand on 02 September 1967
and settled there with
his family as it was outside British
The area is
about the size of a tennis court. The island fortress is conveniently
situated from 65 to 100 miles from the coasts of France, Belgium, Holland
and Germany. Latitude 51.53 N, Longitude 01.28 E. The official language of
Sealand is English and the Sealand Dollar has a fixed exchange rate of one
U.S. dollar. Sealand Dollar is sub-divided into 100 cents.
I purchased my 10
Dollar 1972 coin from Steele Huang (Similar
Coin). It shown a Sailing Ship on one side and Princess Joan on the
other. The diameter of this coin is 40.6 mm. Made in .925 silver and weights
25.15 grams with reeded egde. Mintage is only 2,000 pieces. The coin is
mentioned in Bruce Unusual World Coins, 4th edition, as Bruce#X1 and
catalogued at US $50. 10 Dollar dated 1977 and 20
Dollars 1975 were also produced on Princess Joan.
The location chosen
was Roughs Tower, an island fortress created in World War II by Britain and
subsequently abandoned to the jurisdiction of the High Seas. After intensive
discussions with skillful English lawyers, Roy Bates proclaimed the island
his own state. Claiming jus gentium, he bestowed upon
himself the title of Prince and the title of Princess to his wife and
subsequently made the state the Principality of Sealand. Roy Bates,
henceforth Roy of Sealand, exerted state authority on the island and thus
was an absolute sovereign. The royal family and other persons that have
declared loyalty to Sealand have occupied Sealand ever since.
Since Roy of Sealand
was still an English citizen, he was thus accused of extensive crimes in
Britain and was summoned to an English court. The result of this lawsuit in
Chelmsford, Essex was a spectacular success for Sealand's claim to
sovereignty. In its judgment of 25 November 1968, the court declared that it
was not competent in Roy of Sealand's case as it could not exert any
jurisdiction outside of British national territory. British court decision
where the judge held that Roughs Tower stood in international waters and did
not fall under the legal jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.
This is the first de facto recognition of the Principality of Sealand.
English law had ruled that Sealand was not part of the United Kingdom, nor
did any other nation claim it, hence Prince Roy's declaration of a new
Sovereign State was de facto upheld.
The independence of Sealand was upheld in a 1968. This gave birth
to Sealand's national motto of E Mare Libertas, or "From the Sea,
Sep 1967 - 09 Oct 2012
He was born on
29th Aug 1921 in Ealing, London. He is the son of Harry Bates (father)
and Lilyan Bates (mother). Roy married Joan Collins (b. 1926). On 09
October 2012, Bates died quietly at a care home in Leigh-on-Sea after
having suffered from Alzheimer's for several years. Roy had two
children; Penelope Bates (daughter born in 1950) and Michael Bates (son
born in 1952).
Oct 2012 - date
He was born in
1952 and was regent for his father from 1999. He married Lorraine
Wheeler (born 1962) and had two sons; James (b. 1986) and Liam (b. 1988)
and one daughter; Charlotte. James married Charley Rae Holgate (born
1989, a nurse at Southend Hospital who lives in Leigh) on 06th Sep 2013
Seven years later
on 25 September 1975, Roy of Sealand proclaimed the Constitution of the
Principality. Over time, other national treasures were developed, such as
the flag of the Principality of Sealand, its national anthem, stamps, as
well as gold and silver coins launched as Sealand Dollars. Finally,
passports of the Principality of Sealand were issued to those who had helped
Sealand in some way, though they were never for sale. The Law of Sealand is
based on British Common Law and British Law of Contract. Passports and
stamps have been in circulation since 1969.
Sealand printed stamps in 1969 and 1970. These were reportedly used to carry
mail between the Fort Roughs (Sealand) and Brussels (Belgium).
I got my X9 1 Dollar
1994, 31.1340g, .999Ag, diameter 39 mm, 1 oz with reeded edge coin from Joel Anderson. Sealand has produced a set of silver and
gold coins to divert our attention to the endangered species: Orcinus Orca,
once known as "Killer Whales". In ocean Orca can live from 30 to 50 years,
but while captivity in polluted pools they are likely to die within 10
years. Sealand has produced coins
of quarter, half and one dollar in silver metal with 1, 2.5 and 5 dollars in gold
metal in 1994.
The $1.00 gold coin contains one gram of
gold, the $2.50 gold coin weighs 1/20 oz while the $5.00 gold coin weights
1/10 oz. All three three gold coins are struck in .999 pure gold and their
purity and weight are noted on the coins to the left of the denomination.
Pattern of these coins in brass and
copper-nickel also exist.
In 1978, while Bates
was away, the "Prime Minister" he had appointed,
Achenbach, and several German and Dutch citizens staged a forcible takeover
of Roughs Tower, holding Bates' son Michael captive, before releasing him
several days later in the Netherlands.
enlisted armed assistance and, in a helicopter assault, retook the fortress.
He then held the invaders captive, claiming them as prisoners of war. Most
participants in the invasion were repatriated at the cessation of the
"war", but Gernot PŁtz, a German lawyer who held a Sealand
passport, was charged with treason against Sealand and was held unless he
paid DM 75,000 (more than £18,000). The governments of the Netherlands and
Germany petitioned the British government for his release, but the United
Kingdom disavowed all responsibility, citing the 1968 court decision.
Germany then sent a
diplomat from its London embassy to Roughs Tower to negotiate for PŁtz's
release, and after several weeks Roy Bates relented and vindicated. Bates
eventually released the German without payment of his 75,000 Deutschmark
fine for subsequently claiming that the diplomat's visit constituted de
facto recognition of Sealand by Germany. (Germany has not commented on
repatriation, Achenbach established an "exile government" in
Germany, in opposition to Roy Bates, assuming the title of "Chairman of
the Privy Council". Upon Achenbach's resignation for health reasons in
August 1989, the rebel government's "Minister for Economic
Co-operation", Johannes Seiger, assumed control, with the position of
"Prime Minister and Chairman of the Privy Council". Seiger
continues to claim that he is Sealand's legitimate ruling authority. In the
early 1990s, Achenbach's German group also produced a 100 Sealand Dollar
1991 dated coin, featuring a likeness of Prime Minister Johannes Seiger. It
is 1 oz silver coin, having reeded edge, 38.6mm in diameter.
The next uproar
took place during the Falkland Islands War of 1982. Argentina's initial
success rapidly eroded, and the Argentines conceived of a desperate plan.
They contacted Bates and asked to lease Sealand as a missile base, hoping to
destroy British morale. Bates swallowed down his mercenary impulses and
declined. In a completely unrelated matter, Britain extended its territorial
waters to the 20 kilometer limit later that year, soon after dynamiting
another tower near Sealand. Prince Roy refused to give up the ship, though.
In 1999, he entered into negotiations with HavenCo to lease the entire
nation. HavenCo (naturally) now plans to turn Sealand into an offshore data
haven. Since the EU has already extended Sealand a certain degree of de
facto recognition, it remains to be seen how these plans will develop.
In an incident in 1990, the
Royal Maritime Auxiliary vessel Golden Eye was fired upon from Sealand in
defense of their claim to the waters surrounding Roughs Tower to the extent
of twelve nautical miles. Due to the massive quantity of illegal passports
in circulation (estimated at 150,000), in 1997 the Bates family revoked all
Sealand passports, including those that they themselves had issued in the
previous thirty years.
On the afternoon of 23 June
2006, the top platform of the Roughs Tower caught fire due to an electrical
failure. An RAF rescue helicopter transferred one person to Ipswich
hospital, directly from the tower. The Harwich Lifeboat stood by the Roughs
Tower until a local fire tug extinguished the fire. All damage was repaired
by November 2006. In 2007, Sealand was offered for sale through Spanish
estate company InmoNaranja. However, because a principality can't
technically be sold, Sealand's current owners plan to transfer
"custodianship". The asking price is between £65,000,000 and £504,000,000
(Ä 750m according to the BBC).
A film about Bates' story,
titled Sealand, is listed on IMDB (a user-submitted database of film and
television projects) as being in production and probably it will be released