Prince Michael

April 16, 2013

IAMA I'm Prince Michael of the Principality of Sealand. Est. 1967 we're the smallest Independent State in the world. Our tiny nation has seen confrontations with governments and I was kidnapped by armed terrorists.

In 1966, I was 14, I left private school and moved with my father Roy Bates to an abandoned WW2 fortress in the North Sea and on Sept. 2, 1967, we declared the fortress to be the Principality of Sealand, an independent sovereign nation. My father declared himself Prince and my mother Princess.

Our claim was emboldened the next year when, after I faced weapons charges for firing warning shots at an approaching British vessel, a British court ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the case because the exchange had occurred in international waters.

A decade later, a greater drama ensued when a group of Germans with plans to build a luxury casino on the fortress tried to take control of Sealand while my mother and father were away. They held me hostage for several days before releasing me. A few days later myself, my dad and a few close Sealanders stormed Sealand and retook it in a dramatic armed helicopter raid, (the helicopter was piloted by our close friend John Crewdson, a James Bond stunt pilot!). Once the fort was retaken, we imprisoned the men there. When the German government sought Britain’s help in freeing them, Britain declined to intervene, citing the 1968 ruling. Germany sent a diplomat, the men were eventually freed, and My father Roy asserted that Germany had effectively recognized Sealand as a sovereign nation.

Sealand has its own flag, currency, passports, national anthem, stamps and most recently a national Football Team!

There have also been recent meetings in Hollywood regarding the making of a Sealand film.

I am currently editing my book ready for publishers to see.

In recent years we have started to issue Titles of Nobility to our supporters.

Our official government website:

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In the second quarter of 2013 we will be launching …we will be offering a comprehensive solution to your online privacy needs! Please go to for more info!

Our Facebook page has proof that this is indeed me!

EDIT: People of the world thank you for an entertaining and fun evening. I agreed to come on here for two hours and have been on here nearly ten hours.Thanks for the questions both serious and flippant. It has been fun. Isn't the internet amazing? When we were first on Sealand we were totally cut off not just from the world but from everyone both near and far. It is hard to imagine such isolation these days. Good luck and may your gods whoever they are go with you!

[No question]

All visits require a visa, requests can be made to but tourist visas have been suspended for a while due to security measures in place

Is it possible for anyone to visit Sealand?

All visits require a visa, requests can be made to but tourist visas have been suspended for a while due to security measures in place

Level with us. You personally check this email account, don't you?

Ha ha no but I get copied in to emails of interest

how many tourists can you hold at once?

The fortress used to hold 120 people during the war but we're set up for around 30


Stop being picky! do you want to come and have a count up?

All of our citizens hold dual nationality and so most of them are not there for the majority of their time

There are others more qualified to ask about your politics than myself.

I'm pretty much just after the kidnapping story. Overly violent, or that scene from the movies where you watched cartoons and got to stay up late? Lasting, traumatizing effects?

It was violent and at one point I was bound hand and foot, elbows knees and carried to the side and they talked in German about launching me over the side. At the time I just wanted to kill them! but it would be wrong to say there was no side effects as a few weeks later I nearly shot my best pal when he came into my room to wake me up for my watch. He kept the bullet he dug out of the wall after this incident ha ha

So when you were kidnapped, were you technically a prisoner of war?

And when you nearly shot your friend, was that technically almost civil war?

ha ha no I was just pissed off!

Is the idea of someone in the population trying to overthrow you an actual concern anymore? And in that vein, is the Sealandic Rebel Government still a thing?

It is not a concern I have


We released three and kept two. one of which had committed treason. They had messed up the generators so we couldn't put him in the electric chair. We thought we might need to hang on to what bullets we had to fight off his mates, and rope was in short supply. so we let him live amongst us after a couple of days. His coffee making and washing up skills were crap and his state of mind had us queuing up for the only straight jacket we had so we could get a decent nights sleep. We decided for our own sanity to release him back into the world. On a serious note this was after a visit from a German diplomat.

Curiously, does Sealand accept his right to diplomatic immunity? Could he have parked his car anywhere and not get a ticket?

The German diplomat? He met my mother at the airport and she explained to him that if he wanted to visit the prisoner he would have to be searched for weapons. He very indignantly waved his diplomatic passport around and said this was not possible. My mother said ok then you cant visit and I will go. With steam coming out of his ears he eventually capitulated and agreed to a search. This presented my mother with a problem as she was on her own. Looking about her at the assembled police and special branch officers she picked one out and said " young man would you be good enough to search him for me" the young policeman took to the task with zeal and frisked him in front of his colleagues. When the helicopter arrived on Sealand we lent him protesting loudly spread eagled against the machine and searched him again, took his diplomatic passport and stamped it for him with our emigration stamp. Lucky guy, an exclusive club.

What does your crest represent as a whole?

The coat of arms was designed by count Robert of Skylight a New Zealander. The shield has the colours of our flag red for Roy my father, black for our days in pirate radio and white for the path of virtue we try to walk today. The fist for strength, the lightning bolts for pirate radio, the fish tails for the maritime connection and of course e mare libertas ..from the sea freedom!

What is your defense plan for when another country decides to violate your sovereignty and take over? Would you become a government in exile?

Do you have diplomatic relations with the Republic of Dave?

we have always managed to defend ourselves in the past. Dave who??

They do not have complete sovereignty. They have de facto, but not de jure as the rest of the world's nation could give a shit less about them and do not recognize them as their own nation. If someone with more people and more guns tried to take them, then they would be taken. Thing is, they don't have anything anyone else wants.

Until a few years ago. The United States of America didn't recognise mainland China with a population of over 1.3 billion and predicted to be the worlds largest economy by 2016. I guess they were just not there? But you will struggle to find a shop in the USA that doesn't have multiple products labels made in China these days. So what happened there then? David Copperfield buzz em up out of nowhere??

On a scale of 1 to Joffrey. How badly do you perform as a Prince?

As much as we take it seriously we have a lot of fun with it and get to travel a lot with related business. Perhaps Sealand is more of a Winterfell

What inspired your dad to found Sealand?

He wasn't happy the way the country he had fought such a hard war to defend in the second world war was going. He was wounded several time for king and country and felt let down by the establishment. Having said that he would have stepped up to the firing line to defend it again had he been needed.He was a Sealander but also a great British patriot. A paradox!

How does one even find/get themselves in the position to do something like this with their life? I'm sorry if this seems insulting, because that's not at all what I mean. I find Sealand fascinating. I guess this is just so far removed from my own life experience and any context that I know that I have no idea how one would even begin to go about doing something like this.

What do you have to know? Who do you have to know? What do you have to be able to do? How expensive is it? What is the life of someone who does this kind of thing like?

Note that I'm not planning on doing anything like this myself, I just really want to know more about it because I find it so interesting.

Its like everything else in life. One thing leads to another then one day you look around you and think how the hell did I get here. I guess if at the age of fourteen when I offered to not go back to boarding school in north Wales to help my dad with his ideas then he probably couldn't have done it and my life would have been totally changed and spelling would certainly have been better.

I suppose that's similar in the vain of America's founding fathers; some of them considered themselves to be true patriots, and that the crown was impeding on their rights as citizens of the British empire. The rest is history, I suppose...


You can order them here:

Apparently you can also choose to own a part of Sealand, I'm curious to know what that means.

You can show your support by purchasing a small part of Sealand territory. We appreciate support in every way.

Is my title inheritable? 50 pounds to found a new noble dynasty seems about right.

Stop being so cheap there is a principle at stake here

I see you've really stepped up the Sealand-merchandise lately :).

T-shirts, mugs, keyrings, pens and a lot more! Funny. Nice looking website as well, by the way!

Thank you

If I purchase it, can I move there and have slaves work the fields?

we don't have any fields

How do I get a lord and lady title for Sealand? I would like me and my wife to get one..

Great thanks for the support

Is the North Sea your Public toilet ??

Well its part of the UK France, Holland and Belgium's public toilet I don't suppose our small contribution will make much of an impact on it!

Prince Michael, thanks for chatting with us mainlanders. Sealand is a great story and a fun piece of world trivia, but can micronations play a more significant role in global politics? Does Sealand stand for a larger cause, aside from its own independence?

It would be nice to think so but we don't have the finance and infrastructure to influence world change. We don't have the billions in taxes to sit in the United nations etc..

I hate to be this guy but since no one have made the claim yet, proof?

Not a problem..go to our facebook page for proof

I hate to be this guy but since no one have made the claim yet, proof?

also just put proof up on my personal twitter page @SealandPrince

What is Sealands population?

We have over 50 citizens but the permanent population fluctuates dependent on work going on at the time. We're also issuing new standard passports to our citizens this year

A quick Google search says 27. I'd like confirmation on this.

That figure is based on a census we ran in 2002 I believe

He just said over 50. So what's going on here Prince Michael?

Stop being so picky! Do you want to come out for a count up? All of our citizens hold dual nationality so the majority are non-residents!

It has all the requirements for statehood.

It has sovereignty (it was recognized by the UK, and Germany), population, territory, and government. I studied Sealand in an international law class, and the professor, who has top notch credentials in diplomacy and international law claimed it was a legal state.

EDIT: The argument against them being a legal state is that not enough other states recognized them and no membership in the UN. It was my mistake, he said it was legally grey area/not actually a state because of lack of recognition. Most people don't realize, it is not black and white though. Very grey area.

As anyone who has studied international law knows it is mostly only a matter of "Opinion" which can be twisted or not to suit governments. And madly still based a lot of it on international Roman law "Jus Jentium"

According to Wiki:

In 1987, the UK extended its territorial waters from three to twelve miles. Sealand now sits inside waters that Britain claims as its territory.[36] The United Kingdom is one of 162 states to sign the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (in force since 1994), which states in part V, article 60, that: "Artificial islands, installations and structures do not possess the status of islands. They have no territorial sea of their own, and their presence does not affect the delimitation of the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone or the continental shelf."[37] In the opinion of law academic John Gibson, "because Sealand was man-made there was little chance that it would be recognised as a nation."[36]

See this is where I sometimes get confused because anticipating UNCLOS82 (the UN law of the sea when member states carved up the oceans amongst themselves) we announced an extension of our limits to twelve miles two days before the UK so technically They are in our waters now not the other way round! But then there was the same situation between the UK Channel islands and France and in reality a "Median" line was drawn between the two. The continental shelf act only applies to "Economic structures" such as oil rigs. And with Sealand there was also a "Dereliction of sovereignty " by the UK government to be considered.

Are sealand passports recognized by any countries?

I used to travel all around the world on mine but we withdrew them after 9/11 in the interest of security. At the end of the day a passport is only a request for other countries to offer your citizens security and freedom of movement. There is probably not a border agency person in the UK that knows this but by law a UK citizen is not required to have a passport for entry into the UK but he has to prove he is a UK citizen. And I had to put this to use when I was kidnapped onto a Dutch trawler and landed in Holland illegally and had to get from there back into the UK with no passport! We are bringing out some new passports soon!!

Your grace, I just came here to say that I'm a lord of Sealand, therefore I'm at your service whenever it is required.

That is all.

Great! thanks for your support!

Your grace, I just came here to say that I'm a lord of Sealand, therefore I'm at your service whenever it is required.

That is all.

Thank you

If you're in the U.S., I'm relatively sure you cannot. It's in the constitution!

Yep! Article I section IX, final paragraph.

EDIT: Just wanted to say that I was wrong! If only constitutional arguments were always this easy!

Its could only a problem for you if you work for the government I believe.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

That makes it sound like its okay as long as you aren't a government employee.


You are correct, and I am an idiot.

Now, I want to be a knight. come on board!

Can you tell us more about the Pirate Bay's attempt to purchase Sealand in 2007? How close did they get to succeeding? Is there a connection between that bid and What are your thoughts on IPR in general?

It never got off the ground because I personally I am against infringement of IPR. I have written a book and hope for a Hollywood film. What incentive would people have to do or invest time or money in such things? Having said that I don't believe when I send a letter to my girlfriend or kids for someone to read it before it gets there. Hence the Havenco right to privacy coming soon... Sealand and Havencos stance on the subject will all be covered by the Havenco AUP. Go to for updates

Very similar to running a pirate radio station. Very wrong indeed


Well I can comment on that.Every day piles of records would turn up in the post at our office to be taken out and played on the station as the record companies (who sent them) found the more airtime they had the more they sold. They would even pay for the DJ to "plug" them

Do you live at Sealand year round?

Also, how can you afford to live on your principality? I can imagine that importing goods to a tiny fortress is expensive. Judging from the pictures, I can imagine that it would be very hard to generate a substantial income.

Thats the reason i have to spend the majority of my time in the UK as we have other business interests that help support Sealand. We have very loyal supporters that help and our website has a shop for merchandise to help take some of the pressure off


we dont do less than high standards! haha

So in essence you are like a millionaire that bought a private island for him and his 26 friends.

Except you didn't buy it and can't afford to maintain it without outside donations.

Wikipedia lists your GDP as $600k. What percentage of this comes from the "shop" and "donations?"

The whole thing has come at great personal cost financially and otherwise to my family over the years. But yes it has made money at different times but no millions. There is no such thing as a free lunch. And we thank our supporters for their input.

Once you get over the novelty of Sealand you realize it's a nation of attention starved people.

I think the last thing we are is attention starved. We seem to have your attention right now and several others? Now years ago before the internet and telephone or radio contact the supply boat would go and promise to come back in two weeks and it ran into several weeks without any means of finding out why. Then we were attention starved. Or just plain starved!

Have you ever considered invading North Korea just to save the Americans from doing it?

I have been to a Korean restaurant and really liked the food but I think I will leave any invading to our neighbours and their allies.

Cmon man. I thought we were friends.

Your Friend,

Yeh but I am a bit busy for the next couple of weeks and we don't have one of those sexy "Star wars" defence systems that you say you don't have and you probably hope different?

That was obviously a South Korean restaurant, they don't have food in North Korea.

Your probably right!!!

What do you do for income? In other words, how do you make your living? Sealand does not seem (as far as I can tell) to have an economy that can be taxed. Wikipedia mentions "issuing coins and postage stamps," but does that bring in enough money to support you and/or your family?

we have coins (new one out soon commemorating my dad who passed away in October), stamps and also people help support the Principality by joining the Sealand nobility.

I think they also host web services of a nature such that they could not be legal in a country with international obligations.

Some things can be frowned upon in certain jurisdictions while perfectly legal or acceptable in others. We do recognise an international responsibility

I think they also host web services of a nature such that they could not be legal in a country with international obligations.

Not true

Sorry to hear about your dad. :( But I see you are carrying on his legacy well!

thank you

Turns out that didn't work.

1) Sealand falls within UK territory.

2) Their internet connection came from the mainland UK and the British government could cut it off whenever it wanted to.

You will have to keep an eye on all will be revealed

If other countries recognized your sovereignty, would you consider joining the United Nations?

Yes if we could fund it. We have had meetinsg with the UN.

Are there any plans to expand the size of Sealand, or form a unity with any other countries?

Expansion and modernisation making a more comfortable and safer environment would be great. Anyone want to get involved? We don't feel a need for unity with other countries but are open for discussion.

Do ye still make your own stamps and passports and can I have one?

It depends. What do you do and can I have one? ha ha

I do corrosion engineering for a living and I wonder what your plan is for when the structure starts to exhibit serious structural deficiencies from corrosion of the reinforcing steel. Does your nation have the income to perform repairs/maintenance? Or will you just have to find a new home when the concrete is too far gone?

Thanks for the AMA!

It would be great to have a chat by email. Obviously it is something that will need addressing. I am not looking forwards to "Dick picks" ha ha I have deleted the address thanks. (it would never occur to me although we do get some odd questions at times)

I have a follow up question. It seems the old fort was floated out to sea and then the base was filled with seawater. That indicates the water is not too deep. What is stopping you from hiring a tug and towing a LOT of precast concrete tubes to sealand? You could sink them/fill them with dredge and expand your land area. This could open up a lot of opportunities as you would be an actual island that could even support gardens and further building space.

As you can imagine we have researched such ideas. Thanks for the input keep em coming!

It really would be amazing to see Sealand become a permaculture oasis in the middle of the ocean.

That would be great all we need is the dollars to do it.

And what did you conclude? How deep are your waters? How much would it cost to fill up the water into land? Would the UK stop you?

It would be illegal for the British government to interfere with us. We fulfil the terms of the Montevideo convention which was signed by Roosevelt and other world leaders. the requirements of a state are population, territory, Government and the capacity to enter into relationship with other states. Its 33 ft deep at low water the Dutch have the tried and tested technology.

Didn't Sealand expand their territorial waters 1 day before the UK did?

yes two days. They are in our waters!!!

What do you do for fun? what is there apart from rooms? What is the deal with food supplies etc? Thanks for taking the time to answer questions also, hows the internet connection?

There is a small gym and the usual household set up TV and satellite connection etc. Generators, wind power mostly. Most supplies apart from fish and drinking water are imported. Thank you for being so polite.

Have you thought about submitting a proposal to Google to have them implement high-resolution imagery on Google Maps for your wonderful state?

I have but haven't gotten around to it.

Can you print your own money ?

Yes. we are looking at ways to do it securely. Also Bitcoin sounds really interesting if they stabilize.

As a person who have the national anthem of Sealand as a ringtone (not kidding), I want to ask, if i need a visa to visit Sealand even if i got my Sealand ID and noble title. And if is there any kind of organization (UN like) of micronations.

Sorry for my bad English.

Now that's a supporter!! All visitors need a visa. I think there is but I am not sure if we have got involved.

Are there some nice updated pictures of what the inside is like? All the photos I've seen look old and trashy... From the fire etc.

We will be uploading some new ones in the next few weeks

What kind of advice would you give someone who wanted to start their own country?

Long pockets a lot of fortitude and you will not find a jurisdiction where it can be done these days. It would probably be more economical for you to spend your money on a three legged race horse.

So, basically, I would have to invade an already existing country, since there is no jurisdiction where it can be done. Preferably a small island, with little to no military forces, and no seats in the UN in order to avoid international repercussions...

On a totally unrelated note, how strong are your defenses?

If you can find such a country with a diamond or gold mine call me and I will give you a hand. Adequate!

How do you get down from the platform? Is there a secret door to go sea level? I find no pictures or diagrams showing how this is possible

Or is this accessible only by helicopter and crane?

Diesel hydraulic winch. Or helicopter. There are no secret doors (that we want to talk about)

You're my hero, my liege. I want you to know that you've inspired me greatly. I have one question: what's your country's greatest strength?

Our supporters.

What's the hardest part about ruling a country that is smaller than the Vatican City?

How wealthy is the country?

Is it possible for anyone to visit Sealand?

Why is Sealand so cool?

How exactly do you become a baron or baroness in Sealand?

The hardest part is probably financing it and years ago the lack of infrastructure due to the lack of finance. It was very hard! It is for our supporters to decide if it has a cool factor or not.

Thanks for your support

What is your favorite candy and how much does it cost to import it (if you have to import it)?

I don't eat the stuff I'm fat enough as it is. Don't ask about the beer!

Do you have any plans to "modernize" Sealand and try to give it a more modern feel such as done by Sheikh Rashid for Dubai to go from Sandy Dunes to Skyscrapers? Also how has becoming a prince affected your youth as you said it all happened when you were 14

Do you have the Sheikh's phone number? I have to say I didn't exactly have a normal youth. When I wrote in my book I slept with an automatic pistol under my pillow for years my daughter was horrified and said that's just not normal daddy and you just drop it in your book as a one liner! Like everyone does it. Don't they I replied.

I don't know about the Sheikh of Dubai but my brother knows the royal family of Abu Dhabi. I myself only have royal connections with the royal family of Qatar with two of the princes Sheikh Thani Al Thani and the former heir apparent Sheikh Jassim Al Thani. I was also wondering if you purchase land here you can become a knight is that the only way to become a knight in your land or is there something else one can do? My best friend and I talked about purchasing land from your country a few years back as a joke but I may be able to do it in a few years after I graduate college.

Well bear us in mind when if he asks you for investment ideas over a bit of falconry.


Er you mean without the bombs military and hereditary fruit loon running it!!

So do you get to be king at some point?

No we made it a Principality to simplify the law.

My understanding is that a Principality is subordinate to foreign Kingdom. So Wales is Principality (headed by the Prince of Wales), subordinate to England. Monaco is a Principality (headed by Prince Albert) subordinate to France.

I believe England has historical laws regarding the recognition of overseas principalities that declare loyalty to the British monarchy. (They'd have no such laws regarding the recognition of overseas kingdoms, of course.) I believe those laws are what he's referring to.

No the likes of Liechtenstein are independent principalities.

Do you have a military or police force?

We have a special unit of loyal Sealander's ready to defend their country should it be required as in 1978

What is your favorite part of living in Sealand?

Peace and quiet

What kinds of things do you have to deal with as a prince that you had never thought about as a civilian?

Is it worth it?

Well I suppose I would never had my own national football team And would not have got to have travelled the world as much as I do. I used to question it when I was young and it was physically hard but with the help of my sons now it is mostly fun and interesting.



What do you feel about being a monarchy? Is it hereditary?

What do you think about hereditery monarchies?

They should be around as long as the citizens want them to be.

What's the female:male ratio there? Do you have a harem?

I wish!


We get daily request for citizenship and residence. I guess it is an indication of what the world is like.

How does Sealand create coins and passports? Do you custom order them?

Yes from around the world in secure establishments.


Not for me but I have a daughter who could use them!

What is the current population of Sealand?

It changes daily with the work load etc

What do you see for the future in Sealand?

I would like to see a small and comfortable island reclaimed from the sea

How does one become a serf in Sealand?

Learn to do as your told. Now be quiet ha ha

Has a ship ever hit your country? If so what would you do about it?

No one hasn't. Well I don't suppose I would be particularly happy.

Is it true? After all these years Havenco is going to actually do something?

Yes it is keep an eye on the website it wont be long now.

How scared were you when you were kidnapped?

It was an interesting and testing time!I don't really do scared but it could have gone very wrong for me.

Do you make your living from business related with Sealand or do you have other means of employment?

I have other businesses

My boyfriend bought me a Lady title for my birthday last year and I demanded everyone call me by my sealand name. Being a Lady is so wonderful!

That's great thank you for your support.

Do you think it is reasonable for someone to start their own micronation without an island? What are your tips for doing so?

I have met many people who have at artistic events around the world that I get invited to but they are on a different level expense and territory wise but they are great people and gaining in number almost daily

I'd like to hear more about your national football team. How many players are on the team? Is it made up purely of permanent residents of Sealand? (According to wikipedia the population is only 27, is this correct?) Who does the team play against? they have been mostly celebs and ex footballers. We play international games and have played the Chagos islands and Alderney so far. We are off to a 5 day event in the isle of Man this summer.

Didn't havenco already exist and fail?

Edit: Link:

yes. Different havenco

Are you planning on turning it into a tax haven and attract investments?

to some extent.

What made your father move to the fortress in the first place?

we had a pirate radio station in the 60's on another fortress and the UK government closed it down. My father was seeking a better jurisdiction to broadcast from. Fascinating times

Do you retain any British citizenship?

Yes I am also proud to be "English"

Does Sealand have its own internetextension?

We are working on it

Heard about years ago, I'm 50 now. I have to say it warms my heart to see that your nation exists. It's a dream of mine to become a lord or a knight and I would gladly help protect Sealand where a man's dream of his own nation became real.

great please join us

I read a piece a few years back with an interview with Ryan Lackey, who describes the first go-round of Havenco and it all sounds pretty haphazard and motley. Not sure if he blames you specifically or some other advisor-figure, but can you give some of your side of what went down there and how the new version deals with the infrastructure issues he mentions?

hey it was their idea I hardly new how to turn my laptop on at the time. It went wrong for various reasons mainly due to timing. Front page of WIRED magazine without a server UPS, power source, or internet link. when that was eventually all put together ( I was far more physically involved by then) the bubble burst the Soviet Union collapsed and our offshore services were to expensive!(I know how to turn the thing on now and a little more but more importantly we have good advisor's, partners and my grown up sons are involved) so more interesting times on the way!!

Can you make me a Count Benshovian of Sealand without having to purchase the £199.99 package?

Can you buy me a Rolex watch? The one I have is getting a bit old now.


What do you mean "Oh lord" its me? It was one of two wartime fortresses left in international waters where this could be done. as soon as we declared our intentions the British government sent the Marines out to blow the other one up. We took that as a good sign.

I am curious, and not to seem rude, but what right did your father claim to eject one set of pirate broadcasters to set up his own station? Is that no more wrong than Germans trying to eject you and your countrymen?

That's not rude.What was that famous quote by Sean Connery the world doesn't like losers. Its the winners that get to f*** the prom queen.

"Your best?...Losers always whine about their best! Winners go home and fuck the prom queen."

"Carla was the Prom Queen."

Fitting that you chose to quote The Rock.

well I got the important bit right. But thanks for the help

So,, I guess you wouldn't really mind if the British landed a SAS team and kicked you all back into the drink?

Why would they? Our nearest neighbour plays by a different set of rules to the rest of the world. With respect, because I like the USA and spend a lot of time with friends and business associates there I honestly don't believe they would allow such a thing off their shores or with a pirate radio station like radio New York that was stormed and towed in. When we were in court in the UK over the warning shots episode it was suggested to government that my mother was alone on Sealand and now would be the time to strike. The reply from the minister was that would be "Bad form" not cricket old boy and unsportsmanlike! I am hugely proud of my British background.

I find this very interesting. Thanks for the AMA.

How does one become a citizen and do citizens have the ability to live in The Principality of Sealand?

Any chance you are looking to start a national basketball team?

Thanks for your support. If you write into we will keep your basketball interest on file.

Any plans on opening up a Bitcoin Exchange?

Yes indeed. We find the concept hugely interesting.

How can I attain Sealand citizenship and join your national football team? Are there any plans to attempt to join UEFA? Who will the team play? Have any matches been scheduled?

We also have a Sealand football facebook with all the details of up and coming matches soon to be announced.

How do you feel about the fact that Sealand is routinely used in International Relations academia as an example of what does not constitue a state/country?

I think it is very cool. The mouse that roared.

If I Join the Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Sealand, would this literally mean that I am a knight whose job would be to Defend the Principality? I am very interested Please PM me with any information on regards to how this works. Thank you.

You would be invited to defend the Principality but it would not be demanded of you.Please look on the website for details.

I know where I'm going if there is ever a zombie outbreak...

That's cool I will look out for you

Their basketball team is the Dribbling Seamen.

So you think we should send them to Korea? Didn't someone else try that diplomacy?

Are the males of Iceland referred to as Icemen?

Who gave you that handle??

Oh my god, I heard about you guys during a class at college and my friends and I got drunk one day and sent you an email declaring war! We threatened to take your shanty! Did you ever get it? It had a picture of my friend with an orange apron sitting on the toilet holding a toilet paper roll and a can of natty light.

Ok, Just woke up (I live in Australia these days) and saw this. Here is the link to the photo.

Text from the Email:

Seen here is the Sultan of Squat of the glorious Land of Bowel. He has announced his desire for Sealand's Oil and Humble Shanty, so we the people of the glorious Land of Bowel formally declare war upon the treacherous Sealand.


Cessation of Hostilities: I, the current ambassador for the Glorious Land of Bowel, declare the Oil and Shanty of the treacherous Sealand to be the the sovereign territory of the treacherous Sealand. And recognize Sealand as a sovereign state hence forth.

Until further notice.

ha ha to be fair people declare war on us daily almost. I am sure I would have remembered the picture though. Maybe you should re submit it with a cessation of hostilities.

Is gay marriage legal in Sealand?

We have conducted perfectly legal weddings in the past. The last vote we had on homosexuality was for it not to be made compulsory. We haven't held a vote on gay marriages. come on chuck a few irons in this fire (so to speak!)

Why'd your parents choose to declare themselves Prince and Princess? Why not King and Queen? Or Emperor/Empress? Or something outrageous like Supreme Leader/Commander?

What's to prevent some random person from taking a boat or helicopter to Sealand and visiting with a visa? What are the consequences of doing so?

We made it a principality to simplify the law. ie the Princes word is the law.

Your highness, thank you for coming to do this AMA. I have been a fan of your country the moment it was featured in a popular anime known as Hetalia. Link for your reference

My sister and I have often wondered what it would be like to have titles from your country. It's a fun concept to think about. I digress from the question on my mind though!

How has Sealand sustained itself throughout the years? I speak of powering the country, repairs, and offering its citizens a sustainable living (food, water, supplies)?

Thank you for once again offering this IAMA. It has made my year on reddit thus far!

EDIT: Added a link for reference to the anime

Thank you for the interest and your support. In the beginning it was very hard and there was very little money to pay for things that's why I offered to help my dad. I thought six months. Decades later!! But things are cool now and Sealand has a small income from its on line shop and earns from various other enterprises. Plus we have built up some businesses in the UK over the years of which we invested a lot from into Sealand. Food is imported apart from fish. we collect rain water and have a water maker if needed. Most of our power comes from the wind with back up diesel generators. We really should start growing stuff and I don't mean weed to all those that keep questioning on that. A decision has not been made on that but it is not on the top of my priority list.

Your life sounds like a Wes Anderson movie.

Who's Wes Anderson??

What do you think of your contries representation in the popular japanese cartoon hetalia.

Its great and its unbelievable the huge following the cartoon has. I would be gretat to honour the writer/ Author.

Do you pay UK sales taxes? any other UK taxes?

On UK based sales in our business dealings. I also have a fishing company in the UK. So yes.

Interesting. According to the logic of Sealand, I could round up a dozen friends, invade and occupy your country, and it would be mine, seeing as how it's a "sovereign nation." Sounds like a fun way to spend a vacation.

Bring it on ha ha

When you were younger were you referred to as Master Bates?

Indeed while at boarding school my mother naively addressed every letter to me in that fashion. Bless her!!

Do you, or anyone else, actually live on Sealand?

yes there are always people there

I hate to be the guy to point this out, but Sealand is not recognized as a state by any country in the world.

Heck, it's mailing address is a P.O. box in the UK!!

In principle, it's no different than Texas separatists.

The PO box was given to us in a UK court of law as it was found illegal to isolate small communities where ever they are. (Which is what the UK attempted to do)

OK, since people seem to be asking stupid questions, making stupid jokes, and generally ignoring the good stuff, I'll start:

  1. What made you fire at the approaching British vessel in 1968? How old were you at that time? Did the ship return fire, or simply retreat? Were you extradited to England for trial?

  2. Your father seems to have lived quite a storied life. What made the German officer rescue him from the firing line during World War II?

  3. How did your father justify essentially stealing the fort from other pirate radio broadcasters in the early 1960s? What were your feelings on this at the time?

  4. Could you please tell us more about the battle with the Germans who invaded? Were shots fired in the counter-invasion? How did you mount your attack from the helicopter?

  5. OK, really, what's the deal here? Do you expect to receive recognition from the world powers in the future? Are you doing this for financial reasons? Pure political reasons? I'd love to hear more about the philosophy churning around in your mind.

Hey as you say lets get some serious stuff done. 1 The guys on the government boat were being threatening and lascivious towards my sister who I was there with. She felt threatened and burst into tears.. They retreated. The UK police asked my father permission to come out with him to see me.I was no older than 15. 2 He new as an officer my father had a duty to try and escape and help disrupt the war effort. Officers to this day are normally supportive and respectful of fellow officers even an enemy. They are expected to act like "Gentlemen" 3 Fine. It had been common practice amongst the fort based radio stations to eject rivals from forts.Several times my dads staff were ejected from the Knock John fort where he had his station and he would have to go and reclaim it. It was just my dad was fearless and very good at it. it was a different world a lawless environment. 4 we slid down ropes at dawn 100 ft above the sea.( this was before the days of black hawk down.) We didn't even think to wear life was a big adrenaline rush. Yes shots were fired. Our pilot had flown in several James Bond films but was delighted to say this was the first time he had heard shots fired in action for real.He did a great job. 5 yes we would like to get recognition although we have never really asked for it. Everyone needs financial remuneration to ingratiate and give a better life but we love what we do and money is certainly not the driving factor.

[No question]

People of the world thank you for an entertaining and fun evening. I agreed to come on here for two hours and have been on here nearly ten hours.Thanks for the questions both serious and flippant. It has been fun. Isn't the internet amazing? When we were first on Sealand we were totally cut off not just from the world but from everyone both near and far. It is hard to imagine such isolation these days. Good luck and may your gods whoever they are go with you!

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Prince Michael conducted on Reddit on 2013-04-16. The Reddit AMA can be found here.