Prince Michael of Sealand on Unconventional Fatherhood - The Rebel Dad: Founding a Nation

Prince Michael of Sealand on Unconventional Fatherhood - The Rebel Dad: Founding a Nation
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In this firstย article-interview of our five-part series, "My Dad Founded a Country," Prince Michael of Sealand offers a unique perspective on unconventional fatherhood, sharing intimate insights into his father's rebellious spirit and the extraordinary events leading to the founding of Sealand. From Roy Bates' early entrepreneurial pursuits with pirate radio to the audacious declaration of Sealand's independence, Michael recounts his experiences as a young boy witnessing his father's unwavering determination and defiance. Through this interviews, Michael reveals the profound impact his father's belief in possibilities, courage, and resilience had on shaping him into the person he is today.

Join us in the upcoming weeks as we delve deeper into the extraordinary story of Sealand and the remarkable legacy of Roy Bates, as told through the eyes of his son.



Interview with Prince Michael of Sealand about his Dad, Roy Bates, founding theย Principality of Sealand

Can you take us back to the very beginning? When did you first realise your Dad wasn't planning a normal life?

Prince Michael of Sealand:

"My father was the quintessential straight-backed, well-spoken British army officer. He was very proud to have retired from the army after the Second World War with the rank of Major.ย ย 

He was a paradox of a man in many ways.ย  He would dress up in a 'Saville Row' suite one day (his London Taylor's displayed a magnificent undelivered due to war breaking out with France, uniform made for the Emperor Napoleon in their shopfront) to attend to business interests, and the next day be at sea on a fishing boat battling the elements.ย  ย ย 

I knew our life would be different when, at sea with him one day, he announced to me that he wanted to get involved with a new phenomenon, 'offshore radio' or 'pirate radio' as the government described it, to the delight of the press.ย ย 
He pointed to a distant naval fortress on the horizon and said, let's go over and have a look at it.

The Knock John fort had been abandoned by the British government since the early fifties and was outside of UK three mile territorial waters.


We both climbed up the rickety ladder to the main deck and toured the fortress. It was amazing and a real adventure for a twelve year old boy.ย ย 

When Dad got home, he commissioned the building of a transmitter and studio equipment.ย I returned to boarding school in Wales, but the Christmas holidays saw my whole family, including our cat, spending a week or so on the fortress and the now up-and-running 'Radio Essex.'ย "

Were there times when you felt scared, worried or excited about your dad's determination to create Sealand?

Prince Michael of Sealand:ย 

"When my Dad and I, along with some of the Radio Essex DJs, took over Sealand on Christmas Eve 1966 (then called Roughs Tower, another ex-naval fortress in international waters), I was just a fourteen-year-old boy, home from boarding school for the Christmas holidays.ย 

Doing this kind of stuff was starting to seem normal to me, and I just took it in my stride. In fact, I really enjoyed the adventure. It was the kind of thing none of my friends would ever do."

Tell us about a time Roy faced a massive setback in the early days. How did he react, and what did that show you?

Prince Michael of Sealand:

"I suppose Dad's first major setback was the government's bringing in the Marine Offences Act in an attempt to silence pirate radio stations. They also found his station to be inside UK jurisdiction. It is for this reason we moved to 'Roughs Tower.'ย 

But it didn't finish there with constant petty official interference from the Customs and Board of Trade bureaucrats.ย So, my father decided to declare independence and created the Principality of Sealand."

Looking back, how do you think your father's rebellious spirit shaped the kind of person you became?

Prince Michael of Sealand:

"My father taught me that anything is possible in life, to never give up, to never bow down to anyone, and to be courageous in defending myself and my family."



Prince Michael's stories about his father, Roy Bates, remind us that fatherhood comes in many forms. It's not just about nurturing and providing; it's also about embracing a spirit of adventure, resilience, and the courage to create your own path. This Father's Day, let's celebrate all the unconventional dads out there โ€“ the dreamers, the rebels, the ones who inspire us to think outside the box. Just as Roy Bates built a nation on aย fortress in the North Sea, every father plays a unique role in building the foundations of their children's lives.

So, here's to the unconventional dads โ€“ the ones who make fatherhood a truly extraordinary adventure. Happy Father's Day!


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8 ์— ๋Œ€ํ•œ ์ƒ๊ฐ โ€œPrince Michael of Sealand on Unconventional Fatherhood - The Rebel Dad: Founding a Nationโ€

Duchess Renee Newman

Greetings, I can only hope the second part of the year goes well for all. I love reading the endearing posts. Have the best everyone!

July 3, 2024 at 23:33pm
Rev George Day, Baron of Sealand

I am so proud to be part of this unique moment in history! E Mare Libertas!

May 23, 2024 at 04:44am

All very nice and interesting.
For many years I have wanted to visit Sealand.
What can I do to visit Sealand ?
Is it possible to visit it ?
Thanking you

May 21, 2024 at 09:08am
Lord Ferenc PROVICS

I would like one day to spend some days on Sealand with amateur radio equipment to show the World that Sealand EXISTS!!! Unfortunately every approach till now was unsuccessfulโ€ฆ :-( I would like Prince Michael to recognize this thing as an important one! 73, Feco HA8KW

May 18, 2024 at 22:33pm
Amaymon the Conqueror

I would donate a billion dollars to Sealand if I had any lol. E MARE LIBERTAS!!?

May 18, 2024 at 16:02pm

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