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The Sealand Affair - the last great adventure of the twentieth century?

In our latest history podcast, Grant Hibberd, a Research Assistant with the FCO’s Historians team, discusses "The Sealand Affair", an obscure but fascinating footnote in British legal and diplomatic history.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

In 1967, former British army officer Major Roy Bates occupied a derelict fort in the North Sea called Roughs Tower and proclaimed its independence from Britain as the principality of Sealand, with himself as regent. He gave the would-be state a coat of arms, a national anthem, a currency, its own stamps, a body of laws and issued passports.

So how valid was Bates’ claim for sovereignty?

In this podcast, Grant Hibberd examines the history and events of Sealand, how Britain has traditionally gone about formally recognising other countries, Sealand in the broader context of Britain’s general North Sea policies of the 1970s and 1980s and marine legislation.

The history podcast is available in two versions: audio or enhanced (featuring images), and can be subscribed to via RSS or iTunes.

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Published 19 November 2010