A snip at £500 million

Ever fancied owning your own kingdom where you can issue passports, bring back hanging, and machine-gun illegal immigrants as they approach? Well it just so happens the estate agents’ boards have gone up on a ‘unique purchasing opportunity’: namely the Roughs Tower aka Sealand eight miles east of Harwich in Essex. It’s all yours for just £500 million.

With sea levels rising the former World War II platform, which stands 60 feet above the waves, is a good bit higher than parts of the nearest coastline, it has sea views of course, but only comprises 6,000 square feet in area.

But that has not stopped the owner, cockle fisherman Michael Bates, 54, from issuing his own currency, stamps and tax haven status. His father before him ‘Prince ‘ Roy was reported to have bestowed titles on history-hungry Americans; like Lord Gunfleet, Lord Barrow and the like after the surrounding Thames Estuary mudbanks. He was also involved in a gun-toting escapade with Dutch and German kidnappers who had attempted to carry off Michael.

Roy Bates acquired the tower via a legal loophole: it had been abadoned for several years by the Royal Navy after the war and was in international waters.