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December 21st, 2012
Ed Sheeran has been given the title Baron of Sealand, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea, located 13 kilometres off the coast of Suffolk, England. The rig operates as its own principality, headed by Prince Michael Bates.
Ed tweeted “A friend of a friend owns an oil rig that got made into a country legally, and called Sealand, which made him the king of Sealand … Which means he can give out titles to people. So he’s given me the title of Baron von Edward Sheeran. I am a Baron. Awesome s**t.”
Perhaps Ed will celebrate becoming a baron with a show on Sealand. The principality, self-styled as the world’s smallest independent state, held their first ever gig there in 2007, when American band Airiel played. The group had taken particular interest in the unrecognized micro-nation, using the plight of its founder, Prince Roy’s efforts to protect it as the basis of their album The Battle of Sealand.
Now defunct rockers Fall Out Boy had also expressed a desire to perform on Sealand, with bassist Pete Wentz saying in 2009 “I want to go to Sealand. That is the craziest kind of story ever. I wanna play the first festival in Sealand. The only thing I’m worried about is that the dude may shoot us, and I know we’ll be paid in native currency. We’ll be like, ‘We want one million Sealand bucks,’ and he’ll be like, ‘I’ll double it. I’ll give you two million,’ because the dude is just printing them.”
Prince Roy, Paddy Roy Bates, died this year and the Principality of Sealand is now occupied by his family members with his son His Royal Highness Prince Michael acting as ‘Head of State’ and ‘Head of Government’.
Anyone interested in becoming a Lord, Lady, Baron or Baroness of Sealand can buy a title by visiting www.sealandgov.org