It’s fair to say that it’s been an incredible year for Suffolk’s singing superstar Ed Sheeran.

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The 21-year-old, a former winner of Norwich’s Next Big Thing talent competition, has shifted 2.5 million albums worldwide, sold out 280 shows and has a string of awards to his name.

But the singer, who made his name on the Norwich gig circuit, now has one more reason to smile – he has been made a baron.

The title has been bestowed upon him by the principality of Sealand – a former military fort seven-and-a-half miles off Felixstowe in the North Sea.

Posting a message on social networking website Twitter, Ed, who comes from Framlingham, said: “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.”

Paying tribute to all those who have supported him over the last 12 months he posted: “Left home on January the 8th, and now I’m going back for Christmas. What a year. Thank you to my team and fans for being incredible.”

Sealand was founded as a sovereign principality by Roy Bates, also known as Prince Roy of Sealand, who passed away earlier this year. The fort was initially built by Britain during the Second World War to guard approaches to the Thames Estuary.

Mr Bates established the tiny country after getting involved in the pirate radio movement of the 1960s and setting up Radio Essex on the Knock John forts in the Thames Estuary.

After being prosecuted under the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act, Mr Bates moved his family to the Roughs Tower island fort, according to the Sealand website. On his wife Joan’s birthday, September 2, 1967, Mr Bates declared the fort independent from the UK and bestowed her the title of “princess”. Since declaring independence, Sealand has issued its own stamps, passports and money. Its official language is English and the Sealand Dollar has a fixed exchange rate of one US dollar, according to the country’s website.

The country has its own red, white and black flag, and a national motto of E Mare Libertas, or “From the Sea, Freedom”.

Its independence was upheld in 1968 when a judge held that Roughs Tower stood in international waters and did not fall under the legal jurisdiction of the UK.

2 comments

  • The court ruling in 1968 was not a ruling that recognised Sealands independence. The courts simply stated that UK courts held no power in what was, at that time, international waters. All the UK's offshore radios stations have used the British courts lack of power in international waters to enable a free radio media to exist here in the UK & what happened to Roy Bates & Sealand was nothing more than a recognition of a simple fact of law. It is also worth noting that Sealand has no official recognition as an independent country by any established Sovereign State, so Roy Bates claims are at best hopeful thinking. It is also worth noting that since 1968, when British territorial waters was 3 miles, the limit has been changed, (in 1987) to 12 miles. So now Sealand is within British territorial waters & is within the jurisdiction of British Courts.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

  • Must be a slow news day!

    Report this comment

    BlueRobin

    Sunday, December 23, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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