World?s smallest country on sale | india | Hindustan Times
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World?s smallest country on sale

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 17:15 IST

A former World War II fort in the North Sea, which was settled 40 years ago and declared a state with its own self-proclaimed royal family, is up for sale, The Times said on Monday.

The tiny principality of Sealand, which began life as Roughs Tower in 1941, is a 550 square metre steel platform perched on two concrete towers 11 kilometres off the coast of Harwich, eastern England.

It is accessible only by helicopter and boat but according to its owners, who want offers of eight digits or over, boasts uninterrupted sea views, guarantees complete privacy and is a tax haven.

"We have owned the island for 40 years now and my father is 85," Prince Michael of Sealand was quoted as saying. Although its national status is disputed, Sealand boasts a military past like any other country, defending its sovereignty from outside threats.

Former British army major Paddy Roy Bates began occupying the island in 1967, declared it a state in international waters and gave himself the title "Prince". Britain's Royal Navy attempted to evict him but was unsuccessful.

As they entered territorial waters, Roy of Sealand fired warning shots. A judge then ruled in his favour that Sealand was outside British control as it was beyond the three-mile limit of the country's waters.