The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized micronation, located on HM Fort Roughs, a former Second World WarMaunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 13 kilometres (7 nmi) off the coast of Suffolk, England, United Kingdom.
Since 1967 the facility has been occupied by family and associates of Paddy Roy Bates, who claim that it is an independent sovereign state.Bates seized it from a group of pirate radio broadcasters in 1967 with the intention of setting up his own station at the site. He established Sealand as a nation in 1975 with the writing of a constitution and establishment of other national symbols.Bates moved to mainland Essex when he became elderly, naming his son Michael regent. Bates died in October 2012 at the age of 91.
While it has been described as the world’s smallest country, the world’s smallest nation, or a micro nation, Sealand is not currently officially recognised by any established sovereign state, although Sealand’s government claims it has beende facto recognised by the United Kingdom (after an English court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over Sealand as territorial water limitations were defined at the time)and Germany.