Ed Sheeran becomes a 'baron of Sealand'

Sealand Sealand, a former defence platform, was declared an independent country in 1967

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The singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has been given the title of baron by a self-styled independent state in the sea off East Anglia.

The musician, who is from Framlingham in Suffolk, has been named Baron von Edward Sheeran of Sealand.

Sealand, the former military platform seven miles off the coast from Felixstowe, is owned by the Bates family of Essex.

The owners are hoping Sheeran might play a concert there.

The platform, also known as Roughs Tower, was built by the British government to house anti-aircraft guns during World War II.

Roy Bates moved there and declared it as independent territory in 1967. Mr Bates died earlier this year, aged 91.

His grandson, James Bates, 26, who lives in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, is the so-called current Prince Royal of Sealand.

Ed Sheeran Sealand is seven miles off the coast of Sheeran's home county of Suffolk

He said: "One of our avid supporters said he'd been speaking to Ed and telling him the story of Sealand and he found the whole thing fascinating and asked if he would be able to get a title, so we've conferred the title of baron on him.

"There was talk of him playing a little gig or making a video out there, but it's all a bit vague at the minute."

Sheeran used his Twitter account to welcome the news.

He said: "A friend of a friend owns an oil rig that got made into a country legally, and called Sealand, which made him king of Sealand, which means he can give out titles to people.

"So I am a baron. Awesome."

Other people who have been given Sealand titles include the BBC presenters Terry Wogan and Ben Fogle.

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