Virginia Man Claims African Country to Make Daughter a Princess

We’ve posted twice about Bir Tawil, a stretch of land between Egypt and Sudan that neither country wants. Maybe Jeremiah Heaton of Abingdon, Virginia, read about it then. Last winter, Heaton’s six-year-old daughter Emily asked him if she could be a princess. He said yes, and has worked since then to make it so. To that end, Heaton has claimed the 800-square-mile territory of Bir Tawil as his own, renaming it the Kingdom of North Sudan. He planted a homemade flag there on June 16, Emily’s seventh birthday. That makes him the king, and Emily a princess. Heaton has two other children, who would also be royalty.

Sheila Carapico, professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond, told the Bristol Herald Courier last week that Heaton would need legal recognition from neighboring countries, the United Nations or other groups to have actual political control of the land.

Heaton, who ran for Congress out of Virginia’s 9th district in 2012 and lost, plans to reach out to the African Union for assistance in formally establishing the Kingdom of North Sudan and said that he is confident they will welcome him. Representatives from the Egyptian and Sudanese embassies in Washington did not respond to requests for comment Saturday.

Bir Tawil, or The Kingdom of North Sudan, is all desert, but Heaton plans to turn it into an agricultural area, which should please both Egypt and Sudan. Read about Heaton’s journey to his new kingdom at the Washington Post. -via Time

(Image courtesy of Jeremiah Heaton)

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