20170219 GOUDA, THE NETHERLANDS - Today at 14:30, mister Ben Hegie has been presented the award of Noble Title of Baron of Sealand by his son Quintus Hegie at Museum Gouda, The Netherlands. Some family members and the museum guide witnessed this official 'birthday surprise' event, where Quintus and others have joined forces to award Ben to the noble status of Baron of Sealand. After a short ceremony including a formal speach, handover of state documents and listening to the national anthem of the Principality of Sealand, the inauguration was completed.
On the relaxing beats of Fettes Brot's "Echo" soundtrack - a music video that was recorded at the Principality of Sealand - the attendants had a moment to congratulate Ben with his newly awarded noble title. Finally, the tour guide through Museum Gouda continued, ending at the museum's archive display of the archeological finding of a molded sand stone sculpture by Ben, excavated during construction work back in 2004.
Baron Ben of Sealand is the father of Quintus. Ben enjoys his hobby of family research on the name Hegie, and he takes that hobby very seriously.
Over the past decennia, he has traced back the family history to the roots in Switzerland, hoping to find a noble bloodline. Using the forensic technology of DNA-matching, he is able to correctly identify present and past persons as parents or offspring within the Hegie family bloodline.
You can read more about his research on his genealogy website.
Sealand was founded as a sovereign Principality in 1967 in international waters, seven miles off the eastern shores of Britain.
The Principality is based on the former Roughs Tower, an offshore military platform located in the Northsea.
Left behind uninhabited and no longer used by the Brittisch Army after the second world war, Roy Bates took over the settlement and proclaimed state independence.
The Principality of Sealand is the longest existing micronation in the world, accepted but not officially recognized by other states.
The nation gives out noble titles like Lord, Baron and Count in return for deposits in the state treasury, for all who want to support the independence of the Principality.
Play the video to see the recording of the inauguration ceremony.
Dear mister Benjamin Simon Hegie,
It is my duty, on behalf of your Highness Michael von Sealand, Prince of Sealand, to present you with the award for the noble title of Baron von Sealand.
I'm entitled to execute this ceremony after your close kin made a financial contribution the state's treasury.
We are now here at Museum Gouda, in the city of Gouda, The Netherlands. This is a place filled with cultural historical artifacts, paintings of ancient glory and noble men. It is an excellent offshore location to the official state land of the Principality of Sealand in the Northsea.
We are joined by many family members and friends, to officially witness your inauguration to Baron von Sealand. So in a few moments, you may be called Baron Benjamin Simon Hegie von Sealand.
By accepting the noble title, you agree to defend the Principality's ideas and mission, as a Baron von Sealand, and you are bound to and obliged to abide to the Law of Sealand, which looks very similar to regular Britain jurisdiction.
As a proof of your noble title, I hereby give you an official certificate, signed by Prince Michael von Sealand, as well as a very handy identity card that you can carry around in your wallet. Finally, I'll hand you a copy of the book "Defending the Fort", containing the interesting story of how the micronation came to be and is still standing strong today.
[handover of official documents]
We will now play the national anthem of Sealand. All, please be silent.
[national anthem plays]
Ben, the Prince and Princess are pleased to welcome you to the Family of Nobilities.
All, hereby I present you:
Baron Benjamin Simon Hegie von Sealand