Paddy Roy Bates, the de facto ruler of Sealand, has died at the age of 90. Born in 1921, he joined the British Army at the outbreak of World War II. After the war he had a chain of butcher shops and was an estate agent; in the mid-1960s, he was involved in pirate radio. In 1967, he took over Rough Towers (an abandoned British fort in the North Sea) and rechristened it the Principality of Sealand, declaring independence from the UK. Many adventures followed, including run-ins with the British government and terrorist attacks. Bates passed away after suffering from Alzheimer's for several years.
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