THESE vintage images capture events on the principality of Sealand.

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The offshore Naval platform, also known as Roughs Tower, was built to protect the north Essex coast, at Harwich, from German invasion in 1941.

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But after the war it was deserted, until 50 years ago when Southend's Roy Bates turned it into Sealand and moved his family in.

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Attempts by the Royal Navy to remove him failed when a court ruled Sealand was not part of England or any other nation.

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The family survived a coup in 1978 when Mr Bates’ son Michael was taken hostage and released weeks later.

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In happier times, couple Gordon Wilkinson and Karen Huxtable got married on Sealand, seen here in our archive images.

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