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Meet the Royal Family of North Sudan

May 21, 2015

Many little girls wish that they could become a princess. This one’s father is trying to make her dream a reality.

Kingdom of North SudanA few winters back, Jeremiah Heaton was hanging out with his young daughter Emily in their Abingdon, Virginia, home. That’s when she asked him if she could one day become a princess much like the ones she had seen in movies like Frozen. Jeremiah told her he’d do what he could to make her request a reality.

After doing some research and contacting authorities, he traveled to southern Egypt and went looking for an unwanted 800 square mile patch of desert along its border with Sudan. On June 16, 2014, Emily’s seventh birthday, he raised a blue flag decorated with four stars and a crown and stuck it on top of a small hill. The homemade flag, which Jeremiah designed with his Emily and his two other children, served as his claim to the region. He declared the area the “Kingdom of North Sudan” and named Emily as its princess (and himself king).

Why haven’t any locals lay claim to the area called Bir Tawil? Because it’s almost totally useless and very rugged, and there isn’t even any water. Nevertheless, Jeremiah seems determined to make it a real country. He’s applied to the United Nations for what’s called “observer entity status” and has even established an embassy in Denmark.

After asking his kids what they wanted to do with their family’s new kingdom, they said that they wanted to plant a garden in the desert that would yield enough food to feed the entire world. Ever eager to appease his children, Jeremiah is currently in the process of trying to make their latest wish come true. He’s begun a crowd-funding campaign to fund a project in his new nation devoted to finding new ways to grow food. After all, if crops can be grown out there, they could be grown pretty much anywhere, right?

Donating to the project can earn contributors knighthoods in the kingdom and, if they cough up enough dough, their face on currency or their name on its international airport (if one is ever built).

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