A father in Virginia has laid claim to a piece of land in Africa after promising his daughter she could be an actual princess.
Last month Jeremiah Heaton travelled to a sandy expanse along the Sudanese border to transform what the people there call Bir Tawil into the “Kingdom of North Sudan.”
It all started when his daughter Emily asked her father whether she could be a real princess. He told her yes, but then of course had to follow through.
Naturally, as any good father would, Heaton spent weeks searching for the perfect piece of unclaimed land to make a kingdom. When he finally found Bir Tawil – which he said a border dispute between Sudan and Egypt resulted in the territory being left unclaimed – he made the journey to plant a flag his children had designed, proclaiming himself as king and his daughter as princess on her seventh birthday.
According to experts, Heaton would need legal recognition from neighbouring countries, the United Nations or other groups to have actual political control of the land.
But he believes his claim to the land is legit. After all, he planted a flag in it! And that’s how many countries were claimed, never mind the whole imperialism thing. He plans to contact the African Union for assistance in formally establishing his “Kingdom of North Sudan” and believes they will welcome him.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that parents are willing to do anything for their children. But the majority of them know where to draw the line.
It’s wonderful for parents to take an interest in their child’s life and want to give them whatever they need (keyword: need. Not want).
But most fathers would simply build a castle out of blankets and cushions before they’d plant a flag in an unclaimed territory.
The lengths some parents will go to in an attempt to make their children happy nowadays amazes and puzzles me.
Growing up, there was a limit on extravagance (if you could even call it that) in my family for special occasions – only one birthday present and a $50 maximum on Christmas presents.
There’s more important things to focus on than giving your child something they’ll be bored with in a couple weeks.
If your daughter wants to be a princess, buy her a cheap plastic tiara, put her in an old flower girl dress and give her a big cardboard box and some markers. Hours of amusement and use of imagination will likely ensue.
What I don’t recommend is flying halfway around the world to show her that no matter how far-fetched her wishes are, she’ll always get what she wants – even if it means taking what doesn’t really belong to her.
When I was younger, I wanted a pony like Rob Ford wants a redo of the past year of his life. My mom told me I could have one when I turned 14 and could look after it myself. By the time I was 12, I was over ponies.
I’m willing to bet young Emily will outgrow her princess fantasy by that age, too.
Let’s not forget the fact this father also proclaimed himself to be the king of the land. Interesting.
I wonder what the little princess will be getting for her eighth birthday.