Dads say a lot of things to have an easy life and, let’s be honest, they don’t always mean them. Think of all those promises of ponies and sparkly Tammy Girl outfits if we worked really hard at school that never quite materialised. Sigh.
But one dad from America has gone to great lengths to come good on his promise to his little princess.
Jeremiah Heaton from Virginia has claimed a piece of land between Egypt and Sudan after telling his 7-year-old daughter, Emily, who sleeps in a custom-made castle bed at night (naturally), that he would one day make her an actual princess.
The enterprising dad took the kingdom, otherwise known as Bir Tawil, an 800 square mile stretch of desert in northeastern Africa, following an online search for unclaimed areas of land sparked by his promise to his little girl (known from now on as Princess Emily).
Although several attempts to claim the area have been made online, Mr Heaton feels his stands the most chance of success as he actually travelled to the area in June and planted a flag in the ground – the flag featured a family crest designed by his three children (so totally legit, no?)
The new royal family (Princess Emily plus her two brothers, Princes Justin and Caleb), have decided to name their land the Kingdom of North Sudan and hope to ‘turn North Sudan into an agricultural hub for the area’, says their dad.
Mr Heaton now just needs to get Sudan and Egypt to recognize his Kingdom of North Sudan. Simple.
Although he says he’s confident in his claim, experts are less convinced.
Shelia Carapico, professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond, told the Telegraph that ‘it was not plausible for someone to plant a flag and say they have political control over the land without legal recognition from neighboring countries, the United Nations or other groups.’
She adds that although no one lives there, it is still entirely conceivable that the piece of land is already owned and could already be part of a political nation.
And, you know, this is sort of how wars start.
The Heatons are not easily deterred though. Emily now wears a crown wherever she goes, while the royal letterhead is already on order.
And her proud dad says that whatever happens, he has achieved his goal, to follow through on the promise he made his daughter. We can’t help thinking a pony would have been a lot less hassle.