King Bob the Bald of Redonda is dead, Long Live King Michael the Grey
Today, Friday 11th December 2009 at 0730 the throne of Redonda was claimed by Michael Howorth. He flew out to his new kingdom aboard his helicopter to raise his standard on the island. He returned to the royal super yacht Allure Shadow aboard Airfarce One with his new Queen Frances Howorth and his Viceroy John Duffy.
King Michael the Grey will be crowned this evening at a 1700 at Fort Charlotte on the island of Antigua. The ceremony will be officiated by Trevor, Archbishop of Redonda, and attended by his Queen, his Viceroy, Knights of the Realm and other VIPs.
In August 2009 the former King of Redonda, Bob the Bald, died peacefully with his family in Canada. He left in the bilges of his flagship, The Great Peter, a sea chest containing water damaged papers including documents of succession. These named Michael Howorth as his heir.
The Caribbean island of Redonda is located about 30 miles to the south west of Antigua and 13 miles north west of the volcanic island of Montserrat. It is a precipitous and somewhat forbidding island with near-on sheer cliffs rising to a summit of nearly one thousand feet.
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 it come into British possession in the 1860s and was mined for phosphate deposits. Mining ceased during the First World War and the island has been uninhabited since and seldom visited.
The Kingdom has become known around the world for its curious catalogue of whimsical ‘Royal Characters’ created by famous literary figures. There have over the years been several ‘Kings’ of Redonda and numerous pretenders.
It all started in 1865, when, allegedly, a Montserratian ship-owner, Matthew Dowdy Shiel, a man apparently descended from a long line of Irish Kings, or so he said, decided to crown his son, Matthew, a king with the help of William Walrond Jackson the then Bishop of Antigua.
Matthew Shiel claimed to be King Felipe of Redonda. Later, he became well known as a science fiction writer and that is where the literary connection has its foundation. The ‘title’ of King is not hereditary and appears to have been passed from one incumbent to another as a result of literary connections. Kings in the past have included the Irish poet, John Gawsworth, who took the title King Juan I.
King Michael the Grey is a freelance travel journalist who specialises in super yachts, yachting, boutique cruises, ocean side resorts and spas. He is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.