Virginia man claims 'no man's land' in Africa for his daughter -

Virginia man claims 'no man's land' in Africa for his daughter


Virginia man claims 'no man's land' in Africa for his daughter

By Joyce Lupiani. CREATED Jul 15, 2014

Many little girls dream of being a princess, but very few of them actually have their dreams come true.

Such is not the case for 7-year-old Emily. Her father, 38-year-old Jeremiah Heaton of Virginia, explained in a Facebook post on June 16 how he wanted to make his daughter's dreams of being a princess come true.


So, that is what he did. He discovered that the eastern African region of Bir Tawil, a 796-square-mile piece of land between Egypt and Sudan, was terra nullius or "no man's land." That meant that he could claim it, according to a colonial-era law.

After obtaining permission from the Egyptian government, he traveled 14 hours to be there on his daughter's birthday to lay claim to their new kingdom, planting a flag designed by his family.

Heaton has renamed Bir Tawil. It is now being called The Kingdom of North Sudan and Heaton is requesting friends to formally address his daughter as "Princess Emily." Heaton signed the post as "King Heaton."

Heaton isn't just going to let his kingdom lie dormant though. He says that he wants to use the land to advance agricultural technology for the surrounding areas.

Heaton also said that he is not a "super-rich guy that spends a bunch of money on Sweet 16 parties." He just wanted to do something very special for his daughter.

Heaton currently works in mining. He ran unsuccessfully for Virginia's 9th District's Democratic nomination in 2012. He also has two sons, ages 10 and 12.

According to Time magazine, Heaton still needs to receive legal recognition from Egypt, Sudan, the United Nations and other political groups.

Joyce Lupiani

Joyce Lupiani

Email Twitter
Joyce Lupiani, who is based in Las Vegas at KTNV-TV Channel 13, is a contributor to