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Ever heard of Prince Renato the Just?

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Ever heard of Prince Renato the Just?

Post by Your Mom on Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:51 pm

In his own words:

My father wasn’t a king, he was a taxi driver, but I am a prince – Prince Renato II, of the country Pontinha, an island fort on Funchal harbour. It’s in Madeira, Portugal, where I grew up. It was discovered in 1419; Captain James Cook has been here, and there are paintings of his visit.

In 1903, the Portuguese government didn’t have enough money to build a harbour port, so the king sold the land to a wealthy British family, the Blandys, who make Madeira wine. Fourteen years ago the family decided to sell it for just €25,000 (£19,500). It was of no use to them. But nobody else wanted to buy it either. I met Blandy at a party, and he told me about Pontinha. He asked if I’d like to buy the island. Of course I said yes, but I have no money – I am just an art teacher.

I tried to find some business partners, but they all thought I was crazy to want to buy what is essentially a large rock: it has a small cave, a platform on top, and no electricity or running water. So I sold some of my possessions, put my savings together and bought it. Of course, my wife, my family, my friends – they all thought I was mad.

When the King of Portugal originally sold the island in 1903, he and all the governors signed a document, selling all the “possessions and the dominions” of the island. It means I can do what I want with it – I could start a restaurant, or a cinema, but nobody thought that someone would want to start a country. So that’s what I did: I decided that this would no longer be just a rocky outcrop on the port of Funchal, it would be my island, about the size of a one-bedroom house.

When I bought it, I went to speak to the governor of Madeira. I introduced myself and explained that I was a Madeiran citizen and was also now the ruler of his neighbour state. He immediately asked to buy my island. Of course, I said no. He said that unless I sold it back to the state, he wouldn’t let me connect to any electricity. So now, as long as I don’t cause any trouble (for instance, trying to charge cruise ships that dock here) they will leave me alone. I have a solar panel and a small windmill, and maybe in the future I’ll be able to generate power from the ocean around Pontinha. I am a pacifist, and I don’t need any money.

I have both a Portuguese passport and a passport for Pontinha (where my passport number is 0001). There are four citizens: me, my wife, my son and my daughter. I am the police, the gardener, everything. I am whatever I want to be – that’s the dream, isn’t it? If I decide I want to have a national song, I can choose it, and I can change it any time. The same with my flag – it could be blue today, red tomorrow. Of course, my power is only absolute here, where I am the true sovereign.

The Portuguese gastronomic speciality is bacalhau. But we are running out of cod in our oceans now, and we buy it from another country. So my gastronomy, my country’s speciality, is takeaway.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/14/experience-i-founded-my-own-country

He explains that he decided to found his own country because he wants to be free; who doesn't want that? And who hasn't dreamed of having their own island where you make your own rules? I know I have on more than one occasion!
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Re: Ever heard of Prince Renato the Just?

Post by Sarah522 on Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:41 pm

Dang! When you get your island, will you get it big enough so that I can come live there too, yet go to the other side of the island when we get on each others' nerves?

Please?
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Re: Ever heard of Prince Renato the Just?

Post by Your Mom on Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:23 am

There's some amazing islands for sale here in Brazil, but I somehow doubt I'll ever have a few spare million to be able to afford one. But, you can always think outside the box like this guy did in Mexico.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2825071/British-DIY-Robinson-Crusoe-builds-floating-paradise-150-000-recycled-bottles.html wrote:

No man is an island: British DIY Robinson Crusoe builds his own floating paradise off the coast of Mexico out of 150,000 recycled bottles – and now he's found his Girl Friday!

Richart Sowa, 61, spent seven years building a free-floating eco-paradise
Joyxee Island near Cancun, Mexico, has a three-storey house and hot tub
But the artist said he wanted to share his sanctuary with a soul-mate
He met model Jodi Bowlin on Facebook and asked her to live with him
She added a woman's touch and encouraged artist to make improvements



He spent the past seven years carefully constructing a floating eco-paradise - complete with a hot tub and Internet connection - out of 150,000 recycled bottles.
Despite being 30-yards from the shore and having a base made from air-filled plastic bottles, wood pallets and sand, Mr Sowa insists his island has all the mod-cons a lady could want.

The three-storey house on the island boasts, two bedrooms, a hot tub, three shell showers, a kitchen and working Internet.

It is surrounded by palm trees, mangroves, fruit trees and edible herbs and plants, which all grow from the sand and soil of the hand-made island.
Jodi Bowlin was a successful model in Japan and she graced the covers of several magazines
+8

Jodi Bowlin was a successful model in Japan and she graced the covers of several magazines

A 100ft-long umbilical cord connects the island to the shore and provides solar generated electricity, water and internet.

'My plan is to become self-sufficient, I am a vegetarian and have many plants growing on the Island which I eat, but for more variety I go by bicycle to the nearby local shop,' said Mr Sowa.

'I have a ferry I also made from plastic bottles which can carry up to eight people to and from the shore.





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Re: Ever heard of Prince Renato the Just?

Post by Sarah522 on Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:52 pm

Wow. No job, no bills, no stress. Just leisure in the sun. Good for him.
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Re: Ever heard of Prince Renato the Just?

Post by Your Mom on Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:28 pm

Sarah522 wrote:Wow.  No job, no bills, no stress.  Just leisure in the sun.  Good for him.  

Sounds perfect to me.

His first Island, however, was destroyed by a Hurricane! affraid
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