Joan Bates, aka Princess Joan of Sealand, was born in Aldershot barracks to RSM Royal Artillery, Albert Collins, and his wife, Elizabeth. Widow of Roy Bates, aka Prince Roy of Sealand, she was a natural beauty who lovingly devoted her life to her husband. A former carnival queen and model, Joan led quite a high profile life alongside her husband, Roy. Joan became happily engulfed by the offshore pirate radio phenomena in the early 1960's, helping to establish the popular 'Radio Essex'. Joan and her family then went on to form their own sovereign state, the Principality of Sealand, on a wartime fortress in the North Sea in the late 60's. Roy declared the independence of Sealand on Joan's birthday, and with it her title of Princess, in a hugely romantic gesture on 2nd September 1967.