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Redonda (Antigua and Barbuda)

Last modified: 2021-02-20 by rob raeside
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Kingdom of Redonda

In June 1865 Matthew Dowdy Shiel (s.a.), an Irish merchant in Montserrat dedicated to shipping, was on the island of Redonda, which that at that time did not belong to any country. In celebration of the birth of his son, and with certain influence of the abundance of the alcohol, Matthew Shiel proclaimed the island for himself as a kingdom, and himself as King Matthew I. Seven years later Britain took possession of the island ignoring the claim of Shiel. Following the British annexation, several dubious events occurred. Matthew abdicated on 21 Jul 1880 in favor of his son, Philippe Shiel (Matthew Phipps Shiel) (b. 1865 - d. 1947), who was proclaimed king Felipe; he died 17 Feb 1947, leaving "the succession" - by testament to his literary adviser, the poet John Gawsworth (= Terence Ian Fytton Armstrong) as Juan I (b. 1912 - d. 1970). Juan I tried to sell the island to the Swedish royal family but was prevented by Britain. After the death of Juan I on 23 Sep 1970, the crown was demanded by Jon Wynne-Tyson (Juan II)(b. 1924) who claimed bestowed the kingship on him with the literary executorships by Gawsworth. Juan II reportedly transmitted the crown to Spanish writer Javier Marías (Xavier I)(b. 1951) on 6 Jul 1997. However, in 1984 the "nobility" recognized Cedric Boston (Cedric I)(b. 1960) as king. Juan II abdicated in favor of history professor William Leonard Gates (Leo V) on the 26 Oct 1989. At the moment there are as many as nine pretenders to "the throne" of Redonda, among them Bob Glen Williamson (Robert I "the Bald")(b. 19.. - d. 2009) a successor of Juan II, who assumes he inherited the "kingdom" on the death of Juan II. Robert I supposedly "acceded" to the throne in 1997 dying on 27 Aug 2009, which led to Michael J. Howorth (Michael the Grey)(b. 1949) to claim the crown on 11 Dec 2009. And in 1993 Matthew Phipps Shiel's granddaughter, Lancashire housewife Margaret Parry (f)(b. c.1954), came to the fore and was hailed as "Queen Maggie" of Redonda by various newspapers.

Source: by Ben Cahoon

List of Kings
- Matthew Dowdy Shiel, 1865–1880
- Matthew Phipps Shiel, 1880–1947 (styled as King Felipe I)
- John Gawsworth, 1947–1967 or 1970 (styled as King Juan I)

- Arthur John Roberts, 1967–1989 (styled as King Juan II)
-> William Leonard Gates, 1989–2019 (styled as King Leo)
-> and since 2019 his wife, Queen Josephine

- Jon Wynne-Tyson, 1970–1997 (styled as King Juan II)
-> Javier Marías, 1997– (styled as King Xavier)

- Bob Williamson, 2000–2009 (styled as King Bob the Bald)
-> Michael Howorth 2009– (styled as King Michael the Grey)

Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

1949 Flag

image by Antonio Martins, 18 February 2010

The first flag was adopted by John I in 1949.
Jaume Ollé, 28 October 2000

Flag of Jon Wynne-Tyson (King Juan II) - 1980

image by Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

Green-brown-blue, with rather light shades: light olive green-medium brown-light blue.
Source: picture on the website of King Xavier:
Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

At, we can read that one of the claimants tot the Redonda crown, King Robert the Bald, died 27 August 2009. He was succeeded by King Michael the Grey, who can be seen with the Blue-Green-Maroon flag (and crown, cape and shorts).
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 14 January 2010

Flag of Robert the Bald - 1997

image by Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

In 1997 royal standard and (de facto) state flag was changed by H.M. King Robert the Bald. The design was changed and Coat of Arms added.
Jaume Ollé, 28 October 2000

The flag is white-light blue-dark brown-dark green-white. The coat of arms is at the hoist.
Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

King Leo's Flag

image by Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

Image based on
Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

Redonda is a desert islet of 1.6 square km (only 1.3 according to Encyclopaedia Universalis) belonging to Antigua-and-Barbuda.
The Kingdom of Redonda was proclaimed on July 1865 by the Irish negotiant Matthew Dowdy Shiel from Montserrat. He celebrated on Redonda with a group of friends the birth of his first son (and his ninth child). Rum helped him to proclaim himself King of Redonda. The King abdicated on 21 July 1880 and his son Matthew Philip was crowned as King Felipe by the bishop of Antigua. The young King moved to London where he became a successful novelist, and never saw again Redonda. When he died in 1947, the young poet John Gawsworth became Juan I of Redonda and created an "intellectual aristocracy", giving noble titles to famous artists such as Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, Dorothy Sayers and Dirk Bogarde. Juan I rapidly bankrupted (once again because of alcoholic beverages) and tried to sell Redonda to a member of the Swedish royal family, the transaction being cancelled by the British authorities. He finally gave the title to Juan II (Artur John Robert), who himself gave him to the current King Leo V, the history teacher William Leonard Gates. The Court lives in exile in London and meets in the Fitzroy Tavern, Guinness being the official beverage of the Court. The Kingdom release stamps, The Times of Redonda (official gazette). The motto is 'Floreat Redonda!' (May Redonda flourishes!)
There are at least five competitors to Leo V, including Robert I who wants to use the rock as a naturists' camp and an American who wants to proclaim the Republic.
The flag is horizontally divided blue-white-blue (2:1:2) with a golden crown in the upper blue stripe.
Source: Bruno Fuligni in Franciae Vexilla #16/62 [vfr], December 1999.
Ivan Sache , 19 December 1999

The flag reported by Vexilla Francia is absolutely unknown to the current king. In a communication he describes the flag as very close to the one I reported (but order of stripes was changed three years ago by Decree of the king). He also explain about the name of the North point of the island, that is named Anton Gaudi Point, from the genial architect born in Reus.
Jaume Ollé, 23 October 2000

There are various pretenders for the kingdom of Redonda and that is why various flags exist. This flag is King Leo's flag.
Bruno Fuligni (author of "L’Etat c’est moi" [ful97]), 12 January 2004

Coat of Arms (?)

image by Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

The coat of arms are the arms of King Leo's line:
Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

Flag of Michael the Grey

image by Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

Dark colours as reported and drawn by by Antonio Martins-Tuvalkin.
Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

image by Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021

A drawing of the flag on the website of Michael the Grey ( has lighter colours.
Olivier Touzeau, 26 January 2021