Two Decades as King of Redonda
Our Flag of Redonda
was hoisted on 26th October 2009, celebrating the Twentieth
Anniversary of William L Gates as Leo, fifth King of Redonda.
To mark this occasion King Leo and Queen Josephine had visited, earlier
in the year, the Leeward Isles in the Caribbean. Having flown
to Barbados, they joined the ship “Spirit of Adventure”, on the
cruise entitled “In the Wake of Great Explorers”.
the islands of Dominica, St Barthelemy, Tortola and Virgin Gorda, before
sailing to Nevis and catching their first glimpse of Redonda.
King Leo duly signed the visitors book on Nevis at Hamilton House Museum,
before stopping at the Nelson Museum. This tour round the different
islands gave an insight into the lives of local people. King Leo
then spent an hour viewing Redonda, as he cruised from Nevis to Antigua,
and gained a further overhead sighting of the guano-covered island of
Redonda, when taking a helicopter trip over Montserrat.
then returned to England, crossing the Atlantic by ship, (a journey
previously encountered by the young MP Shiel in the 19th
century), before flying home from Tenerife. Since twice having
postponed the visit, this was a truly memorable trip to the Caribbean
for King Leo and Queen Josephine. Floreat Redonda!
Kings of Redonda Revealed
John Wynne-Tyson admits to being an impostor!!
On 22nd May 2007, BBC Radio 4 at 11.00am broadcast the programme,
the island with too
many Kings”. It was compiled
by Roger Dobson, and purported to explore the theory that there were
currently nine potential monarchs of Redonda.
King Leo was
invited to take part, but unfortunately had to withdraw the day before
the interview, due to ill health. A member of the Realm kindly
offered his professional services, but these were declined in favour
of a voice-over from a previous filmed recording of His Majesty for
a BBC 1 programme, “Inside Out” East, transmitted on 30th
In the course
of the programme, Mr Wynne-Tyson finally admitted to the media that
John Gawsworth (King Juan I), did indeed pass the Title Deeds of the
Kingship on to John Roberts, (who took the Title of King Juan II).
Also he was introduced as Literary Executor for Gawsworth, but chose
not to mention that the post was held jointly with Dr Iain Fletcher.
However, the descent of the Title of Kingship was endorsed by Professor
A Freeman, an original member of John Gawsworth’s court, who affirmed
that the present holder of the Title, King Leo, owned all the relevant
documents of the succession. (These papers, which date back to
MP Shiel, and are in the hands of King Leo’s solicitors, have never
been challenged.) This uncomfortable fact, which was undisputed,
left Javier Marias and Bob Williamson, to talk their way through the
programme, both having supposedly inherited the Kingship from John Wynne-Tyson.
A recording of this programme has been placed in the Royal Redondan
of Redonda” – A Definitive History of the Island Kingdom of Santa
Maria la Redonda in the West Indies.
A copy of this
publication, compiled in 2004, has been deposited at the British Library.
Friday, 22 January 2010