When Jeremiah Heaton’s daughter asked last winter if she could be a real princess, he said yes.
As it turns out, Heaton, who isn’t big on false promises, wasn’t just saying that to appease his daughter. He set out to make his daughter’s dream come true by laying claim to an unclaimed 800-square-mile section of African desert between Egypt and Sudan, according to the Washington Post.
“As a parent, you sometimes go down paths you never thought you would,” the Abingdon, Va., father told the Post.
Emily’s present for her 7th birthday on June 16 was the planting of a blue flag adorned with four stars and a crown (Heaton’s kids’ own design) on the land, declaring the “Kingdom of North Sudan,” along with the name of his daughter Emily as its princess and himself as the king.
“I wanted to show my kids I will literally go to the ends of the earth to make their wishes and dreams come true,” Heaton said.
Of course, Heaton would need to get legal recognition from nearby countries, the United Nations, etc., to actually have political control, the Post noted, according to Sheila Carapico, a professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond.
Nonetheless, Heaton has big plans for the land, including planning to get in with the African Union to establish his little kingdom.
“I founded the nation in love for my daughter,” Heaton said.
Read more at the Washington Post.