I get it: you have kids and you love them so much you just want to give them the world, or whatever comes closest to it. But sometimes giving your kids whatever they want in life comes at a price. In the case of Virginia dad Jeremiah Heaton, that meant traveling halfway across the world to Egypt in search of an 800 sq. ft. plot of unclaimed land along the Sudanese border and decreeing it his own. Or, rather, his daughter Emily’s. That’s Princess Emily, to you. See, then six-year-old Emily really wanted to be a princess and instead of just buying her a princess costume or throwing her a princess-themed birthday party or, I dunno, telling her that being a princess is not all it’s cracked up to be, Heaton decided his little girl should not be denied her title. Heaton began with an online search of unclaimed lands around the world and then in June, he made the trek to Egypt where, with the permission of authorities, he visited the unclaimed parcel of land known to locals as Bir Tawil and (unofficially) declared it hers. On June 16, Emily’s 7th birthday, Heaton wrote on Facebook:
“Therefore, so be it proclaimed on June 16, 2014, Emily’s 7th birthday, that Bir Tawil shall be forever known as the Kingdom of North Sudan. The Kingdom is established as a sovereign monarchy with myself as the head of state; with Emily becoming an actual Princess. I kindly request that when you see Emily, to address her by official title, Princess Emily. Each time she hears this title she will be reminded of my love and the lengths I will go to fulfill her every wish. Thank you in advance for being a good sport in supporting my humble request of you.”
Lest you think this is all in good fun and not actually serious, Heaton plans to pursue actual political control of his self-described kingdom by gaining permission from neighboring countries and/or the United Nations. So his little American girl can be a Princess of an African nation. I CANNOT.
Allow me to piss all over this Daddy’s Little Princess performance with some real talk: THIS IS GROSS. From a parenting perspective, this seems like a recipe for a pain in the ass teenage disaster. But whatever, that’s his problem. The real issue here is of some white, American dude swooping into Africa and declaring land that is unclaimed — because it is DISPUTED, by the way — so his daughter back home can tell all her friends to address her as “Princess.” I don’t believe for a second this will actually become legal, by the way, but I’m disgusted enough by the fawning, “Oh how cute, he loves his daughter SO MUCH!” coverage that I feel the need to weigh in a with a HELL NO. This is colonialism wrapped up with a spoiled rotten bow. Ugh. [Good Morning America]