Renato Barros is the ruling monarch of what must be the tiniest kingdom in the world. The 56-year-old, from Portugal, bought a very small island in Funchal Harbour, Madeira, for €25,000. He renamed it the Principality of the Pontinha, declared independence, and crowned himself as Prince Renato II. He is now waiting to learn whether the international community will recognise his new country.
Renato acknowledges that his family are not quite as enthusiastic about the project as he is, but there is reason behind his plans.
“My son is 27 and if I were his age, I would probably sell the island and buy a Ferrari. But I am 56 years old, and I want to enjoy everything I have. Pontinha means 'a point'. All change in the world begins with something very small, and this is my country – just a little point.”
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