- Nota Bene: this article is about the Kingdom of Redonda with official recognition of the Micronational Professional Registry organisation. For information about the Wikipedia's unrecognised kingdoms of Redonda, please go to this link.
The Kingdom of Redonda is structured since 1865 as an absolute monarchy, and is connected with the island of Redonda, an unpopulated Caribbean island now part of Antigua and Barbuda. It lies 54 km or 33 miles WSW of the main island, Antigua, and can be seen from there. It is an extinct volcano steeply protruding from the sea.
Christopher Columbus discovered Redonda on 11 November 1493 during his second journey, claimed it for the Spanish crown and named it Santa Maria la Redonda, but did not land on it.
The history of the kingdom begins in 1865 when Matthew Shiell Dowdy, a rich Irishman resident of Montserrat, bought the island, and with the tacit consent from Victoria, Queen of England, became the first King of Redonda.
In 1880 the crown passed to the son, Matthew Philipps Shiell, who was incoronated by the Methodist Bishop of Antigua with the name of Felipe I. He reigned until 1947.
Felipe became a famous writer, and conceded many titles, especially for cultural and literary merits. His successor was John Gawsworth, who under the name of King Juan I was monarch of the island until 1967.
It is at this point that Redonda's history gets complicated. In return for economic benefits, towards the end of his life King Juan I promised privileges and rights to the kingdom to several people. This has generated much confusion, and several pretenders to the throne of the Kingdom of Redonda.
Today the crown of the Kingdom of Redonda lies in the hands of Giancarlo Ezio Noferi, who reigns since 1967 under the name of Giancarlo Ezio I of Montedoglio. Giancarlo Ezio I of Montedoglio became the successor of King Juan I when the monarch, after creating much confusion, decided to enlist the help of an old English Lord, who became regent when King Juan I became ill. It was this English Lord who chose as successor a Florentine gentleman who because of his birth, family, social rank, and court presence, was considered fit for the investiture.
From 1967 Giancarlo Ezio I of Montedoglio, physician, anthropologist, writer, and Vicar General of the Order of the Templars of San Salvatore al Monte (Ordo Equestris Militiae Templi D.V.) is the sovereign of "Santa Maria la Redonda". In contrast to the other pretenders to the title of King of Redonda, HRH Giancarlo Ezio I of Montedoglio also enjoys the formal recognition of his role from the Micronational Professional Registry, since this legitimate Kingdom of Redonda is a member nation of the organisation.
Because of current claims, the Kingdom of Redonda lacks any territorial consistency, but its significance, in the words of HRH Giancarlo Ezio I, resides not in the exercise of territorial power and privilege, but in the absolute value of freedom, in the defense of the Christian roots of Western culture, in recognition of the self-determination of all peoples, and in the social solidarity demonstrated towards those who are less fortunate.
In 1995 HRH Giancarlo Ezio I purchased a small parcel on the hills of Pisa, Italy, which is today the official Poggio al Vento, the summer residence of the sovereign, and the seat of the Crown Council and the Heraldic College. Here the court comes together with diplomatic, political, and institutional representatives of states and micronations with which the Kingdom of Redonda has official relations.
In the Kingdom's charitable works, great emphasis is placed on projects with the Bolivian Chaco tribe, work which now benefits from the on-site presence of Franciscan monks, and the generosity of many benefactors. Many educational and sanitation projects have been completed by the Kingdom of Redonda, and in the future the construction of aqueducts and wells will take place as well.