This atoll was discovered in 1419. Some of its discoverers took refuge there before reaching the closest island, the island of Madeira. In 1903, the atoll was sold to a British citizen and Portugal lost the control and sovereignty of the island that appears contained in the Royal Edict, signed by King Carlos I of Portugal.
Almost one century later, in 1996, the Portuguese authorities showed their interest in reclaiming the island from its British owner; without a doubt, this action wasn’t successful. Afterwards, in 2000, the island was acquired by a Portuguese citizen. Since then, the new owner has received a lot of pressure on the part of the Portuguese government to sell the property and grant custody to the government.
This will be an illegal occupation by the Portuguese government; therefore, Prince Renato Barros has requested assistance from the United Nations and the international community in his legal struggle against the occupant. The letter with the Royal Edict of 1903 is deposited in London and was recognized by the Portuguese State in 2006.

The main objective of the Diplomatic Mission of the United Kingdom to the Principality Ilheu da Pontinha is to obtain recognition from the international community. This Principality was created by a royal order from King Carlos I of Portugal in 1903, who granted sovereignty to its owners of the “fort and the rock where it is kept”.
Another idea is to assist the campaign of His Royal Highness, Prince Renato Barros, to bring democracy to the International Fund Currency and, therefore, to create a much fairer bank system which benefits all people in the world and not just a small group.
To achieve these objectives, the Principalities officials have carried out a series of actions, from organizing media campaigns to increase public recognition of the Principality, passing on to lobbying for recognition before the Foreign Affairs Office and the Commonwealth of The United Kingdom, up to lobbying with foreign embassies accredited before the United Kingdom.
The Principality’s proposition is to use its growing global diplomatic network for protecting and promoting its interests and to create an international influence by the Principality on specific areas, with the objective of forming an Ilheu da Pontinha foreign policy that responds to its national interests.
In the near future, the Principality foresees continuing to strengthen its relations with Portugal, so as to contribute to the achievement of a mutually acceptable solution to the problem that the Principality Ilheu da Pontinha is facing.