The King of Piel is to be crowned today


A tiny island off the Furness Peninsula is due to officially crown its new monarch today.

Aaron Sanderson will have beer poured over his head as part of his ‘coronation’ on 50-acre Piel Island.

The title of King or Queen of Piel is awarded to the owner of the Ship Inn.

BAE worker Mr Sanderson, 33, took over the island pub earlier this year.

He was chosen from a shortlist of over 30 candidates by Barrow Borough Council, which is Piel’s caretaker.

“I love this place, it’s a place I’ve been coming to for so long,” Mr Sanderson said.

“It’s beautiful. There’s just a different view everywhere you look.

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“It can be gray and gruesome but still beautiful at the same time.”

Former King of Piel Rod Scarr is due to lead today’s ceremony, which begins around 2pm.

“He’ll say a few words, there’s a bit of script to read,” Mr Sanderson said.

“He will sit me in the chair [the ‘throne’] and I’ll have beer poured over my head.”

Mr Sanderson said the summer had been “very busy”.

Aaron Sanderson is the owner of Piel’s Ship Inn pub

“We had great weather and I think that’s what really makes it,” he said.

“We had a lot of people come in, old faces and new faces.”

Veteran Piel tour guide John Murphy said The mail about the story behind the monarch tradition on a previous occasion.

On June 5, 1487, a force hoping to overthrow Henry VII landed on the island of Piel. The figurehead of this Yorkist rebellion was a 10-year-old boy named Lambert Simnel. Simnel was promoted as the rightful heir to the throne but was, in reality, of humble origin.

The army camped overnight on the island before heading back to London the next morning.

The rebellion is crushed at the Battle of Stoke Field, near Newark.

Simnel was spared, however, and, according to Mr Murphy, ended up working at the Tower of London before becoming a falconer.

In the 1800s, a group drinking at the Ship Inn was inspired by the story of this failed takeover and decided that Piel Island could have its own monarch.


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