King of the Cocos Islands was a title, initially given by the press but later self-proclaimed, to John Clunies-Ross, a Scottish sea captain, and other members of his family.
He went to live on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in 1827. Queen Victoria granted the islands in perpetuity to the Clunies-Ross family in 1886. Thus, the title to the islands was claimed by his descendants, until 1978 when John Cecil Clunies-Ross sold the islands (under threat of expropriation) to the Commonwealth of Australia for £2.5m ($4.75m). The Commonwealth had already been administering the islands since 1955.