123 - The Hutt River Principality: What, No Prince Jabba?
Some 75 sq. km of the state of Western Australia form Australia’s oldest micronation. The Hutt River Principality has about 20 permanent residents, but thanks to the fascination exerted by micronations – not to mention the possibilities for propagation of and affiliation to such projects offered by present-day media – it counts an additional 13.000 passport holders worldwide.
The Hutt River Principality, about 500 km north of Perth, declared its independence on 21 april 1970. On that day, the eccentric wheat farmer Leonard George Casley became Prince Leonard I. This was the result of a long-standing dispute with the Australian government over wheat quotas, and of the Treason Act of 1495, a British law Casley felt allowed him to secede from the Commonwealth of Australia (and remain loyal to Queen Elizabeth II).\n
I don’t know if and how the Principality manages to evade Australian wheat regulations, but Prince Leonard must have made a handsome amount of money off the stamps and coins issued by his micronation – as yet unrecognised by Australia or any other country.\n
The future seems secure for the Hutt River Principality: the Australian government has accepted it as a ‘business enterprise’, one which generates a fair amount of tourism, and with Crown Prince Ian waiting in the wings, the succession is guaranteed.\n
This map was scanned from p. 27 of the ‘Micronations. The Lonely Planet Guide To Home-Made Nations’, one of the most hilarious travel-guides out there. More information on the Hutt River Principality on its own website – which indicates that the Principality, although landlocked, has a navy of its own.\n
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