Micronations. There are a bunch of them around the world – hobbyist micronations not intended as legitimate entities, fraudulent ones selling off fake passports, and the precious few that actually want to be taken seriously.
The Hutt River Principality (formerly ‘province’), despite seemingly being named after an interstellar space-slug gangster, is one of the former.
From Farmboy to Prince
Located in Western Australia, the Hutt River Principality got its start on April 21st, 1970. The then-commoner Leonard Casley was but a simple wheat farmer, and had 4,000 hectares of wheat to shift. The Western Australian government, being a total bag of dicks, told Leonard that he could only sell one tenth of that amount. Leonard did what any reasonable person would do in this situation: he seceded from Australia and established his very own sovereign nation.
Leonard was just getting going. I mean, he was head of his own nation now. He could do whatever the fuck he wanted. So naturally, he crowned himself “His Majesty Prince Leonard I of Hutt”. His Majesty didn’t just do this for the pimpin’ title; he did it because of a 15th century English law that protected kings and their agents from charges of treason. You might be thinking that there are a couple of issues with this strategy – notably that Australia is not England and Leonard was not a king – but that’s because you’re not a goddamn prince, so sit down and shut the fuck up whilst regal folks is talking.
Unfortunately for Prince Leonard, the government of Western Australia hadn’t brushed up on their 15th-century parliamentary acts, and they successfully prosecuted His Majesty for tax evasion.
It’s War, Then
Undeterred, Prince Leonard took his time marshalling his 30-strong population. When the time was ripe, His Majesty decided it was time for his enemies to pay for their hubris. On December 2nd, 1977 (coincidence?), the Hutt River Principality declared war on the Commonwealth of Australia.
The Hutt-Australia War, as it was forever enshrined in the history books, is notable for a combined total of zero battles fought. Unsubstantiated reports suggest that the Australian Armed Forces simply refused to take up arms against the majesty of royalty. Thus sated by his bloodless victory, Prince Leonard deigned to end hostilities, and Australia breathed a collective sigh of relief.
His Majesty also informed the plebeian Australians that, per the Geneva Convention of 1949, a nation undefeated in war is a nation deserving of sovereign status. The government of Western Australia continued to ignore Leonard, possibly a bit miffed about losing the war.
Despite his glorious victory and his unparalleled mastery of legal scholarship, the government of Western Australia repeatedly prosecuted Prince Leonard for non-payment of tax. The current total ‘owed’ by Prince Leonard stands in the region of 2.7 million AUD. His Majesty has, of course, protested this, only to have his protestations dismissed by the anti-royalist scum as ‘fatuous, frivolous and vexatious’. That’s right – unable to best Leonard on the battlefield, the Aussies had to resort to the fancy equivalent of “you’re a stupid doo-doo head”.
The Hutt River Today
Leonard continued to stand strong until 2017, when he abdicated. In another middle finger to tradition, Leonard did not appoint his eldest son to succeed him, but his youngest.
Despite the very best efforts of Western Australia to keep the Hutt River Principality down, it’s still going strong today. His Majesty Prince Graeme, first of his name, protector of the river and defier of the bogans, is more than ready to welcome any foreigners wishing to visit his glorious country. And maybe even flog you some passports or stamps or something.
You can visit the official, not-looking-like-a-1995-geocities-page official Hutt River website here.
Young Pioneer Tours may not be able to take you to the Hutt River Principality, but they can take you on a tour of some other unrecognized countries — head here to take a look!