The Principality of Hutt River was founded in 1970 by the farmer Leonard Casley in Australia, not far from the city of Perth. From that time onwards, Casley has called himself "His Royal Highness Prince Leonard" and converted his homestead into the capital of the new country.
The Principality of Hutt River
After a preceding dispute regarding wheat production quotas, the wheat farmer George Casley announced his intention of secession in writing by letter to the ruling Prime Minister of the time. He declared his farm an independent country and his homestead its capital.
The independence of the principality is still disputed today, but Prince Leonard nevertheless continues to take measures to get his country recognized an independent state by the United Nations. According to international law, a state first exists when it has a national territory, a national population, and its own national state authority. At the time it was founded, the Principality of Hutt River was lacking the last, which resulted in Prince Leonard forming the Royal Hutt River Defence Force (RHRDF) in 1988. The RHRDF, however, is much more symbolic in nature than active: in order to enforce its autonomy, Hutt River declared war on Australia but never took to arms. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that the Australian government ignored this declaration of war – as it does the very establishment of Hutt River.
Although Hutt River is still not recognized as a sovereign nation, Prince Leonard has nevertheless achieved a lot in the years of his reign. Not only has he received a great deal of media attention, the 75-square-kilometer-large territory has also caught the eye of many tourists. In fact, tourism and (just like before) the production of wheat are the main source of income for the principality.
Prince Leonard has also managed, by court decision, to get the Australian post office to recognize the validity of, among other things, Hutt River's own postage stamps. And although the nation is not officially recognized as one, it also no longer officially belongs to Australia, which is why Casley no longer has to pay any taxes.
The 23 inhabitants of Hutt Rivers are the friends and family of Casley. In addition, there are approx. another 13,000 "overseas citizenships" and a corresponding passport; both of which are, on the one hand, a show of support and, on the other, a souvenir of sorts. Prince Leonard has reported with pride that a number of these citizens have already crossed international borders of some UN nations with Hutt River passports. The main concern of the Principality of Hutt River is its state autonomy and, with that, independence from patronizing Australia.Become an online citizen