There are such things called micronations – not to be confused with microstates, as the former is nothing but a realized concept without the justification nor the recognition as an official entity. Microstates, most notably Vatican City or San Marino, are entitled to their own autonomy.
One of the oldest surviving micronations, and definitely the ace of its kind within Australia, Hutt River was one of those off-the-road destinations to go if you had spare time traveling Western Australia.
With its rich history compiled with incidents of declaring war with Australia, selling ‘visas’ for a paltry sum of $2.5, the self-declared “princedom” gave an insane whiff of whim in your itinerary.
However, all that will be bygones, as even Hutt River Principality could not avoid the devastating impact of Covid-19. Egged on by the taxation authorities of Australia without the necessary tourism income to sustain its ‘independence’, Hutt River has been officially disbanded by the incumbent Prince Graeme Casley, son of late founder Leonard.
Leonard Casley set up the whole idea of a micronation back in 1970, when he seceded from Australia for his own kingdom.
In its history, Hutt River issued visas, driver’s licenses, passports, currency and stamps.Not to mention 13 offices on diplomatic mission over 10 different countries. The entire property exceeded twice the size of Macau, with less than 30 within its borderline.
The reason of secession is not much in grandeur, as Prince Leonard had qualms with Australian authorities over farming regulations, but Hutt River turned out as a very queer tourist attraction worth a visit. The Internet was a key factor in the booming business the entity had over the last 15 years.
That factor has been totally banished by the Covid-19 pandemic, drying up all the resources they had.However, the legacy will live on, as Australia boasts of the highest number of these micronations, declaring self-autonomy and persistence as their own living history.
Prince Graeme, in his disbandment, has said that he’s “very proud” of what his prior prince had achieved over 50 years of self-sustenance.
“I have so many wonderful memories of living here (in the principality),” he said. “Once mum passed away (in 2013) I spent five years full time working alongside my father and it was more than just a father-son relationship we had a very deep working relationship. What he created here over the last 50 years is amazing, it’s really a unique story that people around the world have read about, and it won’t just be forgotten about now.”
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