21st Feb 2017 10:28am | By Editor
Ever heard of the Principality of Hutt River?
Nope - neither have we but it exists, it even declared war on Australia in 1977 and is located just 500km north of Perth...and it has a new 'monarch'.
45 years ago, a 18,500 acre farm was declared an independent country after a dispute with the then government over quotas of wheat. Thus the Principality of Hutt River was born and its then 'monarch' Prince Leonard.
The micronation created its own laws, taxes, currency, stamps and passports and is governed by five ministers. Tourists arrive and pay AU$4 for a visa and in return have a personal tour. Recently, the tiny 'nation' has been slammed with a AU$2.6m tax bill due on earnings from tourism - although the new Prince Graeme I is contesting this. A previous writ issued in 1977 caused the Principality to briefly declare war on Australia...
The micronation is larger in size than others such as the Vatican and Nauru however is not recognised by governments around the world.
Prince Graeme I succeeds his 92 year old father, Prince Leonard who abdicated due to ill health. PM Malcolm Turnbull was invited to the ceremony but politely declined.