April 21

1970

The Hutt River Principality is declared

The Principality of Hutt River, situated 595 km north of Perth, Western Australia and about 75 square km in area, declared its independence from Australia under the rule of His Royal Highness Prince Leonard I of Hutt, born Leonard Casley. His wife was styled “Her Royal Highness Princess Shirley of Hutt, Dame of the Rose of Sharon.” His son, Prince Graeme, succeeded to the throne upon his father’s abdication at the age of 91.

The declaration of sovereignty arose over a dispute about a wheat production quota. When Casley got nowhere with his protests, he renounced Australian claims on his land and set up his own sovereign state which has issued its own stamps and coins for some decades. The principality has been engaged in legal wrangles with the Australian government which refuses to recognize its independence and Australian courts have declared that “the arguments advanced by the applicants [were] fatuous, frivolous and vexatious.” Nonetheless the Crasley dynasty maintains its claims and attracts thousands of tourists a year to its desolate domain.

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