I called into the Principality of the Hutt River. The area is an independent nation and not part of Australia. I’d heard about it through the Royal Enfield owners club, who the late princess Shirley was the patron of. I was looking forward to meeting Prince Leonard, the eccentric nutcase who stuck two fingers up to the government for a laugh and declared independence. I was slightly disappointed.
There are no eccentric nutcases here. Instead I found Prince Leonard (PL) to be a very intelligent, well spoken 88 year old. Sharp as a tack and very much with it. I had an extended guided tour by prince Graeme, minister for state and education. Prince Graham went through the history of the Principality, which came about because of the government shafting farmers over the wheat quotas. 90% reduction of the principle income without warning and no chance of appeal. Following that, there was a land grab attempt by the same government the following year.
Secession from Australia and the formation of the Principality was the only defence. PL studied law and took the necessary action to protect his family, land and income. It was a bold move but it certainly paid off. What happened next though was far more extraordinary. More on this later. You can read a better (and no doubt more accurate) version of the history on their website.