Principality of Hutt River: A Lesson in Principles

by Ant Stone on December 2, 2009

in Australia

All rise for the national anthem of the Principality of Hutt River It’s a hard land but it’s our land. Built with love and dedication. Self-assurance is our small nation. One man’s dream of independence. God bless the Prince of The Hutt River Province. God bless the man whose dream has come true. God bless this land where dreams can come true. God bless the Prince of the Hutt River Province. God bless this man whose dream has come true. God bless this land where dreams can come true.

Thy Kingdom for a Goat

After a detour through the Kalbarri National Park, we rejoined Highway 1. We were heading south; signalled by the roadside verge becoming less barren. It was now burdened with thickets and tea tree. Goats and their kid bounded around secret gardens, while sheep had been disrobed and forced to shiver naked, in the cool early spring.

We arrived at the Principality of Hutt River at four-thirty in the afternoon – an hour before sunset. Western Australia was trialling daylight saving time (which has since gladly been scrapped). An elderly man with a mischievous eye and matching smile greeted us by a small brick bungalow. He zipped up a light, blue jacket and advised us to park beside a small lawn where we could camp. He needed no introduction – it was His Royal Highness Prince Leonard I.

Hutt River Province

The Origin of a Kingdom

The canny Prince – formerly known as Len Casley – seceded from the Commonwealth of Australia on April 21st 1970, after a dispute over quotas on wheat production. Thus emerged Australia’s ‘second largest country’, the 75Km², Principality of Hutt River.

Forget frilly cornices and manicured lawns; Hutt River Province is a working farm and ramshackle at best. Its courtyard is festooned with rusting grief. Pillars of tyres cling to each other, apparently tortured by the encroaching plant life. Birdsong disguises a whirring generator. Dusty, redbrick outbuildings stand quietly, flicking their cemented hems toward lifeless vehicles.

My first impressions were reassuringly plain, and eerie. This was a time capsule of the world’s most unimportant things. Beyond the wire fence, a flock of sheep protected their lamb, while a kestrel swooped on invisible kite-strings. Half a dozen caravans faded into the shadows of motionless gum trees, and a troop of drunken 44-gallon drums mimicked a trio of enormous silos. The oddness of the moment wasn’t reserved for manmade curio; the ground was patched with wild melon, which slumped across the hard dirt. They were like stray footballs, urging to be bounced.

Our car’s GPS believed we were off the map. I half-agreed. We fed ourselves with what little food we had, and then curled up to endure an unexpectedly wintry night.

Principality of Hutt River

The Royal Tour

Like all good kingdoms, Hutt River has a mint-green pyramid at its centre. Prince Leonard explained in his characteristic dither that, “As in Egypt, planes aren’t allowed to fly over the structure – the small amount of energy emitted can interfere with the plane’s electronics”. The Prince had a fusty eccentricity. I supposed I knew from the offset, that he would leave me dumfounded.

The Government of Australia apparently shares these feelings. By design, the Principality of Hutt River is a tax-free haven. I questioned Prince Leonard on this, and he confidently recited, “The Principality is a legal entity, I’m exempt from taxation under Australian laws.” It appeared taxation law isn’t the Prince’s only forte. He purports to be a celebrated writer of spiritual, scientific and religious papers, as well as a skilled farmer and affable tour guide.

The Jokes on Me

The Principality is not a gimmick; this should be very clearly understood. The Prince doesn’t take highly to it being likened to mere Micronations. “One chappie in Sydney, years ago seceded his bedroom. They’ve got no legal entitlement. If I get mixed up with those it will put Hutt River in the same class as them.” I’d hit a nerve, “It’ll be amongst all the weird things – so Hutt River is weird? No”. I acknowledged him with a smile, yet I knew he was. HRH continued, “They’ve got no knowledge of the law and some of them finished up in jail — under the Treasons Act, it is an offence to have an intention to deprive her Majesty of titles of territories”. It was at this point, that my pipedream to secede the ute evaporated.

The concept isn’t refined to his kingdom of fields; the Principality has a fully functioning cabinet of ministers, a police force, an army (mostly in America) and over 13,000 citizens across the world – not forgetting his demure wife, Princess Shirley. Under its own flag, it produces its own stamps, currency, vehicle registration, and Defence Force News while within the gates is a modest church, government offices, and post office. The Principality even lays claim to a star. I’d wondered for years why he become a Prince, as appose to a King. “A King rules with divine right, I’m not ruling with divine right. God didn’t assign me to rule”.


Prince Charming

The Australian Government take him seriously – they have little choice – and Prince Leonard seems to have a handle on their feelings towards him. He turns the screw at every opportunity. He’s currently attempting to take them to the International Court, after laying claim to all the unclaimed land in Western Australia.

According to Prince Leonard, “People think, and the government has pushed, that it was all proclaimed British, but that’s not true”. It became apparent that I was dealing with someone who expected far more than an inclusion in the Lonely Planet. “France proclaimed it in 1772, before them – and that proclamation is still un-receded. The Australian government asked the French government, would you please recede your proclamations over areas of Western Australia — and the French said no”. With his caring hands dancing across a wooden desk, he retold how he had sent two letters of enquiry to then Prime Minister, John Howard, with no reply. “That means we can go ahead. So, I write him another letter. ‘I now do claim the lands in Western Australia not proclaimed British since settlement of the claims, and when you hand over the administration, then I will consider the claims settled.’”

Visit Western Australia

Royally Confused

Prince Leonard is an oddball. While Australia is undoubtedly peppered with oddballs, never did I meet anyone so sincere in their oddity. With seven children, twenty-four grandchildren and twenty-three great grandchildren it’s probable this proud, moral wrangle will continue. I’ll admit, my saturated mind began to drift as he began explaining a book on mathematical formula, and I was prepared to politely excuse myself. His ended his gibbering with the line, “Once I identified that, I was able to go back before time.”

I quickly retraced my subconscious. He had been talking about the constituency, and how he’d sent a copy of his book, ‘The Holistic Nature of Reality’ to President Obama. Then boom, he’d “identified the energy of creation”, and achieved time travel? I held the silence in the air for as long as he allowed – it was comforting.

“I found the energy that creates. And once it’s created something, then you can get time. Because time is a relative factor.” It emerged this was the culmination of a thirty-year study, which began when a friend asked him to write a paper on the Book of Revelations. This research led Prince Leonard to open up previously unknown mathematics and constants. He’s sent a trilogy of critical codes (creation, spiritual and personal) to numerous world leaders, and made numerous references to the infinite Fibonacci Series – which he says encapsulates his own (conveniently, no one knew his royal code was there). “Now all my work reaches into a visual point. So once you’ve got a visual point, you’re no longer in the hypothesis, you’re into reality. You end theory.” Oh, how I ached for reality.

Crowning Glory

Time travel isn’t the only thing Prince Leonard is exploring. He’s also on the trail to discovering a top-secret source of electricity. Over the coming months, numerous people will be visiting the Hutt River Province to discuss the potential. When I asked him to expand, he quipped, “People are very worried, if they open their mouth now they might not live very long”. I closed the subject, and bought a souvenir pen.

My time within the realms of Prince Leonard was coming to a relieving end. While I had pulled up, expecting to secure a coveted passport stamp (which I did) and take the royal tour (which I did), I wasn’t expecting to delve into the world of 13th century mathematicians, and life of a spiritual nature. Before leaving, I tentatively asked HRH Prince Leonard for a message to would-be visitors. He dithered a moment, before highlighting that “This is one country where no person has yet died – it’s very healthy”. I agree. It must be something in the water.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Deb Porteous December 22, 2009 at 7:23 am

Hey Ant- Just sitting here with Chris @ Fitness First. He said you were amazing…there’s been no exageration!! Love what I’ve read so far- your writing is incredible. The system here is frustratingly slow so I’m going to leave it for now and go home and continue sifting through your life. Hope you’re well. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Honey xxxx

Stev May 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm

All this is a lie, I Hutt River, although I am not domiciled, I work with companies based there, you can do with transfer of Hong Kong, or even with New Zeland or via the Panama bank Nautillis.

The prince did not write the book and it is perfectly normal.
Certainly this is an imperialist agent of Australia.

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