The 50-year reign of an Australia-based micronation formed by a “prince” has come to an end.
Hutt River, a self-declared principality, flew its own flag, issued its own passports, visas, driver’s licenses, stamps and currency and once even declared war on Australia.
But the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with a giant tax bill, have forced the principality to announce it will finally surrender to Australia.
Hutt River’s origins as a micronation date back to 1970, when the late Prince Leonard Casley claimed he’d exploited a legal loophole to create the principality in an isolated part of Western Australia.
Set on 75 square kilometers of farm land, it was more than twice the size of Macau but populated by less than 30 people.
When Prince Leonard died in February last year, he left behind a 2.2 million dollar tax bill, which forced his son and successor to announce last week the principality would sell its land to pay the debt.