If you are standing in a country named Principality of Hutt River ( the smallest country in the world) that means you are in the Australian continent, but not the Australian country. This country spreads over 75 sq kilometers. It lies within Australia and it was comprised of only one person in 1970. You need this country’s visa to go here. One good thing is that a Visa on Arrival is available here for merely 4 dollars.
This place is quite isolated. It is 500 kms away from Perth, which is a major Australian city and in order to reach here, we had to drive the car over dirt roads. The man who had brought this country into existence in 1970, his name is Leonard Casley.
Wheat Quota Bill of Australian Government
What happened that a country had to be brought into existence? Its history is very interesting. The government had passed a bill which caused a lot of problems between Leonard and the government. Wheat Quota Bill. The West Australian government passed a Wheat Quota Bill in 1969 which stated that no farmer would be able to sell the harvest of more than 100 acres to the government. The problem lay in the fact that Leonard’s farm produced around 13,000 acres of wheat every year.What would he do with this wheat? There’d be no buyers at all! Leonard tried a multitude of ways. He talked to the government, he also spoke to the Governor The discussions bore no fruit. Years later, with the realization that no solution could come out of this, he decided to make his own country so that Australian laws would not be applicable on him and neither would the Wheat Quota Bill be applicable.
There were two problems with this bill. The first was no compensation and the second was no appeal. That is, even if a farmer had an issue with the bill, he could not demand a compensation from the government and neither could he appeal against it. So you can see, that basically, there was no way out. So Leonard studied the international laws and tried to figure out how he could do it and make his own country………………………….. Smallest country in the world – Principality of Hutt River
Prince Graeme I, son of Prince Leonard said, “We then brought in international law and Magna Carta law as well as the English law to break up what Dad was saying. So all the way along, dad was asking the standing politicians to follow the existing laws and protocols and they would keep breaching it.”
And eventually, he ended up making his own country in 1970.He named this country Principality of Hutt River. Leonard started referring to himself as Prince Leonard because he stated that this country was a monarchy.
Why there is Prince to the Smallest country in the world and not King?
Now the reference of “Prince” has another interesting backstory. Because the country of Australia falls under the purview of the English laws. That means the Queen of Australia is also the Queen of England. So, Prince Leonard didn’t want to be referred as “King” because he didn’t want to be pitted against the Queen.
Infact, he gave an open invitation to the Queen of England to become the Queen of his principality too.
The Queen, obviously, declined politely and diplomatically. But the date of formation of this country was decided to be kept the same as the date of birth of the Queen. Later, The Queen of England even wrote letter to Prince Leonard congratulating him on the anniversaries of the formation of this country……………….. Smallest country in the world – Principality of Hutt River
So, basically, Prince Leonard shared good relations with the Queen of England. But the issue he had was with the Australian government. Prince Leonard died in February 2019 at the age of 93. After his death, his son was made the next prince of the Principality of Hutt River.
A country would only be recognized as a country when the rest of the countries of the world consider it one. So none of the rest of the countries recognize Principality of Hutt River as a “country”.
Australia states that this country was created as a measure to save tax. In 2006, the European Union had stated that the passport of this country is among the “fantasy passports of the world”.
So what remained with Prince Leonard to prove that his country was a legit country? He has a letter which Queen Elizabeth wrote in 2016. In this letter, Queen Elizabeth had congratulated Prince Leonard on the anniversary of this country. In today’s times, this country has its own flag, its own currency and its own passport, its own postcards, its own stamps and even its own Visa.
Population and places to visit in The Smallest country in the world ..
Only a single family lives in this country which is the Family of Prince Leonard. None of the members of his family get medical benefits or pensions of Australia, neither do they get educational allowances or voting rights in Australia. Even though in Australia, as a country, voting is compulsory. But none of the names of the members of his family appear in the electoral roll for voting.
If you come to this country as a tourist, then there isn’t much to see. But the roads that lead here are spectacular. You can see the crystal clear waters, the pink shade beaches. Nature spread over vast expanses and there is also a pink lake here!
All these attractions are around 60-100 kilometers away from the Hutt River……………………… Smallest country in the world