The Principality Hutt River, one of the longest standing micronations in the world, was founded fifty years ago on April 21st, 1970. By Royal Decree the borders closed just before the corona crisis reached Australia.
Over the years Prince Leonard and his wife Princess Shirley welcomed many campers on their ground, who received a visa stamp in their passport and were awarded with a little chat.Prince Leonard passed away in February 2019 at the respectable age of 93 and was succeeded by his youngest son, Prince Graeme. Leonard Casley was the son of a railway fireman and left school at the age of 14. At 18 he joined the Australian air force and fought in Borneo. When he returned home he married Shirley Joy and started a farm in the west of Australia. After a dispute with the Australian government over wheat quota he declared the independence of Hutt River. Leonard Casley was the father of seven children, twenty-two grandchildren and thirty great grandchildren. In December 2019 Prince Graeme announced that Hutt River would close its borders because of economical difficulties. The ranch, which was the greatest source of income, was not as profitable as expected and the number of tourists visiting dropped over the years. A long standing tax debt of 3 million dollars to the Australian government might also have been a factor… With perhaps a foreseeing eye regarding the covid-19 measures, borders and public offices were closed on the 31st of January 2020. They celebrate their 50th anniversary in isolation.