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Funny, Weird and Wacky "Kingdoms" in Australia
MONARCHS OF MICRONATIONS
NEW SOUTH WALES
Principality of Wy - On the north side of Sydney Harbour Bridge, 15th November 2004, Prince Paul of Wy seceded from his local Mosman council, declaring a principality on his 700 square metre property.
Website - very sketchy but amusing
Empire of Atlantium - founded in 1981, (one of Australia's few micronations of the left), is a one-bedroom flat in Potts Point, Sydney, ruled by Emperor George Cruickshank II. Emperor George is proud of his micronation, which has lasted longer than his second hobby, collecting Art Deco toasters and coffee sets. His Empire was founded to promote a "liberal, secular, progressive, globalist world view". Emperor George claims 1000 members in 65 countries. One active community is in Brazil.
Principality of United Oceania - ruled by His Serene Highness Prince Peter I. This is a 66 hectare bushland block, 200km north of Sydney, near the small town of Medowie. The prince was refused permission to build a house there, due to aircraft noise from the nearby RAAF base, so he seceded from Australia in May 2003.
Hutt River Province - in Western Australia, is ruled by Prince Leonard (born Leonard George Casley) and his wife Princess Shirley. Prince Leonard withdrew his West Australian wheat farm from the Commonwealth of Australia in 1970. He had disputed with the government over the amount of wheat he was allowed to harvest on his almost 7500 hectare property. He served documents of secession on the state premier, the prime minister and the governor general, but offered Her Majesty the Queen the chance to stay on as head of state. (Few Australian micronations have ever tried to throw off the monarchy- only the elected government.)
Hutt River Province passports and honours were issued like British passports and honours- to anybody who could afford them. (The passports are believed to cost around $400 to $500). Prince Leonard claims 13,000 citizens around the world.
A Hutt River Province passport does not give the passport holder the right to live on Prince Leonard's farm, currently home to about 30 people, 10,000 sheep, several official buildings and a giant bust of Prince Leonard.
Hutt River Province produces stamps, banknotes, coins, souvenirs, and attracts 27,000 tourists a year according to Prince Leonard.
On display in Hutt River Province is a letter supposedly leaked from the Department of Territories, which acknowledges Prince Leonard's claim that he is not subject to Australian laws. He claims that he does not pay Australian income tax.
Province of Bumbunga - (near Snowtown, on the main route between Adelaide and Perth) - Alex Brackstone, a British born uranium prospector, postmaster, and, supposedly, a circus monkey-trainer, declared this South Australian province in 1976 with the Queen as head of state in perpetuity. He wanted to keep a tiny piece of Australia exclusively British. Governor Brackstone made a very large map of the British Isles out of 10,000 strawberry plants, with the idea that he would conduct weddings for homesick British couples, who would marry on the strawberry-plant stencil of their home county, with soil from that county sprinkled around them. Unfortunately, the Australian Customs Service confiscated the soil he tried to import. Then all his strawberries were killed in a drought. Brackstone was last heard of in 1999, when he apparently tried to fend off illegal firearms charges, by claiming immunity from prosecution as head of a foreign state. Shortly afterwards, he returned to Britain.
Website - The website has Page 1 on the tab, but there appears to be no more. The entire page is devoted to postage stamps. Part of the imperial collection of websites.
Independent Nation of Rainbow Creek - in the Victorian Alps. "The farmers of Cowwarr had always been clear in their minds that government incompetence over nearly three decades - in the shape of the bridge and the weir - was clearly to blame for their woes - but when any form of compensation for loss of land, productivity and private infrastructure was denied them outright by the State Government in 1978 they finally decided that more serious action was warranted." - from the column of the official website.
Website - Part of the imperial collection of websites.
Principality of Ponderosa - is a 24 hectare property near Shepparton, Victoria. This property is run by Prince Little Joe Rigoli and his father Prince Virgilio. They describe the principality as a place where "Christians, white Anglo-Saxons and capitalists are not discriminated against". But on 7th July, 2005, "The Age" reported,
"A self-proclaimed prince and his two sons who once claimed their Shepparton farm was the independent principality of Ponderosa to avoid the taxman have been convicted of defrauding the Commonwealth."
Gay Kingdom - based on an archipelago in the Coral Sea, with a land area of 3sq.km. in 780,000 square kilometres of ocean. The Gay Kingdom was founded in June 2004 by a group of gay business people who were dismayed at the government's refusal to recognise gay marriage. The new micronation, ruled by His Majesty Emperor Dale (actually, Dale Parker Anderson who claims direct descent from Edward II, the "murdered gay king of England") pledged to ratify gay union.
Website is a listing of more relevant listings including MySpace. Interestingly, the official website only leads to a broken link. But Superdrewby reports, "the founding fathers and mothers set sail on 14 June 2004 in the Gayflower until they were washed ashore on the uninhabited Coral Islands. With the strains of Gloria Gaynor filling the tropical air, they hoisted the rainbow flag above the palm trees and white, sandy beaches. The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands was born."
Duchy of Avram - in Tasmania. This micronation has no apparent territorial claim. The Duke of Avram, (John Charlton Rudge), founded the Royal Bank of Avram in the 1980s. Customers who wanted to shop at the Duke's store in Strahan, on Tasmania's west coast, first had to exchange their dollars and cents for avrams and ducals. Press clippings from the time suggest he called the bank a "b_nk", so as not to be prosecuted for running an unlicensed bank. The Duke now lives in Sorell, north-east of Hobart, but says his duchy is "philosophical not territorial". Through his Royal College of Heraldry, the Duke awards titles to other would-be nobles. He stresses he will not give a title without a coat of arms, and some of his armorial bearings predate the Knights Templar.
Website - Apart from the fact that this website looks ultra formal and royal, the tags under the title gave me some amusement. They include - royal principle of nature, kabala, tree of life and royal broker!
Notes adapted from "The Age"..."Good Weekend" - February 12, 2005
* More details on world micronations - Hutt River Province features prominently here.
Micronations Travelling Agency - "YKON (Sasha Huber, Tellervo Kalleinen, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Petri Saarikko) is a Helsinki based artist group which has been formed to convene the 2nd Summit of Micronations at the Brioni Islands in 2007."
League of Micronations has even added a new word to the dictionary! It is "intermicronational" - referring to their community. This League has 35 member nations and was established 20th July, 2000. Celebrating the new millennium? The Age of Micronationals?
THE ULTIMATE - In December 2007, BLDG Blogspot held a contest for inventing a micronation. The prize? A free copy of "Lonely Planet's Guide to Micronations", of course!
P.S. The author of "Lonely Planet's Guide to Micronations", Simon Sellars, has first hand experience in micronations. He grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh, and established the micronation, "Independent Republic of Bentleigh". He declared himself President, and the whole of Bentleigh was his territory. BLDGBLOG interviewed him and the explanation of how this new world fell apart is hilarious! A transcript of the interview is to be found on boingboing - sub-titled - "a directory of wonderful things".