Prince Leonard, a wheat farmer who founded a self-declared principality in Australia with its own stamps and currency and helped to launch a micro-nation trend, has died at the age of 93.
The prince, otherwise known as Leonard Casley, “seceded” from Australia in 1970 to form the Principality of Hutt River on his 18,000-acre property, about 300 miles north of Perth. His micronation became a popular tourist attraction and inspired dozens of others, though none has any legal status as an independent nation.
Prince Leonard died on Wednesday morning after a long battle with emphysema. He abdicated due to poor health in 2017 and handed the reins at a ceremony to Prince George, his youngest son.
Prince Leonard created the micro-nation to protest low wheat production quotas imposed by Western Australia’s state government.
The province has never been officially recognised but received a letter from the Queen on its 46th anniversary in 2016, expressing “good wishes to you and to all concerned for a most enjoyable and successful celebration”. Prince Leonard, who regarded himself as a loyal subject of the Queen, was delighted.