On the 13th of February 2019, the former ruler of the Hutt River Principality passed away.
The Hutt River Principality is a micronation in the mid-north part of Western Australia. In April 1970, the farmer Leonard Casley, because of a dispute with the State Governement over wheat quotas, proclaimed his land as an independent nation. He became Prince Leonard of Hutt River.
Since then, the nation still functions as a farm, but also as a tourist destination and also sells its own stamps and coins etc. It even has diplomats in many countries throughout the world (eg. Croatia, USA, Pakistan, Brazil) but no country officially recognises the Principality.
Interestingly, in its Constitution, Hutt River declares that the first language of the country is English, the second is French and the third is Esperanto! Amazing! But it is the opinion of this Esperantist (and the Esperanto League of Western Australia) is that there are precisely zero Esperanto speakers in the Principality.
After the passing of Prince Leonard, our club sent the following message of condolence to the current Prince:
Your Highness Prince Graeme and the people of the Hutt River Principality.
The committe and the membership of the Esperanto League of Western Australia would like to offer our condolences on the passing of your dear Prince Leonard.
We give thanks to Prince Leonard for his recognition of our dear language in the constitution of the Principality.
Our thoughts are with you all.