Australia’s hidden micronations: It’s not the size of the country but how you rule it –

Prince Paul created his principality after a stoush with Mosman council in 2004. (

The self-proclaimed leader of a micronation on Sydney's North Shore says he has a plan to ease hostility between the US and North Korea.

Prince Paul Delprat of the Principality of Wy told the tiny kingdom could act as negotiator between Trump and Kim Jong un through the power of art.

"If only humour could govern international relationships and if only art prizes could be the way that people solved their problems. If only Mr Trump and Mr Putin and the leader in North Korea all painted," Prince Paul said.

"And every year the Principality of Wy could hold an exhibition of all the country's leaders and they would all abide by the decision, there would be no more wars."

There was a healthy amount of jest in the "royal's" comments, reflecting his light-hearted outlook on life and the way he governs.

His tiny kingdom unofficially seceded from Mosman in 2004 after a bitter stoush with local council over a driveway.

"When we did create our little principality out of a true sense of injustice, people were prepared to say 'hey, listen to them and give them a go'. We had support from the most extraordinary corners and it's ongoing," he said.

Prince Paul's micronation is one of many that exist in Australia. Micronations claim independence, but are not officially recognised by the state.

The self-appointed royal leads with his wife, Princess Susan, and their children.

He believes it is not the size of the kingdom that counts, but how you rule it.

"There is an old saying, 'an Englishman's house is his castle'. Well, I just took it that extra step," he said.

"Deep in the psyche of Australians is a little bit of Ned Kelly. We all look at Ned in his armour and his defiance of authority and let's face it, there's a little bit of him in all of us."

When the Prince attends events and ceremonies he often wears his formal regalia of a crown, robe and sceptre.

"We do dress up when we go out on occasion and people like us coming in formal regalia to various functions," he said.

"They see it adding a little bit of colour to the occasion and we are very happy to oblige with that."

Prince Paul says despite the number of micronations scattered across the country, he has little contact with his fellow pioneers.

There were thought to be 12 micronations in Australia at the peak of the movement, but over the years those numbers have dwindled.

One of Australia's other notable micronations is the Empire of Atlantium.

It started as a bit of fun between three Sydney cousins as a way to break away from society in 1981.

His Imperial Majesty George II (George Francis Cruickshank) told he may have taken his parent's advice to "change the world" further than anticipated.

"My parents raised me with the idea that in Australia, with the right amount of luck and right amount of application anyone could really achieve anything," he said.

"I think what they meant was that they wanted me to go off and join a political party to change the world, but what I did was paint a black and white border line in the backyard and create Atlantium."

For many years Atlantium was simply an affectation shared amongst family members and a few of George's university friends until the launch of the internet.

"People suddenly discovered us. We were suddenly everywhere from Peru to Azerbaijan and we discovered that there were all these people who thought Atlantium was a great idea and wanted to be a part of it," he said.

"Our population exploded from about 10 to well over 1000 in the space of a few months."

In 2006 Emperor George acquired part ownership of a property 300km south-west of Sydney and he dubbed it the Province of Aurora.

"We now have a territory that is about twice the size of the Vatican and about half the size of Monaco, so one of the world's smaller countries. We have a government house, a post office and a number of monuments."

Emperor George has used his status as leader of a growing empire - which now has more than 3000 citizens - to push for social change including marriage equality, assisted suicide, abortion rights and unrestricted international movements.

The tiny nation has its own anthem, the Auroran Hymn and its own currency with coins and banknotes.

Emperor George said his neighbours seem to enjoy living next door to the town's "local eccentric".

"My neighbours are perhaps bemused and slightly confused by the fact I'm running my own country across the road from their properties and that I have Australia's only pyramid monument in my backyard," he said.

The emperor dispelled a common misconception that micronations were somehow except from paying taxes based on arcane interpretations of the Magna Carta and ancient laws.

"There is no way that one country can secede legally from the Commonwealth of Australia. The way most micronations disguise this is by declaring their tax payments as 'tribute payments,'" he said.

"Australian maintains sovereignty. We dont believe we are independent of Australia, we say that our territory is sort of like the status or an embassy."

Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2017

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Australia's hidden micronations: It's not the size of the country but how you rule it -

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