Titles and Orders of Chivalry - Hutt River

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Martin Goldstraw
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Titles and Orders of Chivalry - Hutt River

Post by Martin Goldstraw » Tue May 14, 2013 1:53 pm

On occasion we receive requests to record an armiger's membership and rank in a particular Chivalric Order. Some are straight forward and acceptable. Others are less so. Readers of the forum may find it interesting to know something of the thought pattern behind some of our decisions and here I post the thoughts behind the Orders and Titles issued by the Prince of Hutt River.

I should add that whilst we reserve the right of editorial choice we try not be too judgemental and see no reason why an individual shouldn't join and enjoy the activities of whatever organisation he wishes although we don't like to think anyone is being ripped off and we will be quite vocal if we think that is the case. In the case of Hutt River, there is no suggestion that anyone is being "ripped off" as I'm sure that anyone who follows the fortunes of that micro-nation will be well aware of its history and controversy.

Hutt River

The Armorial Register is aware of the history of Hutt River and acknowledges that there is quite some controversy behind its claimed status as an independent Principality or Sovereign Nation. The question as to the legitimacy or otherwise of this micro-nation and its self styled Prince is not a matter for The Armorial Register Limited. We are more than content to leave the weighty legal arguments over this matter to the respective governments of Australia and Hutt River; the fact that Australia appears to be wary of such a challenge is a matter for them, not us. The only occasion on which the views of the Directors of The Armorial Register Limited can legitimately be sought are in regard to the acceptance or otherwise, by The Register, of titles and membership of “Orders” (Knighthoods) awarded by the Prince. These are indeed weighty matters in the minds of those who have been awarded such accolades.

In giving consideration as to whether we ought to accept and record titles and membership of Orders our first consideration is their acceptability to the rest of the world and specifically how they are accepted by other Sovereign States. Many fall into the same category as, for example, the Légion d'honneur and The Sovereign Military Order of Malta and are therefore easy to evaluate, others are less easy.

When considering Hutt River we must take into account the fact that, regardless of the ongoing legal arguments, we are obliged to give weight to the views of existing Sovereign states and we are of course aware that the Australian Government on its official website has stated that it does not recognise the secession of Hutt River Province.

Perhaps Orders can be tested by using a comparison with foreign currency exchange and we can ask ourselves if it would be possible whilst in one country to exchange the currency of another. When we are in the USA we can change our Euros into US Dollars so we know quite easily that the Euro is a widely accepted currency. Using this analysis on Hutt River, we know that a 1970’s court case deemed that Hutt River stamps and coins were legal within the Principality but we know that outside the Principality their currency would not be accepted under the normal currency exchange regulations. Similarly, we understand that Hutt River issues passports which are not widely accepted outside their borders (and in fact are deemed by the European authorities to be "Fantasy Passports").

We are quite prepared to accept that titles and the membership of Orders along with the honours bestowed in Hutt River are perfectly acceptable within Hutt River and we would not seek to discourage anyone from enjoying them however, like the stamps, coins and passports, we decline to accept them as having any currency outside the Principality.
Martin Goldstraw

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