Prince of Wy aged eighteen in 1960


In 1960, aged eighteen, Paul Ashton Delprat created the persona of the Prince of Wy in an iconic self portrait.  Against a crimson draped background the Prince is introduced to us formally holding a silver crested staff and wearing a Ceremonial Cape.   Paul took the name “Wy” from a nearby reserve.

This persona has reappeared in his work over the years but it was not until the extraordinary events catalogued in the following brief history leading to the secession of the Principality of Wy that The Prince was called upon to serve in a conspicuous and decisive manner.

In 1993 Paul Ashton Delprat sought to achieve car access to his family home in the Municipality of Mosman, which is a harbour-side suburb of the City of Sydney. This access was to be via his sole frontage, an unbuilt road.

The access way was unanimously Approved in Principal by Mosman Council. Engineering details were required. There was a delay whilst council made major repairs to the built road to which the access way was to connect.

In 1998, mistakenly, Mosman Council rezoned all of the unbuilt road as bushland, on which it is not permitted to drive a car.  On seeing their error Council voted to fix it.  A catalogue of plan changes were required.  There were years of delays.

In 2004 Council’s officer rejected all objections, which included parking and turning vehicles etc, but advised refusal because this latest attempt to remedy the previous zoning errors was also flawed. This was in spite of a Government legal officer querying the absence of all the access way plans and wording.

The Delprats were now cut off from Mosman.

The news breaks

On November the 15th 2004, Wy Day, in front of national television and print media at the Town Hall, Mosman’s Mayor donned her Regalia and graciously accepted the Formal Secession of The Principality of Wy from The Prince, who was also wearing  Ceremonial Dress.

In 2005 The Prince prevented an attempted road closure.  In 2006 Mosman Council admitted the errors and voted again to fix them. The Serene Family is now hopeful that the Latest Local Environment Plan 2008 will finally solve the problem.

2013 is the anniversary of the 53rd year of the peaceful creation of The Principality of Wy, the 20th year in exile and the 9th year of The Secession of the Principality of Wy from the Municipality of Mosman. It is believed that, currently at 20 years since the plans were first submitted, this saga constitutes the longest running Development Application in the world. Will this be the long awaited year that so many friends of The Principality have eagerly been anticipating, when the drawbridge is finally lowered by Mosman Council?


– See “Why Wy” on the Serene Blog

Exiled Prince surveying Sydney Harbour