The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign state in Europe.
A sovereign state is, in international law, a nonphysical juridical entity that is represented by one centralised government that has sovereignty over a geographic area.
The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800.
Great Britain, also known as Britain, is a large island in the north Atlantic Ocean off the north-west coast of continental Europe.
History of the United Kingdom by MrOwnerandPwner
Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, it includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands.
The United Kingdom's Geographic Challenge by STRATFORvideo
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland.
Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-southwest, giving it the 12th longest coastline in the world.
The Celtic Sea is the area of the Atlantic Ocean off the south coast of Ireland bounded to the east by Saint George's Channel; other limits include the Bristol Channel, the English Channel, and the Bay of Biscay, as well as adjacent portions of Wales, Cornwall, Devon, and Brittany.
The English Channel, also called simply the Channel, is the body of water that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the southern part of the North Sea to the rest of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans with a total area of about 106,460,000 square kilometres, slightly more than half that of the Pacific Ocean.
The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland.
With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the UK is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe.
It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants.
Together, this makes it the fourth most densely populated country in the European Union.
The European Union is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance.
A parliamentary system is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive branch derives its democratic legitimacy from the legislature and is also held accountable to that legislature.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch executes their authorities in accordance with a set constitution, which can include political and constitutional conventions.
In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative, elected body of government.
The monarch—since 6 February 1952—is Queen Elizabeth II. The capital of UK and its largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million, the fourth-largest in Europe and second-largest in the European Union.
A financial centre is a location that is home to a cluster of nationally or internationally significant financial services providers such as banks, investment managers or stock exchanges.
A global city, also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center, is a city generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system.
Elizabeth II is, and has been since her accession in 1952, Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and Head of the Commonwealth.
Other major urban areas in the UK include the regions of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool.
Liverpool is a major city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of Merseyside in north west England with an estimated population of 478,580 in 2015.
The UK consists of four countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The latter three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, respectively.
Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, and the centre of the tenth largest Primary Urban Area in the United Kingdom.
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 local government council areas.
The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the United Kingdom, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey, is a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom, ruled by the Crown in right of Jersey, off the coast of Normandy, France.
The relationships among the countries of the United Kingdom have changed over time.
Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1542.
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from the 10th century—when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms—until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established on 1 January 1801 under the terms of the Acts of Union 1800, by which the separate kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland were united.
In 1922, five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the country, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The UK has fourteen Overseas Territories.
These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states.