Saturday, January 31, 2009

Great Britain, UK and England

I always assumed that Great Britain, United Kingdom, British Isles and England were just different references to the same country. You guessed it–it’s a bit more complicated.

Great Britain is an island consisting of three autonomous regions including England, Scotland and Wales. It is located east of Ireland and northwest of France. The capital and largest city of Great Britain is London. The monarchy of Great Britain is limited to ceremonial functions only and sovereignty rests with Parliament.

The United Kingdom is a country that includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its official name is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are often mistaken as countries, but they are only a part of the United Kingdom.

England is the largest and most populous portion of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is bounded by Wales, the Irish Sea, Scotland, the English Channel, the Strait of Dover and the North Sea.

The British Isles encompasses Great Britain, the island of Ireland, the Isle of Man and several other smaller islands.

The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of countries that were formerly British colonies. Members recognize the UK Monarchy as their own king or queen, but remain politically independent.

Members of the Commonwealth of Nations:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, Cameroon, Cyprus, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra, Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, Vanuatu and Zambia

I’m not sure, but now I may be more confused.

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

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