The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (usually known as the United Kingdom or the UK) is a unitary state in Europe, located on the archipelago, British Isles, consisting of England, Scotland and Wales on the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and many small surrounding islands. Its capital is London. As of July 2013, the population was estimated at 63,395,574.
The British government also oversees the government about a dozen small territories around the world. The reigning British monarch is also head of state for various former colonies, including Australia and Canada, which are collectively known as the Commonwealth.
The United Kingdom was established in 1707 by the union of England and Scotland, although both nations had been ruled by the same monarchy since the Scottish King James VI was invited to become James I of England in 1603.
The capital of the UK is London. It is also the location of central government in the Palace of Westminster. The Palace is separated into two house, House of Commons, where MP's sit and the House of Lords. There are also three devolved assemblies, comprising off, Welsh Assemble, Northern Irish Assembly and the Scottish Parliament.
List of Monarchs
- Anne, under whom the Act of Union was passed in 1707. She not having heirs, the Act of Union gave the crown to the descendants of Electress Sophia of Hanover.
House of Hanover
House of Windsor
- George V
- Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson
- George VI
- Elizabeth II
- Currently, the next in line for the crown is Charles, Prince of Wales, eldest son of Elizabeth.