This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Portal:United Kingdom

The United Kingdom Portal

Flag of the United Kingdom
Coat of Arms for the United Kingdom
Map of the United Kingdom in the British Isles.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with a sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom 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-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

The UK is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state. The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include the conurbations centred on Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool.

The United Kingdom consists of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Their capitals are London, Belfast, Edinburgh, and Cardiff respectively. Apart from England, the countries have devolved administrations, each with varying powers. The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, 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. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies.

The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a very high Human Development Index, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It has been a leading member state of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973; however, a referendum in 2016 resulted in 51.9% of UK voters favouring leaving the European Union, and the country's exit is being negotiated. The United Kingdom is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Refresh with new selections below (purge)

Featured article

First page of the first edition of Thoughts (1787)

Thoughts on the Education of Daughters is British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft's first published work. Published in 1787 by her friend Joseph Johnson, Thoughts is a conduct book that offers advice on female education to the emerging British middle class. Although dominated by considerations of morality and etiquette, the text also contains basic child-rearing instructions, such as how to care for an infant. An early version of the modern self-help book, the eighteenth-century British conduct book drew on several literary traditions, such as advice manuals and religious narratives. There was an explosion in the number of conduct books published during the second half of the eighteenth century, and Wollstonecraft took advantage of this burgeoning market when she published Thoughts. However, the book was only moderately successful: it was favourably reviewed, but only by one journal and it was reprinted only once. Although it was excerpted in popular magazines of the time, it was not republished until the rise of feminist literary criticism in the 1970s. The book encourages mothers to teach their daughters analytical thinking, self-discipline, honesty, contentment in their social position, and marketable skills (in case they should ever need to support themselves). (more...)

Featured biography

George IV

George IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Hanover from 29 January 1820. He had earlier served as Prince Regent when his father, George III, suffered from a relapse into insanity from porphyria.The Regency (George's nine-year tenure as Regent, which commenced in 1811 and ended with George III's death in 1820) was marked by a victory in the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. George was a stubborn monarch, often interfering in politics (especially in the matter of Catholic Emancipation), though not as much as his father. For most of George's regency and reign, Lord Liverpool controlled the government as Prime Minister. George is often remembered as an extravagant prince and monarch. He had a poor relationship with both his father and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, even excluding her from his own coronation. He was a patron of the arts; his regency and reign were graced by such literary figures as George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron and Jane Austen. George was responsible for the building of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. (more...)

Did you know...

Salvage of the Mary Rose in October 1982

Subportals

England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales
England Northern
Ireland
Scotland Wales

Related portals

Isle of Man Ireland Wikiproject Europe (small).svg Flag of Europe British Empire 1897.jpg
Isle of
Man
Ireland Europe European
Union
British
Empire

Featured picture

30 St Mary Axe, otherwise known as The Gherkin or the Swiss Re building. Taken from Leadenhall St.
Photo credit: Diliff

30 St Mary Axe, otherwise known as "The Gherkin" or the Swiss Re building, at 180 m (590 ft) is the 6th tallest in London, England. Designed by Foster and Partners, the architectural design of the tower contrasts sharply against more traditional buildings in London. Its design won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for the best new building by a RIBA architect in 2004 and the 2003 Emporis Skyscraper Award for the best skyscraper in the world completed that year. The building is visible from a long distance from Central London: from the north for instance, it can be seen on the M11 motorway some 32 km (20 mi) away.

In the news

Wikinews UK

16 November 2018 –
Johnston Press, which owns i, The Scotsman, the Yorkshire Post and other UK newspapers, enters administration after failing to secure a buyer. It is set to be de-listed on the London Stock Exchange on 19 November 2018. (The Guardian)
16 November 2018 – Politics of the United Kingdom
British Prime Minister Theresa May appoints Stephen Barclay as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Amber Rudd as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions following yesterday's resignations of Dominic Raab and Esther McVey. (Evening Standard)
15 November 2018 – Cabinet of the United Kingdom, Brexit negotiations
Minister of State for Northern Ireland Shailesh Vara, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab, and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey resign in protest of Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. (BBC) (Bloomberg) (The Telegraph)
A total of eight British government officials quit in one day, in response to the proposed Brexit deal. (Evening Standard)
Conservative Party backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg, with the backing of at least a dozen Tory MPs, says he will submit a letter to the chair of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, to trigger a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Theresa May. (The Guardian)
14 November 2018 – Brexit negotiations
British Prime Minister Theresa May wins approval of her Brexit plan from her cabinet, although many Conservative and opposition MPs voice strong disapproval. (The Guardian) (Politics Home)

Categories

United Kingdom

WikiProjects

Main

Uk wide
Selected area based projects
Subject Specific Projects

Things you can do

Visit the British Wikipedians' notice board.

The noticeboard is the central forum for information and discussion on editing related to the United Kingdom.

Comment at the British deletion sorting page.

This page lists deletion discussions on topics relating to the United Kingdom.

Other UK-connected Wikipedias

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Purge server cache