T he union between England and Wales beg a n in 1284 with the Statute of Rhuddlan, but was not formalized until 1536 with an Act of Union;
I n another Act of Union in 1707 , England and Scotland agreed to permanently join as Great Britain;
T he legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was implemented in 1801 with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland;
T he Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 formalized a partition of Ireland; six northern Irish counties remained part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland;
T he current name of the country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted in 1927
Designed in 1601;
blue field with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland); properly known as the Union Flag, but commonly called the Union Jack
Recognized regional languages:
Scots (about 30% of the population of Scotland),
Scottish Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland), Welsh (about 20% of the population of Wales),
Irish (about 10% of the population of Northern Ireland),
Cornish (some 2,000 to 3,000 in Cornwall)
Constitutional monarchy and Commonwealth realm
Head of state – Queen Elizabeth II
Parliament consists of two houses:
House of Commons
House of Lords
Scottish Parliament – 1999
Scottish Government – 2007
Northern Ireland Assembly – 1998
Northern Ireland Executive – 1998
National Assembly for Wales - 1999
Isle of Man
j urisdictions ,not part of the UK;
ruled by a Lieutenant Governor,
appointed by the British government
Commonwealth of Nations
A n intergovernmental organization of 54 independent member states . All but two of these countries were formerly part of the British Empire.
The member states co-operate within a framework of common values and goals as outlined in the Singapore Declaration . These include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism and world peace . The Commonwealth is not a political union, but an intergovernmental organisation through which countries with diverse social, political and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status.
Some historical and poetic names
Albion - given by the Romans, from albus – white, probably because of the white cliffs of Dover;
Doggerland - a name given by archaeologists and geologists to the former landmass in the southern North Sea that connected the island of Great Britain to mainland Europe during and after the last Ice Age ;
Caledonia – Roman name for Scotland;
Cambria – Roman name for Wales;
Hibernia – Roman name for Ireland;
Britannia - the female embodiment of Britain;
Erin – a poetic name for Ireland
Blighty – a British English slang term for Britain , used as a term of endearment by the expatriate British community, or those on holiday to refer to home .
What countries does the UK consist of?
Great Britain includes ……
The British flag is called …… but it’s better known as ……
What is the Commonwealth of Nations and why was it established?
Who is the head of state in the UK?
Which are the two houses of the British Parliament?