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The United Kingdom and Great Britain

The UK and Great Britain

The UK is made up of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Great Britain comprises only England, Scotland and Wales. It is the largest island of the British Isles. Great Britain is frequently used informally to mean the UK.

Britain: Population and major cities

Population of England: 49.5 million. Population of Wales: 2.9 million. Population of Scotland: 5.1 million Population of Northern Ireland: 1.7 million England has the highest population density and Scotland has the lowest. Main cities of the UK: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff.

The Union Flag

The flag of the UK embodies the emblems of three countries under one Sovereign. The emblems that appear on the Union Flag are the crosses of three patron saints: The red cross of St. George, for England on a white ground. The white diagonal cross of St. Andrew, for Scotland on a blue ground. The red diagonal cross of St. Patrick, for Ireland on a white ground.

The national flag of Wales

Wales is not represented in the Union Flag because, when the first version of the flag appeared, Wales was already united with England. The national flag of Wales is a red dragon on a field of white and green. According to tradition, the red dragon appeared on a crest borne by the legendary King Arthur.

London Landmarks.
Kensington Palace: where Princess Diana lived.

Tate Modern Museum: controversial selection of modern and contemporary art.

St. Pauls Cathedral: a London landmark; it contains a number of monuments and tombs

Royal Opera House: also known as The Royal Shakespeare Theater.Many of Great Britain s most noted performers appear in the plays of Shakespeare.

Buckingham Palace:The London residence of the British sovereign.

Westminster Abbey: Church dedicated to St. Peter (Minster means monastery) It is famous as the place of coronation of English monarchs since 1027 and as a mausoleum for prominent figures of English history. It is crowded with a great number of busts, statues, and tombs of Englands kings and queens, statesmen and of outstanding literary figures.

10 Downing Street: official residence of the Prime Minister.

The Houses of Parliament.

People in the UK

The largest ethnic minorities in the UK: Caribbean or African descent: 891,000 Indians: 840,000 Pakistani and Bangladeshis: 640,000 Considerable numbers of of Chinese, Italians, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, Poles, Australians, New Zelanders and people from the USA and Canada are also resident in the UK.

Religion in the UK

Everyone in the UK has the right to religious freedom. Britain is predominantly Christian: 1 British out of 10 is a member of the Roman Catholic Church and there are 1.7 million members of the Anglican church (the one legally recognized as the official church of the State). In Scotland: 1.1. million members of the Presbyterian Church.

Religion in the UK
In Northern Ireland: 40 % regard themselves as Roman Catholics; 60 % : Protestants. In Wales: No officially established church; however, the Methodism and Baptism are the two most widespread religions. Britain has one of the largest Muslim communities (1.5 and 2 million people). The Hindu community in Britain: 400,000.

The Royal Family

The Royal family

1) What is the Queens role in modern society? 2) How is the Queen linked to the Common Wealth? 3) Which activities does the Queen perform?

The Queen was born in London on 21 April 1926, the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, subsequently King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Five weeks later she was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the chapel at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen and the Commonwealth

The Queen is not only Queen of the UK but head of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 53 independent countries. Most of these countries have progressed from British rule to independent self-government, and the Commonwealth now serves to foster international co-operation and trade links between people all over the world. In addition to the UK, the Queen is also Queen of a number of other Commonwealth realms, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Royal Visits
Visits to all kinds of places throughout the UK, Commonwealth and overseas are an important Royal part of the work of the Queen and members of the Royal Family. Visits allow members of the Royal family to meet people from all walks of life and backgrounds, to celebrate local and national achievements and to strengthen friendships between different countries. Many of the Royal visits are connected to charities and other organizations with which members of the Royal family are associated. In other cases, Royal visits help celebrate historic occassions in the life of a region or nation. All visits are carefully planned to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to see or meet members of the Royal Family.

In her role as Head of State The Queen is supported by members of the Royal Family who carry out a wide range of public and official duties. The biographies in this section contain information about various members of the Royal Family.

Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, was born Prince of Greece and Denmark in Corfu on June 1921. He was born the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece. His family is of Danish descent Prince Andrew was the grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark.

The Prince of Wales in the eldest son of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. He was born on 14 November 1948 and christened Charles Phillip Arthur George on 15 December that year in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace.

The Prince of Wales married Mrs. Camila Parker Bowles on 9 April 2005 at a civil ceremony followed by a service of prayer and dedication St. Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle. After the wedding, Mrs. Parker Bowles became known as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. When The Prince of Wales accedes to the throne, she will be known as HRH The Princess Consort.

The Princess Royal, the second child and only daughter of Queen and The Duke of Edinburh, was born at Clarance House London, on 15 August 1950, when her mother was Princess Elizabeth, heir presumptive to the throne. She was baptised Elizabeth Alice Louise at Buckingham Palace on 21 October 1950. She received the title Princess Royal from The Queen in June 1987; she was previously known as Princess Anne. Her Royal Highness is the seventh holder of the title.

The Duke of York was born on 19 February 1960 at Buckingham Palace, the second son and the third child of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. He was the first child to be born to a reigning monarch for 103 years. Named Andrew Albert Christian Edward, he was known as Prince Andrew until his marriage, when he was created The Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh.

The Earl of Wessex is the third son and youngest child of the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. He was born on 10 March and christened Edward Antony Richard Louis at Buckingham Palace. Their Royal Highnesses have a baby daughter, born on 8 November 2003.

The Queens Role in the Modern State The Queen is the United Kingdoms Head of State. As well as carrying out significant constitutional functions, The Queen also acts as a focus for national unity, presiding at ceremonial occasions, visiting local communities and representing Britain around the world.

The Queen is also Head of the Commonwealth. During her reign she has visited all the Commonwealth countries, going on walkabouts to gain direct contact with people from all walks of life throughout the world. Behind and in front of the cameras, The Queens work goes on, and no two days in The Queens working life are ever the same.

The Queens Working Day

The Queen has many different duties to perform every day. Some are familiar public duties such as Investitures, ceremonies, receptions or visits within the United Kingdom or abroad. Away from the cameras, however, The Queens work goes on. It includes reading letters from the public, official papers and briefing notes; audiences with political ministers or ambassadors; and meeting with her Private Secretaries to discuss her future diary plans.