Great Britain, officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is often referred to simply as Britain or United Kingdom. The capital of Great Britain and its largest city is London. The United Kingdom consists of England, Wales, Scotland (which together make up Great Britain) and Northern Ireland.

Fast Facts about the United Kingdom

1.  The capital city of the UK is London, which is also the capital of England. For Wales the capital is Cardiff, for Scotland it is Edinburgh, and for Northern Ireland it is Belfast.

2. French was the official language for about 300 years

3. There is nowhere in Britain that is more than 74.5 miles from the sea.

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4. The currency of Great Britain is Pound Sterling.

5. England is a constitutional monarchy and has a parliamentary system. It is governed by the parliament of the United Kingdom. Scotland’s head of state is the monarch of United Kingdom and it also has a representation in the UK parliament. Both Wales and Scotland have partial self-government within the United Kingdom.

6. The UK is one of the top ten manufacturers in the world and has the largest industries in Europe for Life Sciences, ICT (information and communications technology – or technologies) and the Creative Industries.

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7. The prime minister of the United Kingdom is David William Donald Cameron. He was sworn into office on May 11 2011. The current monarch of Great Britain is Elizabeth II. Alexander Elliot Anderson “Alex” Salmond is the  minister of Scotland. He assumed office on May 16, 2007.

8.  English is spoken throughout the UK, but there are other official languages too, such as Welsh, Scots and Gaeli.

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9. Although, the Queen is Head of State in the United Kingdom. As a constitutional monarch, Her Majesty does not ‘rule’ the country, but the royal family fulfils important ceremonial and formal roles with respect to Government.

10. Four of the top six universities in the world are in the United Kingdom. The main religion in United Kingdom is Christianity.