Portal:United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom Portal

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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 in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands within the British Isles. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland; otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea and the Irish Sea. The total area of the United Kingdom is 242,495 square kilometres (93,628 sq mi), with an estimated 2020 population of more than 67 million people.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with a metropolitan area population of over 14 million. Other major cities include Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool and Leeds. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers.

The United Kingdom has evolved from a series of annexations, unions and separations of constituent countries over several hundred years. The Treaty of Union between the Kingdom of England (which included Wales, annexed in 1542) and the Kingdom of Scotland in 1707 formed the Kingdom of Great Britain. Its union in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Most of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which formally adopted that name in 1927.

The United Kingdom has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), and the eighth-largest by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and a very high Human Development Index rating, ranking 18th in the world. It also performs well in international rankings of education, healthcare, life expectancy and human development. The UK became the world's first industrialised country and was the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today the UK retains considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific, technological and political influence internationally. It is a recognised nuclear state and is ranked fourth globally in military expenditure. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.

The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the United Nations, NATO, AUKUS, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It was a member state of the European Communities (EC) and its successor, the European Union (EU), from its accession in 1973 until its withdrawal in 2020 following a referendum held in 2016. (Full article...)

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An 1840s depiction of the college's rowing outfit

Jesus College Boat Club is a rowing club for members of Jesus College, Oxford, one of the colleges of the University of Oxford. The club was formed in 1835, but rowing at the college predates the club's foundation: a boat from the college was involved in the earliest recorded races between college crews at Oxford in 1815, when it competed against a crew from Brasenose College. In the early years of rowing at Oxford, Jesus was one of the few colleges that participated in races. A number of college members have rowed for the university against Cambridge University in the Boat Race and the Women's Boat Race. Barney Williams, a Canadian rower who studied at the college, won a silver medal in rowing at the 2004 Summer Olympics, and participated in the Boat Race in 2005 and 2006. Other students who rowed while at the college have achieved success in other fields, including John Sankey, who became Lord Chancellor, and Alwyn Williams, who became Bishop of Durham. The college boathouse, which is shared with Keble College's boat club, dates from 1964 and replaced a moored barge used by spectators and crew-members. (Full article...)

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William Longchamp (died 1197) was a medieval Lord Chancellor, Chief Justiciar, and Bishop of Ely in England. He first served an illegitimate son of Henry II of England, but quickly transferred to the service of Richard I, King Henry's eldest surviving son. When Richard became King of England in 1189, Longchamp paid £3,000 for the office of Chancellor, and was soon named to the bishopric of Ely and appointed legate by the pope. Longchamp governed England while Richard was on the Third Crusade, but his authority was challenged by Richard's brother, John, who eventually succeeded in driving Longchamp from power and from England. Longchamp's relations with the other leading English nobles were also strained, which contributed to the demands for his exile. When Richard was captured on his journey back to England from the crusade and held for ransom by the Holy Roman Emperor, Longchamp travelled to Germany to help negotiate Richard's release. Although Longchamp regained the office of Chancellor after Richard's return to England, he lost much of his former power. He did, however, retain Richard's trust, and was employed by the king until the bishop's death in 1197. Longchamp wrote a treatise on the law, which remained well known throughout the later Middle Ages, but he aroused much hostility among his contemporaries. (Full article...)

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In the news

Wikinews UK

28 September 2022 – Economy of the United Kingdom
The Bank of England buys 65 billion pounds of bonds in a bid to stabilise the UK economy. (NBC News)
26 September 2022 – September 2022 United Kingdom mini-budget
The pound sterling falls to its record lowest level against the U.S. dollar. (BBC News)
19 September 2022 – Death and state funeral of Elizabeth II
The state funeral of Elizabeth II is held in London, United Kingdom. (BBC News)
10 September 2022 – Proclamation of accession of Charles III
Charles Philip Arthur George is proclaimed King of the United Kingdom as Charles III by the Accession Council at St James's Palace. (BBC News)
8 September 2022 – Death of Elizabeth II, Operation London Bridge
Buckingham Palace announces that Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She is succeeded as monarch by her son Charles III. (BBC News)

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