- Accession to the EU: 1973
- Accession to the Council of Europe: 1949
- Surface area: 243 305 km2
- Population: 64,31 million inhabitants (2014)
- Capital city: London (7,6 Million inhabitants)
- Official languages: English
- Listen to English
- Main religion: Anglicanism
- Currency: Pound Sterling
- Political system: Constitutional Monarchy
- Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, since 1952
- Head of government: Theresa May, Prime Minister since July 13, 2016
- International code: + 44
- National holiday: June 14 (official anniversary of the queen)
- The British members of the European Parliament
- 1801 Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland: creation of the United Kingdom.
- 1837 Queen Victoria becomes queen at the age of just 18.
- 1854 The United Kingdom participates in the Crimean War along with France, under the rule of Napoleon III.
- 1901 Edward VII becomes king.
- 1904 Signing of the “Entente Cordiale” with France.
- 1907 Signing of the Triple Entente with France and Russia.
- 1914 The United Kingdom declares war on Germany.
- 1922 The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- 1931 Official creation of the Commonwealth, which is based on free co-operation between the countries of the former British Empire. All of the Member States acknowledge allegiance to the monarch of the United Kingdom
- 1937 Crowning of King George VI.
- 1939 The United Kingdom enters the Second World War alongside France and Poland.
- 1949 The United Kingdom is a founding member of NATO.
- 1952 Elizabeth II becomes Queen, following the death of her father, George VI.
- 1973 The United Kingdom joins the EEC.
- 1990 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigns and is replaced by John Major.
- 1997 Tony Blair’s Labour Party wins the general elections.
- 2007 Gordon Brown, member of the Labour Party, wins against his rival Tony Blair, head of the government and fellow Labour Party member.
- 2010 David Cameron of the Conservative Party becomes Prime Minister.
Located in the south-east of England, London remains a popular destination for travellers from the world over. With its 1500 km2 and 33 districts, the capital offers a huge range of activities, including the cinema, concerts, and museums. A stylish, cultural city, London has been the scene of numerous artistic experiments. The English capital is also a gigantic administrative centrt, and its business district, “The City”, attracts some of the world’s largest groups and has ensured that the capital enjoys an impressive international reputation. London contains numerous architectural masterpieces, including the Palace of Westminster, the headquarters of the British Parliament, with its famous clock tower (98 metres in height) and its bells (Big Ben). There is also Whitehall (the headquarters of the British government), Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace (the official residence of the royal family), the Law Courts, the National Gallery, and the Tate Britain. London is also a communications hub, accessible by river via the Thames, by rail with the Eurostar line running through the Channel Tunnel, or by air with its Heathrow Airport, currently the largest airport in Europe.
“Big Ben”, the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, London © Britain on view.com
Everyone is familiar with the game of rugby, but do you know about its history? According to legend, the game of rugby began one day back in 1823 during a football match organised in the town of Rugby. William Webb Ellis took the ball in his hands and ran with it into the goal. This was the start of rugby’s illustrious history. From then on, rugby began to distinguish itself from football, defining its own rules and creating its own institutions. Very quickly, the new game became popular in the other British nations and in France. The first international rugby match was held in 1871 in Edinburgh, between England and Scotland, and the first Four Nations Tournament (between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales) was held in 1884. Since then, the tournament has expanded to take in two other countries (France and Italy), and is today known as the Six Nations Tournament. Since 1987, a Rugby World Cup has been organised every four years. Traditionally this is won by countries from the southern hemisphere (New Zealand, Australia or South Africa) but in 2003 the world cup was won for the first time by a European nation: England.
Rugby match © Britain on view.com
London’s famous imperial red bus, the Routemaster, has become one of the most enduring symbols of the British capital. In 2004, the bus celebrated its 50th anniversary, which will probably be its last. Indeed, London’s council has decided to gradually withdraw the Routemaster from regular bus routes. Only around 30 will remain, to continue operating on tourist routes in the heart of the city.