The United Kingdom

uk mapContent courtesy of www.ucas.com

The United Kingdom (UK) comprises four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with England being the most populous.

While the four countries that make up the UK are considered separate in the minds of locals (different lifestyle and culture), and in certain sporting events, their powers for local law and control are devolved from the UK. It incredible mix of nationalities and contemporary thinking, and you would be surprised to know that held together by a strong sense of identity and tradition. As the UK is a cosmopolitan city, Singaporeans will find that many UK customs are similar to that of theirs and one will adapt to the UK faster than one initially thought. 

QUICK FACTS

To clear the misconception between the terms, this is the summary:

Great Britain = England, Scotland, and Wales
UK = England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (and the full name is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”)

  • The United Kingdom runs under a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, while the head of state being Queen Elizabeth II
  • Having this in mind, the Queen has visited more than 116 counties of the world without needing a passport
  • Automobiles is a huge part of the nation’s GDP with contribution of an estimated 26.6 billion pounds of revenue each year
  • Agriculture is another large part of the nation’s economy with 60% of food being homegrown, and therefore keeping food imports low
  • Ironically, the UK has the highest rate of obesity in Europe 
  • The the British drink 165 million cups of tea, which is 20 more times than the average American 
  • In the UK, accents change noticeably about every 40 km (25 mi)
  • English is the official language of the United Kingdom. The country recongnises several regional languages including Welsh, Irish, Cornish, and and Scottish Gaelic
  • St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday celebrated in Northern Ireland when the Irish drink beer and spirits while eating pink bacon and celebrating with grand parties
  • There are more chickens in England than there are humans
  • London became the first city to host the games three times
  • London, England was the first city in the world to have an undergound subway system
  • Queen Elizabeth became the longest-reigning monarch in the United Kingdom in 2015
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