About Great Britain
Great Britain (commonly known as Britain) is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island. With a population of about 60.0 million people, it is the third most populated island on Earth. Great Britain is surrounded by over 1,000 smaller islands and islets. The island of Ireland lies to its west. Politically, Great Britain may also refer to the island itself together with a number of surrounding islands which comprise the territory of England, Scotland and Wales.
The island is territory of the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and most of the United Kingdom's territory is in Great Britain. Most of England, Scotland, and Wales are on the island of Great Britain, as are their respective capital cities: London, Edinburgh, and Cardiff. The Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the political union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland with the Acts of Union 1707 on 1 May 1707 under Queen Anne. In 1801, under a new Act of Union, this kingdom merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. After the Irish War of Independence, most of Ireland seceded from the Union. Currently the kingdom is named the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Queen Elizabeth II has been head of state of the United Kingdom since 1952, and is also head of state of 15 other member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. These countries are known as the Commonwealth Realms (Source Wikipedia)