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The capital of UK and its largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million, the fourth-largest in Europe and second-largest in the European Union.
based in their capitals, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, respectively.
Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, it includes the island of Great Britain (the name of which is also loosely applied to the whole country), the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands.
Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-southwest, giving it the 12th longest coastline in the world.
It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants.
The monarch—since 6 February 1952—is Queen Elizabeth II.
The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the United Kingdom, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.
The relationships among the countries of the United Kingdom have changed over time.
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The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland.
With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the UK is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe.