Population: 49.5 million
Area: 130,395 sq km
Population density: 380 people per sq km
Capital: London (population 7.1 million)


What is the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain?
The United Kingdom is made up of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain, on the other hand, comprises only England, Scotland and Wales. It is the largest island of the British Isles. Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic form the second largest island.


Which religions are represented in Britain?
Everyone in Britain has the right to religious freedom. Britain is predominantly Christian - there are over 1.7 million members of the Roman Catholic Church and there are 1.7 million members of the Anglican church - the 'established church', that is the church legally recognized as the official church of the State.


What powers does the Queen have?
The Crown, which represents both the Sovereign (the person on whom the Crown is constitutionally conferred) and the Government, is the symbol of supreme executive power. The Crown is vested in the Queen, but in general its functions are exercised by Ministers responsible to Parliament and thus Britain is governed by Her Majesty’s Government in the name of the Queen. However, the Queen’s involvement is still required in many important acts of government.


Who is next in line to the throne?
Line of Succession:

  1. The Prince of Wales (b. 1948)
  2. Prince William of Wales (b. 1982)
  3. Prince Henry of Wales (b. 1984)
  4. The Duke of York (b. 1960)
  5. Princess Beatrice of York (b. 1988)
  6. Princess Eugenie of York (b. 1990)
  7. The Earl of Wessex (b. 1964)
  8. The Princess Royal (b. 1950)
  9. Peter Phillips, son of the Princess Royal (b. 1977)
  10. Zara Phillips, daughter of the Princess Royal (b. 1981)

Where did Big Ben get its name?
Although the name 'Big Ben' is commonly used to refer to the famous clock at the top of St. Stephen's Tower of the Houses of Parliament in London, the nickname is more correctly applied to the bell within the tower. It was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who was the Chief Commissioner of Works at the time. The original bell, cast in 1856 and weighing some 15 tons, was being tested in Palace Yard when it developed serious cracks and had to be scrapped. The new bell, weighing a mere 13 tons, was installed in 1858. There are also fourQuarterbells in the clock tower weighing between 4 tons and 1 ton.


How old is Stonehenge?
StonehengeStonehenge, the most famous prehistoric monument in Britain, is situated on Salisbury Plain in the county of Wiltshire. The first stage - a circular ditch and bank with an entrance flanked by a pair of small standing stones - is believed to have been built around 3000 BC. The site was subsequently abandoned and rebuilt between 2100 and 1800 BC.


There are many mysteries surrounding this ancient site. Some of the stones are thought to have come from the Preseli mountains in Pembrokeshire (Wales). Experts believe they may have been transported for much of the way by water before being dragged overland for the last stage of the journey.

It has been suggested that Stonehenge once operated as a massive astronomical clock. Some even believe it was a landing site for Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). A more likely explanation is that Stonehenge was an important center of worship connected with the sun.


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a tribute to justin...
Justin Dale Peterson

Justin Dale Peterson,
US Marine Corps, Iraq

Sept. 30, 1974 ~ Oct. 1, 2006

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