The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained

Welcome to the United Kingdom
(and a Whole Lot More)
explained by me, C. G. P. Grey. United Kingdom?
Great Britain? Are these three the same place?
Are they different places? Do British people secretly laugh those
who use the terms incorrectly?
Who knows the answers to these questions? I do, and I’m going to tell you right now. For the lost — this is the world, this is the European continent, and this is the place we have to untangle. The area shown in purple is the United Kingdom. Part of the confusion is that the United Kingdom is not a single country, but is instead is a country of countries. It contains, inside of it —
four, co-equal, and sovereign nations. The first of these is England, shown here in red. England is often confused with the United Kingdom,
as a whole, because it’s the largest and most populous of the nations,
and contains the de facto capital city, London. To the north is Scotland, shown in blue,
and to the west is Wales, shown in white, and — often forgotten even
by those who live in the United Kingdom —
is Northern Ireland, shown in orange. Each country has a local term for the population. While you can call them all ‘British,’
it’s not recommended;
as the four countries generally don’t like each other. The Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh
regard the English as slave-driving, colonial masters (no matter that all three have their own, devolved, Parliaments; and are allowed to vote on English laws despite the reverse not being true), and the English generally regard the rest as rural, yokels who spend too much time with their sheep. However, as the four constituent countries
don’t have their own passports, they’re all British citizens, like it or not.
They are British citizens of the United Kingdom, whose full name, by the way, is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So where’s Great Britain hiding? Right here, the area covered in black is Great Britain. Unlike England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Great Britain is a geographical —
rather than a political — term. Great Britain is the largest island
among the British Isles. Within the United Kingdom,
the term ‘Great Britain’ is often used to refer to —
England, Scotland, and Wales alone — with the intentional exclusion of Northern Ireland. This is mostly, but not completely, true, as all three constituent countries have islands
that are not part of Great Britain: such as the Isle of Wight (part of England),
the Welsh Isle of Anglesey, the Scottish Hebrides, the Shetland Islands,
the Orkney Islands, and the Islands of the Clyde. The second biggest island in the British Isles is Ireland. It’s worth noting, at this point,
that Ireland is not a country; like Great Britain,
it’s a geographical — not political — term. The Island of Ireland contains, on it, two countries: Northern Ireland, which we have already discussed,
and the Republic of Ireland. When people say they are ‘Irish,’
they’re referring to the Republic of Ireland (which is a separate country from the United Kingdom). However, both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are members of the European Union — even though England, in particular, likes to
pretend that it’s an island in the mid-Atlantic, rather than 50 kilometers off the coast of France —
but that’s a story for another time. To review: the two largest islands in the British Isles
are Ireland and Great Britain. Ireland has, on it, two countries —
the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland; while Great Britain, mostly, contains three:
England, Scotland and Wales. These last three, when combined with Northern Ireland, form the United Kingdom. There are still many unanswered questions:
such as, why, when you travel to Canada, is there British royalty on the money? To answer this, we need to talk about empire. You can’t have gone to school, in the English-speaking world, without having learned that the British Empire once spanned 1/4th the world’s land
and governed nearly 1/4th the world’s people. While it’s easy to remember the parts of the
British Empire that broke away violently, we often forget how many nations gained independence through diplomacy, not bloodshed. These want-to-be nations struck a deal with the Empire: where they continued to recognize the Monarchy as the Head of State, in exchange
for a local, autonomous parliament. To understand how they are connected,
we need to talk about the Crown. Not the physical crown — that sits behind glass in the Tower of London, and earns millions of tourist pounds for the UK — but the Crown as a complicated, legal entity, best thought of as a one-man corporation. Who created this corporation? God did. According to British tradition, all power is vested in God and the Monarch is crowned in a Christian ceremony. God, however, not wanting to be bothered with micromanagement, conveniently delegates his power his power to an entity called the Crown. While this used to be the physical
crown in the Tower of London, it evolved, over time, into a legal corporation; sole able to be controlled only by the ruling monarch. It’s a useful reminder that the United Kingdom is still, technically, a theocracy: with the reigning monarch acting as both the Head of State and the Supreme Governor of the official state religion: Anglicanism. Such are the oddities that arise when dealing with a thousand year-old Monarchy. Back to Canada and the rest. The former colonies that gained their independence through diplomacy, and continue to recognize
the authority of the Crown, are known as the Commonwealth Realm.
They are, in decreasing order of population: Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Jamaica, the Solomon Islands, Belize, the Bahamas, Barbados, Saint Lucia,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Tuvalu. All are independent nations, but still recognize the Monarchy as the Head of State (even though it has little
real power within their borders). There are three further entities that belong to the Crown, and these are the Crown Dependencies:
the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey. Unlike the Commonwealth Realm, they are not considered independent nations, but are granted local autonomy by the Crown, and a British Citizenship by the United Kingdom (though, the UK does reserve the right to over-rule
the laws of their local assemblies). Are we all done 𝘯𝘰𝘸?
Almost, but not quite; there are still a couple of loose threads,
such as this place: the tiny city of Gibraltar on the southern coast of Spain. Famous for its rock,
its monkeys, and for causing diplomatic
tension between the United Kingdom and Spain. But what about the Falkland Islands:
which caused so much tension between the United Kingdom and Argentina, that they went to war over them. These places belong in the last group of Crown properties known as: British Overseas Territories, but their former name,
‘Crown Colonies,’ gives away their origin. They are the last vestiges of the British Empire.
Unlike the Commonwealth Realm, they have not become independent nations and continue to rely on the United Kingdom for military and, sometimes, economic assistance. Like the Crown Dependencies, everyone born within their borders is a British citizen. The Crown Colonies are,
in decreasing order of population: Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands,
Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Saint Helena, the Ascension Islands, Tristan da Cunha, Montserrat, the British Indian Ocean Territory,
the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, the Falkland Islands, the British Antarctic Territory,
and the Pitcairn Islands. For our final Venn diagram: the United Kingdom is a country situated
on the British Isles and is part of the Crown,
which is controlled by the Monarchy. Also part of the Crown and the British Isles are the Crown Dependencies. The independent nations of the former Empire that still recognize the Crown are the Commonwealth Realm, and the non-independent remnants of the former Empire and are the British Overseas Territories. Thank you very much for watching!

100 thoughts on “The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained

  1. The U.K. complain about the immigration problem and terror attacks Well, I suppose if you had not decided to conquer the world you would not now be suffering the consequences…The ancient Briton’s are Celtic, not English speaking British. It's a mystery to me how anyone could be proud to be English. Scottish Gaelic Language originally comes from Ireland. So, If Britons are going to be "patriotic" about the U.K. then you should all be learning Cornish, Welsh, Scots Gaelic. ( So, stop the bullshit ) The E.U. needs to eliminate the U.K. economy and give Scotland and Wales and Ireland their independence before England start WWIII.

    The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined the World

  2. 0:08 the name of the country is Great Britain. United Kingdom is the type of political establishment under which it is run and England makes up one part (kingdom) of the Great Britain the others are Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  3. You made a big mistake in calling Ireland a British isle. Ireland is not a British isle, and in 1998 the British government agreed with the Irish government to desist from referring to Ireland as the British Isles. The term is a colonial term, banned from all official publication in Ireland. It is used only by British who still regard Ireland as belonging to Britain and is supported by your narrative in this video. It is offensive to Irish people to hear their country being referred to as a British isle. Some British apologists for using British colonial language will try to make out that calling Ireland a British isle is only a geographical term. It is not that, and that is the reason Ireland does not call itself that. And it is the reason the British government agreed to Irish requests to desist for from applying it. Ireland is a sovereign republic, its name is Ireland, it does not use the term British Isles to refer to our country and its nearest neighbour Britain. By using this offensive term you are perpetuating the language of our historic enemy in our struggle for independence, which is something the British are congenitally incapable of accepting, hence their continued use of colonial terms suggesting they still own Ireland.

  4. Is there a specific reason you sound as though you’re reading warning labels/legal exemptions at the end of a commercial? Strange and distracting way of trying to educate people.

  5. Hold up…wait…Ireland is not a country?? It’s Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?? 😳😳😳 I never knew that! Wow.

  6. The whole of great britain fits into my state of Queensland many times. Also I lived with a bloke From Northern Ireland and he identified as Irish not British.

  7. 1:59
    'England likes to pretend it’s an island in the middle of the atlantic'.

    Never heard a truer statement in my life.

  8. Suppose King or Queen should be pure, good management that he is always want to see his citizens in prosperity and always ready to protect. That why the king called as a representative of God. He should represent God and maintain his citizen like his own child. But nowadays most the king or president simply maintain their own interests. So we can not accept them as representative of God.

  9. Had to stop watching the video as the rate of speech is too high…just a feed back…simetimes speak less but be concise and be considerate for the people who use English as a second language

  10. It's really not that complicated. Many countries are familiar with having subdivisions within them – the USA is made up of states. Nobody is confused by the concept of Florida and California Vs the USA. It's perfectly clear. The lack of understanding about the UK is pure ignorance, and nothing more. Stop trying to make yourselves feel better about your ignorance by pretending it's so complex. The overseas territories can get quite complex, sure, but that is not really core to the whole UK/England/Britain discussion.
    Ask yourselves this – if you are American, would you consider it silly if someone didn't understand that Texas and the USA are not equivalent? Or worse still, that NYC and the USA are not equivalent (some people even think that London is a country!)
    If you're Canadian or Australian or Indian, or whatever, ask yourself if you'd expect someone to know the difference between one of your states/provinces and the name of your country as a whole. I think you'd expect them to understand that.
    A larger entity is made up of smaller entities that each have their own name and culture, and function together as an overall nation (the UK). It really is that simple.


  12. I am wondering how some people cannot keep up with what he said, I can understand that he almost is going at a speed like a hamster on coffee but not fast enough to me.

  13. Why do you talk so fast ? Can't understand a word. No punctuation at all. This is insane. It's like the fast forwarded tape record. Message not delivered at all

  14. I don't know from where the British spies come to impeach our President Trump from Scotland ,from Great Britaine, or England or ……?

  15. So that is Great Britain , The British Isles , The United Kingdom and England , Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland and Ireland sorted so where is Britain ?

  16. I ADMIT: I thought 'UKRAINE' was yet another term for the UNITED KINGDOM, or it was some district within it, until I was like 25. But in my defense, the UK… UKRAINE… C'mon… that's an easy one to confuse.

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