You’ve used the terms interchangeably, but in reality England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom all refer to different things. You’ve also probably wondered how the Scots fit into all of this, why only a piece of Ireland is part of the Kingdom and where exactly Princess Diana is from? To explain which is what and where, let’s start with the smallest piece of the puzzle.
Good old England is probably the term you’re most familiar with, thanks to a tea party America had about 250 years ago. Then it was a kingdom, but today it is a country that is (almost) completely separate from Scotland and Wales. England is a part of Great Britain, the largest of the British Isles, which are the islands off the northwest coast of Europe that not only contain Scotland, Wales and Ireland, but also the Isle of Man, Baliwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. The latter three are not countries but Crown dependencies, meaning they are possessions of the Crown, but allowed self-governance.
Through the power of logic, we have deduced Northern Ireland is not a part of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), but a part of the larger United Kingdom. But what about the Republic of Ireland? The division of Ireland is a contentious issue for both sides of the border, and there isn’t even a term for Northern Ireland that’s not politically charged. The Republic of Ireland is an independent, sovereign state while Northern Ireland, along with the countries of Great Britain, makes up the United Kingdom. Keep in mind Scotland and Wales are still their own countries with some self government, but their official Head of State is the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II.
You’ve probably wondered by the English flags appears in so many random places around the world. That’s because those places are British Overseas Territories, a euphemism for saying they are former colonies. It’s important to note their Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II and that they are not countries, which separates them from the 15 Commonwealth realms. These independent realms, like Australia, Canada and Jamaica, are sovereign states with the Queen as their constitutional monarch. The Commonwealth realms are also part of the Commonwealth of Nations, which adds completely independent countries like India that have historic ties to England.
The British Overseas Territories and Commonwealth realms, while possessions of the Crown, are independent of the United Kingdom, whereas the non-realm countries of the Commonwealth of Nations are completely sovereign.
Once business concludes, a world of wonder awaits in many of Italy’s incredible cities.
Barcelona’s insane popularity and large influx of visitors as of late may have some travelers steering away from the Mediterranean coastal city, but just outside the overpopulated center of the city, known as Ciutat Vella, are quieter neighborhoods that offer more of a local feel and don’t come with exorbitant tourist prices. El Poble-Sec is one such area that rests between the towering Montjuic park and the Old Town, making it a nice escape but still close enough to access the sights.
In food capitals like New York City, foodie crazes seem to rise and set as quickly as the sun, but one trend that has endured for awhile now is the city’s penchant for regional Chinese cuisine, and the East Village is home to some of the city’s top spots for sampling your way through several of these regions.
Bleisure — it’s a term we’re all familiar with these days. After all, millennials drive the rising trend, combining business and leisure trips regularly. Take a few days to decompress in a new destination after a hectic schedule of meetings and business.
Some places appear better to visit in the winter. For example, anywhere known for winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, will be less visited in the summer because those same people are going to spend their time at the beach or another destination. However, visiting these destinations during the off-seasons can show a side of the city or town that can’t be seen under piles of snow. It’s worth checking out a couple of these favorite winter destinations.