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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom or the UK) is a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe.
The Union comprises four 'home nations': England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It occupies all of the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern portion of the island of Ireland and most of the remaining British Isles. It counts Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands as its nearest neighbours. The Isle of Man and the various Channel Islands are 'crown dependencies', linked to the UK by various ties and mutual obligations but not part of it.
The UK today is a diverse patchwork of native and immigrant cultures, possessing a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture, both of which remain hugely influential in the wider world. Although Britannia no longer rules the waves, the UK is still a popular destination for many travellers. The capital city of the United Kingdom (and the largest city) is London.