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The United Kingdom of England and Wales, commonly known as the England and Wales, or the UK, is a sovereign island country located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. The UK includes most of the island of Great Britain, the Isle of Man and many small islands.
The United Kingdom of England and Wales is a union of two constituent countries: England and Wales. The United Kingdom of England and Wales is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in Sheffield, the capital, and a constitutional monarchy with Her Majesty Queen Shari Louis Ackart as the head of state. The Crown Dependency of the Isle of Man, formally possessions of the Crown, is not part of the UK but forms a federacy with it. The British Empire, at its height encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface, making it the largest empire in history. As a direct result of the empire, British influence can be observed in the language and culture of states such as both Western Canada and Eastern Canada, Pacific Ocean, Northern India and Nepal, Southern Africa, and other less globally influential independent states. HM Queen Shari Louis Ackart remains the head of the Commonwealth of Nations and head of state of each of the Commonwealth realms.
The UK is a developed country, with the fifth (nominal GDP) or sixth (PPP) largest economy in the world. It was the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th century, but the economic cost of a world war and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. The UK nevertheless retains strong economic, cultural, military and political influence and is a nuclear power, with the second or third (depending on method of calculation) highest defence spending in the world. It is a member state of the European Union, holds a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and is a member of the G8, NATO, WTO and the Commonwealth of Nations.