A funeral is a ceremony connected with the burial, cremation, or interment of a corpse, or the burial with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect the dead, from interment, to various monuments and rituals undertaken in their honor. Customs vary between religious groups. Common secular motivations for funerals include mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, offering support and sympathy to the bereaved; the funeral includes a ritual through which the corpse receives a final dispositon. Depending on culture and religion, these can involve either the destruction of the body or its preservation. Differing beliefs about cleanliness and the relationship between body and soul are reflected in funerary practices. A memorial service or celebration of life is a funerary ceremony, performed without the remains of the deceased person; the word funeral comes from the Latin funus, which had a variety of meanings, including the corpse and the funerary rites themselves.
Funerary art is art produced in connection with burials, including many kinds of tombs, objects specially made for burial like flowers with a corpse. Funeral rites are as old as human culture itself, pre-dating modern Homo sapiens and dated to at least 300,000 years ago. For example, in the Shanidar Cave in Iraq, in Pontnewydd Cave in Wales and at other sites across Europe and the Near East, archaeologists have discovered Neanderthal skeletons with a characteristic layer of flower pollen; this deliberate burial and reverence given to the dead has been interpreted as suggesting that Neanderthals had religious beliefs, although the evidence is not unequivocal – while the dead were buried deliberately, burrowing rodents could have introduced the flowers. Substantial cross-cultural and historical research document funeral customs as a predictable, stable force in communities. Funeral customs tend to be characterized by five "anchors": significant symbols, gathered community, ritual action, cultural heritage, transition of the dead body.
Funerals in the Bahá'í Faith are characterized by not embalming, a prohibition against cremation, using a chrysolite or hardwood casket, wrapping the body in silk or cotton, burial not farther than an hour from the place of death, placing a ring on the deceased's finger stating, "I came forth from God, return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate." The Bahá'í funeral service contains the only prayer that's permitted to be read as a group - congregational prayer, although most of the prayer is read by one person in the gathering. The Bahá'í decedent controls some aspects of the Bahá'í funeral service, since leaving a will and testament is a requirement for Bahá'ís. Since there is no Bahá'í clergy, services are conducted under the guise, or with the assistance of, a Local Spiritual Assembly. A Buddhist funeral marks the transition from one life to the next for the deceased, it reminds the living of their own mortality. Christian burials occur on consecrated ground.
Burial, rather than a destructive process such as cremation, was the traditional practice amongst Christians, because of the belief in the resurrection of the body. Cremations came into widespread use, although some denominations forbid them; the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said "The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed. Congregations of varied denominations perform different ceremonies, but most involve offering prayers, scripture reading from the Bible, a sermon, homily, or eulogy, music. One issue of concern as the 21st century began was with the use of secular music at Christian funerals, a custom forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church. Antyesti "last rites or last sacrifice", refers to the rite-of-passage rituals associated with a funeral in Hinduism, it is sometimes referred to as Antya-kriya, Anvarohanyya, or Vahni Sanskara. A dead adult Hindu is cremated, while a dead child is buried; the rite of passage is said to be performed in harmony with the sacred premise that the microcosm of all living beings is a reflection of a macrocosm of the universe.
The soul is believed to be the immortal essence, released at the Antyeshti ritual, but both the body and the universe are vehicles and transitory in various schools of Hinduism. They consist of five elements: air, fire and space; the last rite of passage returns the body to the five origins. The roots of this belief are found in the Vedas, for example in the hymns of Rigveda in section 10.16, as follows, The final rites of a burial, in case of untimely death of a child, is rooted in Rig Veda's section 10.18, where the hymns mourn the death of the child, praying to deity Mrityu to "neither harm our girls nor our boys", pleads the earth to cover, protect the deceased child as a soft wool. Among Hindus, the dead body is cremated within a day of death; the body is washed, wrapped in white cloth for a man or a widow, red for a married woman, the two toes tied together with a string, a Tilak placed on the forehead. The dead adult's body is carried to the cremation ground near a river or water, by family and friends, placed on a pyr
Baslow is a village in Derbyshire, England, in the Peak District, situated between Sheffield and Bakewell, just over 1 mile north of Chatsworth House. It is sited by the River Derwent, spanned by a 17th-century bridge, alongside, a contemporary toll house. Baslow village is composed of several distinct areas: Bubnell, Bridge End, Over End and Nether End; the village's civil parish is called Baslow and Bubnell, which in the 2011 census had a population of 1,178. St Anne's Church has a Saxon coffin lid in the porch entrance, but the oldest part of the current building, the north aisle, dates from about 1200; the tower was constructed in the 13th century but the rest of the church is newer and was the subject of an extensive restoration in the 19th century. A sundial lies in the church grounds, atop the shaft and steps of a cross; this may have acted as a market cross in the 17th century. A second cross lies in the graveyard, moved from Bubnell by Doctor Wrench, who erected the nearby Wellington Monument and is buried in the churchyard.
This cross may have been known as the "Butter Cross". Just behind the church is the old bridge. Built in 1603, this is the oldest bridge across the Derwent never to have been destroyed by floods; the Baslow Grand Hotel Golf Club was founded in 1896. The course was still appearing on Ordnance Survey maps in the 1930s. Baslow village is composed of several distinct areas: Bubnell, Bridge End, Over End and Nether End. Bridge End is the original settlement, clustered around the church and the ancient bridge and ford across the River Derwent. Nether End, at the eastern end of the village, has several hotels, pubs and tea rooms. There is a caravan site and a pedestrian entrance to Chatsworth Park. Just outside Nether End are the so-called "Golden Gates", a set of gates dating from the 1st Duke's rebuilding of Chatsworth, which were moved here by Sir Joseph Paxton for William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire, in the 19th century to make a new entrance to the park, following its extension northwards towards Baslow in the 1830s.
The gates are now only used, most when large public events are held in the park. Over End is a residential area on the hillside to the north of the village, it contains Baslow Hall, just off Calver Road, once occupied by Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti, the radio and electrical pioneer and inventor, next by George Kenning. Today it is Fischer's Restaurant. Near the junction of Bar Road and Gorse Bank Lane was the site of a large Hydropathic hotel, demolished in 1936 and is now a small cul-de-sac called Hydro Close. To the north of the village, Baslow Edge was once quarried for gritstone and features the Eagle Stone, an isolated 6-metre high block of gritstone. According to tradition, the local men had to climb this rock. Just behind it there is a monument to the Duke of Wellington, raised in 1866 by the local dignitary, Dr Lieutenant Colonel E. M. Wrench, it marked an earlier visit by Wellington to the moor, was intended as a balance to the nearby Nelson's Monument. Frederic Barker was vicar here before being Bishop of Sydney.
Dr E. M. Wrench's papers are held by the department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham. Baslow description page from Discover Derbyshire Baslow walk from Discover Derbyshire Baslow section of genuki.org.uk Baslow in the Domesday Book
Dominic Gerard Francis Eagleton West is an English actor and musician. He is best known for playing Jimmy McNulty in The Wire and Noah Solloway in The Affair, the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, he won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor at the 2012 British Academy Television Awards for portraying serial killer Fred West in Appropriate Adult. His film credits include Chicago, 300, Punisher: War Zone, John Carter, The Square, Colette. Dominic Gerard Francis Eagleton West was born on 15 October 1969 in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, he is the sixth of seven siblings born into a family of Irish Catholic descent. His mother, Pauline Mary, was an actress, his father, Thomas George Eagleton West, owned a plastics factory, he is the first cousin once removed of American politician Thomas Eagleton. West attended Trinity College, Dublin, he graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1995. West's screen appearances include True Blue, Richard III, Mona Lisa Smile.
His most notable television role has been starring in The Wire as the American police detective Jimmy McNulty. West was praised for the accuracy of his character's American accent, his debut as a director was while being on The Wire. West starred as Lysander in the 1999 film version of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In feature films, he portrayed the heavy metal guitarist Kirk Cuddy in the 2001 film Rock Star. West played "Fred Casely" in 2002 film Chicago. In 2006 West played the Spartan politician Theron in 300 and made a guest appearance as an actor in a sketch in The Catherine Tate Show, alongside "Frankie Howerd impressionist". In 2007 he played Detective Poppil in Hannibal Rising. West played Jigsaw, in the 2008 film Marvel's Punisher: War Zone. In 2010 he had a role as General Virilus in Neil Marshall's adventure thriller Centurion. West starred in The Awakening. West has done other work on radio, he appeared in the role of Oliver Cromwell in the Channel 4 series The Devil's Whore.
He performed as "Dr. West", the opening track on Eminem's 2009 album Relapse, as a doctor discharging Eminem from a rehab facility. West played the part over the phone in January 2009. In December 2009, West starred as Hank in a radio adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's expressionist play The Hairy Ape for BBC Radio 3, was a guest presenter on the BBC show Have I Got News for You, ended the year alongside Joan Rivers and Sarah Jessica Parker with an appearance on Graham Norton's New Year's Eve Show. In 2011, West appeared as a news presenter on the BBC-TV period drama series The Hour, he played serial killer Fred West in the ITV two-part series Appropriate Adult, giving a performance that the serial killer's daughter described as capturing the "evil essence of – his character, his mannerisms his gait."In 2012, West was offered the role of Mance Rayder in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, but turned it down due to the amount of time he would have to spend away from his family. He played gay activist Jonathan Blake in the 2014 film Pride about the 1984–1985 miners' strike in the UK.
West stars as Noah Solloway on Showtime's series The Affair, which premiered October 2014. The series was renewed for a third season in 2015. In 2019, West played the role of Jean Valjean in the BBC's adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables. West is represented by Tavistock Wood Management; as a theatre actor, West has played Edward in Harley Granville Barker's The Voysey Inheritance directed by Peter Gill at the Royal National Theatre in 2006. Around 2009, he starred at London's Donmar Warehouse as the protagonist in Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Pedro Calderon de la Barca's existential drama Life Is a Dream, for which he received glowing reviews, he took the title role in Simon Gray's classic comedy, playing at the Duchess Theatre in London from 1 June 2011. In the September he returned to his native Sheffield to play Iago to his former Wire co-star Clarke Peters's Othello at the Crucible Theatre. In September to October 2012, he starred in Jez Butterworth's The River at the Royal Court Theatre in London with Miranda Raison and Laura Donnelly.
From mid December 2012 to January 2013, West starred as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. In 2015–16, he starred alongside Janet McTeer in Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Donmar Warehouse in London. In 2009, West starred in a series of online films known as "The Carte Noire Readers". Made to promote French coffee brand Carte Noire, they consist of actors reading love scenes from a selection of sources and acting through the commitment of justice. West reads extracts from Prejudice by Jane Austen. H. Lawrence. West is a supporter of care charity Helen's Trust in response to their assistance to his mother prior to her death, he led Team Canada/Australia for Walking With a fundraising event for wounded soldiers. He trekked to the South Pole against Team America. A few days into the trek, it was decided that the competition part of the race would be cancelled due to hazardous terrain and weather conditions, so the teams combined forces and continued. Alongside Harry, Skarsgård and several wounded soldiers, West made it to the South Pole on 13 Dece
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base; the population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population; the metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000. The city is in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, the valleys of the River Don and its four tributaries, the Loxley, the Porter Brook, the Rivelin and the Sheaf. Sixty-one per cent of Sheffield's entire area is green space, a third of the city lies within the Peak District national park. There are more than 250 parks and gardens in the city, estimated to contain around 4.5 million trees. Sheffield played a crucial role in the Industrial Revolution, with many significant inventions and technologies developed in the city.
In the 19th century, the city saw a huge expansion of its traditional cutlery trade, when stainless steel and crucible steel were developed locally, fuelling an tenfold increase in the population. Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1843, becoming the City of Sheffield in 1893. International competition in iron and steel caused a decline in these industries in the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of coal mining in the area; the 21st century has seen extensive redevelopment in Sheffield, along with other British cities. Sheffield's gross value added has increased by 60% since 1997, standing at £9.2 billion in 2007. The economy has experienced steady growth averaging around 5% annually, greater than that of the broader region of Yorkshire and the Humber; the city has a long sporting heritage, is home to the world's oldest football club, Sheffield F. C. Games between the two professional clubs, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, are known as the Steel City derby; the city is home to the World Snooker Championship and the Sheffield Steelers, the UK's first professional ice hockey team.
The area now occupied by the City of Sheffield is believed to have been inhabited since at least the late Upper Paleolithic, about 12,800 years ago. The earliest evidence of human occupation in the Sheffield area was found at Creswell Crags to the east of the city. In the Iron Age the area became the southernmost territory of the Pennine tribe called the Brigantes, it is this tribe who are thought to have constructed several hill forts around Sheffield. Following the departure of the Romans, the Sheffield area may have been the southern part of the Brittonic kingdom of Elmet, with the rivers Sheaf and Don forming part of the boundary between this kingdom and the kingdom of Mercia. Anglian settlers pushed west from the kingdom of Deira. A Britonnic presence within the Sheffield area is evidenced by two settlements called Wales and Waleswood close to Sheffield; the settlements that grew and merged to form Sheffield, date from the second half of the first millennium, are of Anglo-Saxon and Danish origin.
In Anglo-Saxon times, the Sheffield area straddled the border between the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that Eanred of Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at the hamlet of Dore in 829, a key event in the unification of the kingdom of England under the House of Wessex. After the Norman conquest of England, Sheffield Castle was built to protect the local settlements, a small town developed, the nucleus of the modern city. By 1296, a market had been established at what is now known as Castle Square, Sheffield subsequently grew into a small market town. In the 14th century, Sheffield was noted for the production of knives, as mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, by the early 1600s it had become the main centre of cutlery manufacture in England outside London, overseen by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. From 1570 to 1584, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor. During the 1740s, a form of the crucible steel process was discovered that allowed the manufacture of a better quality of steel than had been possible.
In about the same period, a technique was developed for fusing a thin sheet of silver onto a copper ingot to produce silver plating, which became known as Sheffield plate. These innovations spurred Sheffield's growth as an industrial town, but the loss of some important export markets led to a recession in the late 18th and early 19th century; the resulting poor conditions culminated in a cholera epidemic that killed 402 people in 1832. The population of the town grew throughout the 19th century; the Sheffield and Rotherham railway was constructed in 1838. The town was incorporated as a borough in 1842, was granted a city charter in 1893; the influx of people led to demand for better water supplies, a number of new reservoirs were constructed on the outskirts of the town. The collapse of the dam wall of one of these reservoirs in 1864 resulted in the Great Sheffield Flood, which killed 270 people and devastated large parts of the town; the growing population led to the construction of many back-to-back dwellings that, along with severe pollution from the factories, inspired George Orwell in 1937 to write: "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World".
The Great Depression hit the city in the 1930s, but as international tensions increased and the Second
Home care is supportive care provided in the home. Care may be provided by licensed healthcare professionals who provide medical treatment needs or by professional caregivers who provide daily assistance to ensure the activities of daily living are met. In-home medical care is and more referred to as home health care or formal care; the term home health care is used to distinguish it from non-medical care, custodial care, or private-duty care which refers to assistance and services provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel. For terminally ill patients, home care may include hospice care. For patients recovering from surgery or illness, home care may include rehabilitative therapies. Home health services help adults and pediatric clients who are recovering after a hospital or facility stay, or need additional support to remain safely at home and avoid unnecessary hospitalization; these Medicare-certified services may include short-term nursing, rehabilitative and assistive home health care.
This care is provided by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, unlicensed assistive personnel, home health aides and medical social workers as a limited number of up to one hour visits, addressed through the Medicare Home Health benefit. The largest segment of home care consists of licensed and unlicensed non-medical personnel, including caregivers who assist the care seeker. Care assistants may help the individual with daily tasks such as bathing, cleaning the home, preparing meals and offering the recipient support and companionship. Caregivers work to support the needs of individuals; these services help the client to stay at home versus living in a facility. Non-medical home care is paid for by family; the term "private-duty" refers to the private pay nature of these relationships. Home care has traditionally been funded as opposed to home health care, task-based and government or insurance funded; these traditional differences in home care services are changing as the average age of the population has risen.
Individuals desire to remain independent and use home care services to maintain their existing lifestyle. Government and Insurance providers are beginning to fund this level of care as an alternative to facility care. In-Home Care is a lower cost solution to long-term care facilities. Professionals providing home health care include licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers. Rehabilitation services may be provided by physical therapists, occupational therapists and language pathologists and dietitians. Professionals can be independent practitioners, part of a larger organization, or part of a franchise. Home care aides, Certified Nursing Assistants, caregivers are trained to provide non-custodial or non-medical care, such as help with dressing, getting in and out of bed, using the toilet, they may prepare meals, accompany the client to medical visits, grocery shop, provide companionship and do various other errands. "Home care", "home health care" and "in-home care" are phrases that have been used interchangeably in the United States to mean any type of care—skilled or otherwise—given to a person in their own home.
There is, however, a distinction made on a state-by-state basis according to how each state regulates the home care industry. In New York State, for example, "home health care" is used to describe medical services performed at home by a healthcare professional, whereas "home care" describes non-medical, private duty care. Other states do not make the same distinction, but the difference between the two must be accounted for when dealing with Medicare reimbursements. Home care aims to make it possible for people to remain at home rather than use residential, long-term, or institutional-based nursing care. Home health care providers deliver services in the client's own home; these services may include some combination of professional health care services and life assistance services. Professional home health services may include medical or psychological assessment, wound care, medication teaching, pain management, disease education and management, physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy.
Home care services include help with daily tasks such as meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, shopping and companionship. Home care is an integral component of the post-hospitalization recovery process during the initial weeks after discharge when the patient still requires some level of regular physical assistance. Activities of daily living refers to activities, including bathing, transferring, using the toilet and walking, that reflect the patient's capacity for self-care. Instrumental activities of daily living refers to daily tasks, including light housework, preparing meals, taking medications, shopping for groceries or clothes, using the telephone, managing money, that enables the patient to live independently in the community. While there are differences in terms used in describing aspects of home care or home health care in the United States and other areas of the world, for the most part the descriptions are similar. Estimates for the U. S. indicate that most home care is informal, with families and friends providing a substantial amount of care.
For formal care, the health care professionals most involved are nurses followed by physical therapists and
Roy Sydney George Hattersley, Baron Hattersley, PC, FRSL is a British Labour politician and journalist from Sheffield. He was MP for Birmingham Sparkbrook for 33 years from 1964 to 1997, he served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1983 to 1992. Hattersley was born on 28 December 1932 in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Enid Brackenbury and Frederick Hattersley, who married in the 1950s, his mother was a city councillor, served as Lord Mayor of Sheffield. His father, at various times a police officer, clerk at Sheffield town hall, chairman of the council's Health Committee, was a former Roman Catholic priest, who renounced the church and left the priesthood to marry. Hattersley was a socialist and Labour supporter from his youth, electioneering at the age of 12 for his local MP and city councillors, beginning in 1945, he won a scholarship to Sheffield City Grammar School and went from there to study at the University of Hull. Having been accepted to read English at the University of Leeds, he was diverted into reading Economics at Hull when told by a Sheffield colleague of his mother that it was necessary for a political career.
At university Hattersley joined the Socialist Society and was one of those responsible for changing its name to the "Labour Club" and affiliating it with the non-aligned International Union of Socialist Youth rather than the Soviet-backed International Union of Students. Hattersley became chairman of the new club and treasurer, he went on to chair the National Association of Labour Student Organisations, he joined the executive of the IUSY. After graduating Hattersley worked for a Sheffield steelworks and for two years with the Workers' Educational Association, he married his first wife Molly, who became educational administrator. In 1956 he was elected to the City Council as Labour representative for Crookesmoor and was briefly, a JP. On the Council he spent time as chairman of the Public Works Committee and the Housing Committee, his aim became a Westminster seat, he was selected for Labour to stand for election in the Sutton Coldfield constituency but lost to the Conservative Geoffrey Lloyd in 1959.
He kept hunting for prospective candidacies. In 1963 he was chosen as the prospective parliamentary candidate for the multi-racial Birmingham Sparkbrook constituency and facing a Conservative majority of just under 900. On 16 October 1964 he was elected by a majority of 1,254 votes. At first he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Pensions, his maiden speech was on a housing subsidies bill. Still a Gaitskellite, he joined the 1963 Club, he wrote his first Endpiece column for The Spectator. Despite the support of Roy Jenkins and Tony Crosland he did not gain a ministerial position until 1967, joining Ray Gunter at the Ministry of Labour, he was disliked by Prime Minister Harold Wilson as a "Jenkinsite". The following year he was promoted to Under Secretary in the same ministry, now led by Barbara Castle, become involved in implementing the unpopular Prices and Incomes Act 1966. In 1969 after the fiasco over In Place of Strife he was promoted to deputy to Denis Healey, the Minister of Defence, following the death of Gerry Reynolds.
One of his first jobs, while Healey was hospitalised, was to sign the Army Board Order – putting troops into Northern Ireland. The Labour defeat of 1970 ended six years of Labour government. Hattersley was to hold his seat – increasing his majority – but for the next twenty-six years as MP he was to spend twenty one in Opposition, he was appointed Deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesman, again under Healey, which involved a lot of foreign travel if nothing else. He took a Visiting Fellowship to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. During this time he became an enthusiastic supporter of the Common Market, his "drift to the political centre" put him at odds with much of the Parliamentary Labour Party, he was one of the sixty-nine'rebels' who voted with the Conservative government for entry into the EEC, which precipitated the resignation of Roy Jenkins as deputy leader and a permanent split within Labour. For'standing by' the party Hattersley was appointed Shadow Defence Secretary 1972 to 1973 and Shadow Secretary of State for Education.
In the Wilson government of 1974 he was appointed the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in the 1975 New Year Honours, he was sworn of the Privy Council. Hattersley headed the British delegation to Reykjavik during the "Cod Wars", but was given the task of renegotiating the terms of the UK's membership of the EEC. Following the resignation of Wilson he voted for Jim Callaghan in the ensuing leadership contest in order to stop Michael Foot. Under Callaghan he made it into the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, a position he held until Labour's defeat in the 1979 general election. In 1979 he was appointed to shadow Michael Heseltine as the Minister for the Environment, contending with him over the cuts in local government powers and the "right to buy". Following the rise of the'hard left', as demonstrated at the 1980 Labour Conference, Callaghan re
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K