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Difference Between England, Britain, GB, British Isles, UK, and the Commonwealth


Have you ever wondered what is the difference between England, Britain, Great Britain, the British Isles, the UK, and the Commonwealth? Well, so did one of my Twitter followers. Therefore, I decided to answer this question so you can have this knowledge all in one place.

What is England?

It is the southern two-thirds of Great Britain comprised of 9 regions. England also makes up about 84% of the UK population.

Regions of England

South West, South East, London (the City), East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West, and North East

What is Britain?

Britain is comprised of both the kingdom of England and the principality of Wales. A principality means Wales is ruled by a prince. Traditionally, the Prince of Wales is the eldest son of the English monarchy. Overall, they are both ruled by the queen and the British government.

What is Great Britain?

People often interchange Britain with Great Britain, under the impression they are the same. However, Great Britain is England, Wales, and also Scotland.

Regions of Great Britain

South West, South East, London (the City), East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West, North East, Scotland

What is the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom is made up of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Great Britain and Northern Ireland combined form the official title of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

UK = England, Wales, Scotland, and N. Ireland

Regions of Northern Ireland

Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone

What are the British Isles?

The British Isles comprises over 6,000 islands, including the United Kingdom.  They also include the Isle of Man, Orkney, the Shetland Islands, Hebrides, the Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Lundy Island, and the Channel Islands.

Channel Islands

A group of small islands in the English Channel, off the coast of Normandy, France. The principal islands of the group include Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark.

The Isle of Man

It is a self-governing British Crown dependency located in the middle of the Irish Sea. The Isle of Man is neither part of the United Kingdom nor a member state of the Commonwealth. However, its head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is represented by a Lieutenant Governor, but its foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of the British Government. People born here are known as ‘Manx’, classified as British.

What Makes Up The Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth of Nations is the United Kingdom plus various independent and sovereign states throughout the world. Most are former British colonies or dependencies of these colonies. Each Commonwealth nation can be categorized in three ways:


Monarchy indicates a Commonwealth country which has its own monarch as Head of State. Below are the Commonwealth nations classified as monarchal.

Brunei, Lesotho, Malaysia, Swaziland, Tonga


Realm indicates a Commonwealth country which has The Queen as Sovereign. The following are classified as realm nations.

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, United Kingdom


Republic indicates a Commonwealth country which has a republican form of government. Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth by title but this role does not carry with it any power. The queen represents a symbol of the free association of Commonwealth members. The following are classified as republican nations.

Bangladesh, Botswana, Cameroon, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Malawi, The Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia

What Did You Learn From This Post?

Did you learn something about the differences between, England, Britain, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, the British Isles, and the Commonwealth? What was a revelation to you? Log in and post your comments.

For a special infographic of the United Kingdom with Regions and Counties, click here.

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