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The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the United Kingdom, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.
Prior to the creation of the United Kingdom, Wales had already been conquered and annexed by the Kingdom of England.
The UK 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 EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973.
Together, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union (EU).
The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952.
It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe.It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.5 million inhabitants.In Scottish Gaelic, the long form is "Rìoghachd Aonaichte Bhreatainn is Èireann a Tuath" and the short form "Rìoghachd Aonaichte".The Roman conquest, beginning in 43 AD, and the 400-year rule of southern Britain, was followed by an invasion by Germanic Anglo-Saxon settlers, reducing the Brythonic area mainly to what was to become Wales, the Brittonic Kingdom incorporating later Brittany, Dumnonia (later becomin English counties Cornwall and Devon) and the historic Kingdom of Strathclyde.
Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world.