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The official name of the UK is the \u201cUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland\u201d. The name refers to the union of what were once four separate nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (though most of Ireland is now independent).
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as head of state; the monarch of the UK serves as head of state of fifteen other Commonwealth countries, putting the UK in a personal union with those other states. HM the Queen is also represented in her role as Queen in right of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand respectively. Within the United Kingdom, the Queen appoints Counsellors of State to perform her duties in her absence.
The position of Prime Minister, the UK's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the House of Commons. The UK parliament is made up of two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords, and any Bill passed requires the assent of HM the Queen to become law. For elections to the House of Commons, the UK is divided into 646 constituencies, with 529 in England, 18 in Northern Ireland, 59 in Scotland and 40 in Wales.
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