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England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain (which lies in the North Atlantic) in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller named islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
The first English ruler is Alfred the Great 849 – 26 October 899) was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.
Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and twelve countries that have become independent since her accession on 6 February 1952:
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom.[a] Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.
Buckingham House, c. 1710, was designed by William Winde for the 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby. This faсade evolved into today's Grand Entrance on the west (inner) side of the quadrangle, with the Green Drawing Room above it.
The Seat of Government In the middle of the eleventh century, King Edward the Confessor had moved his court to the Palace of Westminster, situated on a central site near the river Thames. In 1265 a parliament was created with two houses: the Lords and the Commons. The House of Lords met at the Palace of Westminster while the House of Commons did not have a permanent location.
Big Ben The Commons Chamber, where the House of Commons meets, was destroyed during the Second World War but rebuilt in 1950 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in the same neo-Gothic style.
Tower of london The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 (Ranulf Flambard) until 1952 (Kray twins), although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.
Tower Bridge Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London. Because of this, Tower Bridge is sometimes confused with London Bridge, situated some 0.5 mi (0.80 km) upstream. Tower Bridge is one of five London bridges now owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation. It is the only one of the Trust's bridges not to connect the City of London directly to the Southwark bank, as its northern landfall is in Tower Hamlets.
The London eye The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. The structure is 443 feet (135 m) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 394 feet (120 m). When it opened to the public in 2000 it was the world's tallest Ferris wheel. Its height was surpassed by the 525-foot (160 m) Star of Nanchang in 2006, the 541-foot (165 m) Singapore Flyer in 2008, and the 550-foot (167.6 m) High Roller (Las Vegas) in 2014. Supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel"
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign.
The Natural History Museum The Natural History Museum in London is a natural history museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Natural History Museum's main frontage, however, is on Cromwell Road. The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology. The museum is a centre of research specialising in taxonomy, identification and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Charles Darwin.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum The Sherlock Holmes Museum is a privately run museum in London, England, dedicated to the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. It opened in 1990 and is situated in Baker Street, bearing the number 221B by permission of the City of Westminster, although it lies between numbers 237 and 241, near the north end of Baker Street in central London close to Regent's Park. The Georgian town house which the museum occupies as "221B Baker Street" was formerly used as a boarding house from 1860 to 1936, and covers the period of 1881 to 1904 when the stories describe Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson residing there as tenants of Mrs Hudson. The museum is run by the Sherlock Holmes Society of England, a non-profit organisation.
The University of Oxford The University of Oxford (formally The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford; informally Oxford University or simply Oxford) is a prestigious and highly selective collegiate research university located in Oxford, England. It has no known date of foundation, but there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two "ancient universities" are frequently jointly referred to as "Oxbridge"