Constituent country of the ‌United Kingdom
Flag of Wales Badge of Wales
Cymru am byth
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
Map of Wales
Government Devolved constituent country and parliamentary democracy
Prince of Wales
- From 1969Charles
First minister
- 2000-2009Hywel Rhodri Morgan
- From 2009Carwyn Jones
Legislature National Assembly for Wales
- 1542 Laws in Wales Acts
May 1, 1707Act of Union
January 1, 1801United Kingdom
May 12, 1999National Assembly
July 25, 2006Government of Wales Act
Area20,779 km²
- 20012,903,085
GDP2001 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 88.6 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 30,546
CurrencyPound sterling
Flag of England England
Flag of None Principality of Wales

Wales is a constituent country of the United Kingdom. Wales had been a part of the Kingdom of England since 1542, in 1707 it became a part of the Kingdom of Great Britain, and in 1801 of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The National Assembly for Wales (|) that was established on May 12, 1999 has its own government and since July 25, 2006 it can also pass regional legislation for Wales.

While Wales has a devolved regional legislature, constitutionally it still belongs to the same legal system as England, where as Scotland and Northern Ireland apart from having regional legislatures also have their own separate legal and court systems from England and Wales.

History Edit

The English conquest of Wales succeeded in 1282 under Edward I, and the Statute of Rhuddlan established English rule 2 years later. To appease the Welsh, Edward's son (later Edward II), who had been born in Wales, was made Prince of Wales in 1301. The tradition of bestowing this title on the eldest son of the British Monarch continues today. An act of 1536 completed the political and administrative union of England and Wales.[1]

Government Edit

The United Kingdom does not have a written constitution. The equivalent body of law is based on statute, common law, and "traditional rights." Changes may come about formally through new acts of Parliament, informally through the acceptance of new practices and usage, or by judicial precedents. Although Parliament has the theoretical power to make or repeal any law, in actual practice the weight of 700 years of tradition restrains arbitrary actions.

Executive power rests nominally with the monarch but actually is exercised by a committee of ministers (cabinet) traditionally selected from among the members of the House of Commons and, to a lesser extent, the House of Lords. The prime minister is normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, and the government is dependent on its support.

Parliament represents the entire country. It legislates for the entire country in matters that are not devolved to the legislatures in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, such as foreign policy, energy policy, immigration and border control, and monetary policy. The devolved legislatures in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have varying degrees of legislative authority over other matters. England does not have its own separate legislative body and Parliament can therefore legislate in all fields for England.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. The United States Department of State - Background Note: United Kingdom
  2. The United States Department of State - Background Note: United Kingdom