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     Wales, or Cymry in Welsh (Welsh: Cymru; pronounced IPA:
/ˈkəmɹi/, approximately "KUM-ree") is one of the four
constituent parts of the United Kingdom (along with England, Scotland and
Northern Ireland). Wales is located in the south-west of Great Britain, and is
bordered by England to the east, the Bristol Channel to the south, St George's
Channel in the west, and the Irish Sea to the north. Much of Wales's diverse
landscape is mountainous, particularly in the north and central regions. The
mountains were shaped during the last ice age, the Devensian glaciation. The
highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia, and include Snowdon, which, at
1085 m (3,560 feet) is the highest peak in England and Wales.
The nation has not been politically independent since 1282, when it was
conquered by the English King. Until 1999,  Wales was ruled directly from
London; that year saw the first elections to the National Assembly for Wales,
which has limited domestic powers and cannot make law. Wales does not issue its
own currency and is not in control of any armed forces. The official capital of
Wales is Cardiff.The title of Prince of Wales is still given by the reigning
British monarch to his or her eldest son. The term Principality of Wales
, in Welsh, Tywysogaeth Cymru, is often used, although the Prince of
Wales has no role in the governance of Wales and this term is unpopular among
many in Wales.

Official languages

English and Welsh



Largest city


First Minister

Rhodri Morgan


- Total

Ranked 3rd UK

20,779 km²


- Total (2001)

- Density

Ranked 3rd UK






Pound sterling (£) (GBP)

Time zone

UTC, Summer: UTC +1
Wales continues to share a legal identity with England to a large degree as the joint entity of England and Wales.