Kingdom of Great Britain

constitutional monarchy in Western Europe (1707–1800)

The United Kingdom of Great Britain[1] was a state in the British Isles.[2] The kingdom came into existence because of the Acts of Union 1707.[3] These acts of parliament joined (unified) the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England.[4] The kingdom's lands were Great Britain (an island in the Atlantic Ocean near Continental Europe) and some other islands in the British Isles. Throughout its existence, the kingdom was in a personal union (sharing the same monarchy) with the Kingdom of Ireland. Outside the British Isles, Great Britain governed other lands and started colonies: the British Empire.

United Kingdom of Great Britain
Motto: Dieu et mon droit1
(God and my right)
God Save the King/Queen
Map of the kingdom's lands
Map of the kingdom's lands
Common languagesEnglish (throughout)
Welsh (Wales)
Scots (Scotland)
Scottish Gaelic (Scotland)
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• 1707–1714
• 1714–1727
George I
• 1727–1760
George II
• 1760–1801
George III
Prime Minister 
• 1721–1742
Robert Walpole
• 1783–1801
William Pitt the Younger
House of Lords
House of Commons
1 May 1707
31 December 1800
1801230,977 km2 (89,181 sq mi)
• 1801
CurrencyPound sterling
ISO 3166 codeGB
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of England
Kingdom of Scotland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
1 The royal motto used in Scotland was Latin: Nemo me impune lacessit, lit.'no-one provokes me with impunity'

When the kingdom began, the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England joined into one legislature, the Parliament of Great Britain. The parliament met in the old Palace of Westminster in London. London was the capital city and the British government was there. The two earlier kingdoms of Scotland and England had been in a personal union (sharing the same monarchy) since the reign of James VI and I. King James was a King of Scots who became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 because he inherited the kingdoms of Elizabeth I.

In 1801, by the Act of Union 1800, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland joined into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the putting down of the Irish Rebellion of 1798.



Anne became Queen of England, Queen of Scotland, and Queen of Ireland in 1702. She became Queen of Great Britain when the new kingdom started in 1707. (Ireland was a separate kingdom, so Anne was Queen of Ireland and the later kings of Great Britain were each themselves King of Ireland.) From the start of 1801, during the reign of George III, the two kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

House of Stuart


House of Hanover

  • George I (1714–1727)
  • George II (1727–1760)
  • George III (1760–1801), continued as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1820.


  1. Union with England Act 1707 (Scotland), Article 2 ff.
  2. Murdoch, Alexander (2007). "England, Scotland, and the Acts of Union (1707)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/96282. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 2021-06-19. On 1 May 1707 England and Scotland (since 1603 a union of crowns) became the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain'. The new united kingdom was to be represented by a 'union' flag and governed by a British parliament at Westminster and a shared head of state (with the contentious issue of monarchical succession now settled in favour of the protestant house of Hanover). (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. "Act of Union 1707". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2021-05-01. The Acts of Union, passed by the English and Scottish Parliaments in 1707, led to the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain on 1 May of that year. The UK Parliament met for the first time in October 1707.
  4. "Act of Union 1707: Key dates". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
Preceded by:
Kingdom of England
c 927–30 April 1707
Kingdom of Scotland
c 843–30 April 1707
United Kingdom of Great Britain
1 May 1707 – 31 December 1800
Succeeded by:
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
1 January 1801–5 December 1922