Cultural differences 5

 

Elizabeth the Second is the Queen of England.

 

Actually, she's not. She is the Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and Head of the Commonwealth. She is also head of state of twelve other independent nations. (Thanks Wikipedia.)

 

Okay, I know what you're trying to say. But she's not Queen of England. She's Queen of Great Britain. (Elizabeth the First was Queen of England, but Great Britain as we know it did not exist then.)

 

The point of all this is that this is an error that not only learners of English and any foreign visitors make when visiting the UK, but even a large number of Americans do so too. And many think that anybody who lives in Great Britain is English.

 

Now this does annoy people who were born in Scotland and Wales. They are Scottish and Welsh, not English.

 

Okay, we all speak English as a native language (with Welsh the second most common native language followed by, would you believe, Polish) But if you had to give us all the one nationality, then we are British

 

And as the Queen is our Head of State and that we live in a constitutional monarchy, then strictly speaking we are all subjects (although we wouldn't exactly get angry if you called us citizens).

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