United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Royal coat of arms of Great Britain
Queens, kings tread tight path in Europe
The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. It also did not include Ireland, which remained a separate realm. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Queen Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". Also after the accession of King George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.