London is the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom, and is the most populous city in the European Union. An important settlement for nearly two millennia, London is an international leader in finance, and its involvement in politics, education, entertainment, fashion, media and the arts contribute to its status as a major global city.
Moving to a foreign country such as England has obvious advantages, mainly the language. Probably for that reason, it’s Europe’s number-one tourist destination for Americans. Plus, London has theater, doctors, and waiters we can understand. A recent issue of the Zagat restaurant guide has just named London as the new culinary capital of Europe–well ahead of Paris.
London has an estimated population of 7.5 million and a metropolitan area population of between 12 and 14 million. Its population is very cosmopolitan, drawing from a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, speaking over 300 different languages. Residents of London are referred to as Londoners.
The city is an international transport hub and a popular tourist destination, counting iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace amongst its many attractions, along with famous institutions such as the British Museum and the National Gallery.
The entire London urban area may be classed as a “city” using a geographical definition, but politically it is not so. Officially, London is a region containing two smaller cities within its built-up area: the City of London and the City of Westminster.
Unlike most capital cities, London’s status as the capital of the UK has never been granted or confirmed officially — by statute or in written form. Its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the UK’s unwritten constitution.
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