The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has always struggled with its name. Few use its full description, or even the ‘UK’ as shorthand. In the media, ‘England’ and ‘Britain’ are used interchangeably and often inaccurately. Fewer still understand the origins of the name in its current form, and that it is less than a century old. Drawing on neglected archives in Belfast, Dublin and London, Dr David Torrance explores the nomenclature of the multi-national state we inhabit as it approaches its centenary. He pays particular attention to the internal Whitehall debates which followed the formation of the Irish Free State in December 1922, and the tortuous discussions over how King and his Parliament ought to be styled.
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