71 Eye-Opening Facts About The United Kingdom


26Queen's rights

Queen's rights

The Queen of England can veto any law she doesn't like and has real powers to dissolve Parliament, choose a new Prime Minister and even declare war.

27. The town of Shitterton, England, changed its town sign to a 1.5-ton boulder to stop people from repeatedly stealing it.

28. In Nevada, a disturbance with as little as 2 people is legally considered a riot. In the USA in general, it takes only 3 people. In England, it is 12 people.

29. England built an underground city in the 1950s to house 4,000 key government employees in case of a nuclear strike, complete with 60 miles of roadways, an underground lake to provide fresh water and a railway to transport the Royal Family. It was not revealed to the public until 2004.

30. King Henry I of England died from eating "an excessive number of lampreys"

31Irish Potato Famine in 1847

Irish Potato Famine in 1847

At the height of the Irish Potato Famine in 1847, almost 4,000 ships carried food from Ireland to England and Scotland while 400,000 Irish died of starvation and related diseases. The same year, a Native American tribe sent $710 to help ease the suffering.

32. In 2014, a man named Robert Stevens broke out of jail in England because he was fed up with the loud rap music being played ‘day and night’ on his wing.

33. There is a Right to Light in England. The owner of a building with windows that have received natural daylight for 20 years or more is entitled to forbid any construction or other obstruction that would deprive him or her of that illumination.

34. In 2010, a 3-year old boy named James Hyatt playing with his father’s metal detector for the first time in England discovered a 16th century golden pendant estimated to be worth $4 million.

35. A company in England accidentally sent letters to some of its wealthy customers that began “Dear Rich Bastard.” One customer who did not receive the letter complained, certain their wealth was enough to warrant the “rich bastard” title.

36Barbie doll controversies

Barbie doll controversies

In December 2005, a doctor in England published research suggesting that girls often go through a stage where they hate their Barbie dolls and subject them to a range of punishments, including decapitation and placing the doll in a microwave oven.

37. The phrase ‘wouldn't give them the time of day’ and its variations actually come from the town of Chester in England. The city is right on the border with Wales, and one of the churches has a clock tower with only three clocks on it, pointing north, east, and west, but no clock facing South (Wales). This was to send the message that the English disliked the Welsh so much, that they wouldn’t even give them the time of day. Hence the phrase.

38. The origins of driving on the left side go back to Medieval England where Knights would ride their horses on the left side of the road so if they encountered an enemy their sword hand would be on the correct side nearly all countries that drive on the left now were once English colonies.

39. “Blue Lagoon” of Buxton in England was used as part of the quarrying process and was also used as a dumping ground. Recently black dye was dumped into the lake for safety reasons. The previous turquoise water was so inviting that even the signs to keep people out did not keep swimmers out.

40. There are 22 different beef cuts in the USA, 35 in England and France, and 120 in Korea.

41Great Yarmouth bridge

Great Yarmouth bridge

On May 2, 1845, a bridge in Great Yarmouth, England, collapsed when thousands gathered on it to watch a clown travel down the river in a tub pulled by geese. ‘400 people went into the river, 79 died, 59 of which were children.’

42. UK’s “God Save the Queen” was the first national anthem and was adopted by other countries such as Russia (until 1833), Germany (until 1918), Iceland (until 1944), Switzerland (until 1961), Liechtenstein and New Zealand. It was played twice before a Liechtenstein-England soccer game in 2003.

43. In 1752, in England and Wales, people went to bed on the 2nd of September and woke up on the 14th of September. Skipping 11 days entirely because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar.

44. In 1998, a man named Karl Bushby started his “Goliath Expedition” to walk around the world “with unbroken footsteps”, from Punta Arenas, Chile, to his home in Hull, England.

45. Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards was the first Olympic ski jumper for England in 52 years. He had no money, no coach, no team and only learned to ski jump 18 months earlier. He wore 6 pairs of socks inside his second-hand boots, a helmet was given to him by the Italians and used skis from the Austrian team.

46Edward II reign

Edward II reign

Edward II had such a disastrous reign as King of England nearly 700 years ago that his enemies couldn’t afford to keep him alive any longer, so they forced him to abdicate, imprisoned him and then had him assassinated by shoving a red hot poker up his butt. He was then ironically nicknamed Edward Ironside. The people overthrowing him were a coalition of armies from France headed by his own wife (it was well attested that Edward II was gay, hence the anal ironing), Isabella of France and her lover, Roger Mortimer. She became known as She-Wolf of France.

47. The widowed mother of Henry VI was barred from remarrying by a law stripping her betrothed of wealth. Thus, she married a landless Welsh servant, Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur. His name eventually became Owen Tudor, and his descendants would rule England for over 100 years.

48. When Australia beat England in a cricket match in 1882, a British newspaper published an obituary proclaiming the death of English cricket. The symbolic ashes of its cremation were placed in an urn, and both teams still compete to win them back every two years.

49. A Russian named Chevalier d'√Čon was a French diplomat and spy to England. Once retired, he revealed that he was a woman all along. She was henceforth made to wear gender appropriate clothing for the rest of her life. When she died, they found out she was actually a man. He was double cross-dressing.

50. Stanley Kubrick hated to travel so much that he filmed Full Metal Jacket in England. He had the palm trees flown in from the battle scene.