Showing posts with label monarchy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monarchy. Show all posts

Monday, July 16, 2018

All About Swaziland's Name Change (With Maps)

Topographic map of Eswatini (Swaziland), showing terrain, rivers, bordering countries, and capital cities.
Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland. Based on this map by Htonl and NordNordWest.

Swaziland's New Name

If you follow PolGeoNow on Twitter, you already know that the small, southern African country of Swaziland was renamed "Eswatini" this April. The full English name of the country, previously "Kingdom of Swaziland", has also been changed to "Kingdom of Eswatini".

The rename was first announced by the country's king on April 19 - his 50th birthday. (Some media incorrectly reported that April 19 was also Swaziland's 50th anniversary of independence. The country is indeed celebrating its 50th this year, but the actual day of the anniversary is September 6.)

The change was apparently effective immediately: A purported copy of the legal order making the new name official, also dated April 19, was posted on a Swaziland news blog in May, with some validation from other sources.

Friday, March 15, 2013

What is Vatican City?

This week, the Catholic Church chose a new leader, Pope Francis. The selection and announcement of the new pope took place in Vatican City, the Church's sovereign territory within Rome. Is Vatican City really "the world's smallest country", or a country at all?  And what's the difference between Vatican City and the Holy See? Read all about it!

Large scale (close-up) map of Vatican City
Map of Vatican City (click to enlarge). By Francesco Piraneo G./Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SAsource).
What is Vatican City?

Vatican City was created by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 to ensure the Catholic Church's independence from the control of other countries, and has an area of only about 0.17 sq mi (0.44 sq km), or about one-eighth the size of Central Park in New York. In addition to the Pope, the state said to have a population of about 800, most of whom are either clergy or members of the Swiss Guard.

Located within the city of Rome, Vatican City is surrounded on all sides by Italy, and nearly encircled by a stone city wall except for in St. Peter's Square, where it is separated from Italy only by a white line drawn on the ground. Various religious and administrative buildings are located within Vatican City's confines, but more than half of its area is taken up by the green space of the Vatican Gardens.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Feature: Queen Elizabeth's 16 Countries

Did you know that Elizabeth II is not just the Queen of England and the UK, but of 15 other independent countries too? Read on for quick answers to all your questions about this unusual arrangement...

Map of the Commonwealth Realms - independent countries that share the British monarchy.
Map of the Commonwealth realms - independent countries which share the British monarchy. Current realms in dark blue, former realms in light blue. By Evan Centanni, modified from public domain Wikipedia map (source).