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Joe wrote at 2004-09-16 21:46:59 (+0100)
 > Tim May wrote:

 > >England and Scotland are kingdoms, I think.  Certainly they were
 > >kingdoms before the Act of Union...  Wales is a principality, and
 > >Northern Ireland is a province.  I'm not sure that there _is_ a
 > >general term, unless Joe's right about 'part'.
 > >
 > >
 >
 >
 > Well, England and Scotland aren't Kingdoms.  The Act of Union dealt with
 > that.

This may be the case, although as I read it the text of the Act leaves
open the question of whether the two kingdoms have any continuing
existence within the new United Kingdom:
http://wikisource.org/wiki/Act_of_Union_1707

 > Northern Ireland is all that remains of the ex-Kingdom of
 > Ireland, though that was also stripped of its Kingdomhood in 1801.

All true, but irrelevant to the question of its current status.  What
information I can find suggests that the Government of Ireland Act
1920 created it as the "Province of Northern Ireland", although I
can't find the text online.  I _do_ know that it is commonly referred
to as "the Province" by e.g. the BBC.  The issue is somewhat confused
by its identification with the historic province of Ulster, with which
it is not coterminous.  The Northern Ireland Act 1998 does not appear
to use the term "province" - nor, AFAICT, does it use any other term.

 > Wales mgith be a Principality, but Prince Charles has no actual
 > power in Wales.  So I'm not sure it can actually be called that.

Nonetheless, that is what it is called.  It's not uncommon to see the
region referred to as "the Principality" in news reports etc.

On the other hand, the only official document I can referring to Wales
as a principality is this one:
http://www.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2000/draft/20007334.htm
Which is one more than I can find referring to England, Scotland or
Northern Ireland as anything.