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    • Chart: Britain's Lost Empire

    This chart shows the countries which have gained independence from the United Kingdom/Great Britain.

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    Britain's Lost Empire

    Britain's Lost Empire UK

    As William and Kate visit Jamaica, the former British colony's plans to become the second Caribbean island to remove the Queen as head of state in short succession have been revealed. After almost 400 years under a British monarch, Barbados officially removed the Queen as head of state last November, having initially gained independence from the UK in 1966. In a message to President Dame Sandra Mason of the newly born republic, the Queen wished "good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future". This marks the latest in a long list of countries breaking away from the British empire.

    While a source of great pride for some Brits, the phrase "The empire on which the sun never sets" is one which has not been applicable to the United Kingdom for a long time now. However questionable the pride associated with this notion may be, it was once a fairly accurate statement to make. As our infographic shows, over the years, 65 countries have claimed independence so far. The first of which was the United States back on July 4, 1776 (although the Declaration wasn't officially recognized by the British government until 1783).

    The most recent was in 1984, when Brunei became an Islamic sultanate. More recently, an attempt at independence in Scotland failed, after a closely fought referendum in 2014 ended with 55% voting to remain a part of the UK. The independence movement is still strong, however, with the Scottish National Party still the largest political force in the country.


    This chart shows the countries which have gained independence from the United Kingdom/Great Britain.

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    List of countries that have gained independence from the United Kingdom

    List of countries that have gained independence from the United Kingdom

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    This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

    "List of countries that have gained independence from the United Kingdom" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR

    Below are lists of the countries and territories formerly ruled or administered by the United Kingdom or part of the British Empire (including military occupations that did not retain the pre-war central government), with their independence days. Some countries did not gain their independence on a single date, therefore the latest day of independence is shown with a break down of dates further down. A total of 65 countries have claimed their independence.


    1 Colonies, Protectorates and Mandates

    2 Evolution of Dominions to independence

    3 Military occupations that did not retain the pre-war central government

    4 Former British Crown Colonies that declared independence then later restored British rule

    5 British Overseas Territories independence/sovereignty referendums

    6 Territories which were relinquished to another sovereign state

    7 Countries of the United Kingdom that have voted against independence

    8 See also 9 References

    Colonies, Protectorates and Mandates[edit]

    Country Pre-independence name

    (different) Date Year of independence or first stage Notes

    Afghanistan Northern Persia 19 August 1919 Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919

    Antigua and Barbuda Antigua, Leeward Islands; UK-West Indies Associated State (WIAS) 1 November 1981

    The Bahamas 10 July 1973 Bahamas Independence Act 1973[1]

    Bahrain 15 August 1971

    Barbados 30 November 1966 The United Kingdom's Barbados Independence Act 1966 thereby granted local political independence for Saint Andrew's Day.

    Belize British Honduras 21 September 1981 September Celebrations of Belize

    Botswana Bechuanaland 30 September 1966 Botswana Independence Act 1966[2]

    Brunei 1 January 1984

    Cyprus 16 August 1960 Cyprus Independence Day is commonly celebrated on 1 October.[3]

    Dominica Dominica, Windward Islands; UK-West Indies Associated State (WIAS) 3 November 1978

    Egypt 28 February 1922 Control over the Suez Canal Zone was maintained until 1952.

    Eswatini 6 September 1968 Initially called Swaziland, which was also its pre-independence name. Renamed itself Eswatini in 2018.

    Fiji 10 October 1970

    The Gambia Gambia 18 February 1965

    Ghana Gold Coast, Togoland (Togoland got absorbed into the Gold Coast in 1957) 6 March 1957

    Grenada Grenada, Windward Islands; UK-West Indies Associated State (WIAS) 7 February 1974 Independence Day (Grenada)

    Guyana British Guiana 26 May 1966

    India British India 15 August 1947 Independence Day (India)

    Iraq 3 October 1932 Pursuant to the British Mandate for Mesopotamia

    Israel Mandatory Palestine 14 May 1948 End of British mandate

    Independence Day (Israel)

    Palestine declared independence from Israel on 15 November 1988.

    Jamaica 6 August 1962 Independence Day (6 August)

    Jordan Transjordan 25 May 1946

    Kenya 12 December 1963

    Kiribati Gilbert and Ellice Islands 12 July 1979

    Kuwait 19 June 1961

    Lesotho Basutoland 4 October 1966

    Libya 24 December 1951 Libya had been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire since the middle of the sixteenth century. Following the Italo-Turkish war of 1912, Libya became an Italian colony. With their defeat in World War II, the Italians lost control of Libya. The country came under UN administration. Control was split between France and Britain, with France administering the province Fezzan while the British administered the provinces of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. In 1949, the UN General Assembly declared that Libya should become an independent country by 1 January 1952. On 24 December 1951, Libya declared its independence from France and Britain becoming the United Kingdom of Libya, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under King Idris.

    Malawi Nyasaland 6 July 1964

    Malaysia 31 August 1957 As the Federation of Malaya (Federation of Malaya Independence Act 1957). North Borneo (now Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore joined with the Federation of Malaya to form  Malaysia on 16 September 1963 under the Malaysia Agreement (Malaysia Act 1963).

    Singapore gained independence from Malaysia on 9 August 1965.

    Maldives 26 July 1965

    Malta 21 September 1964 This occurred in spite of the 1956 Maltese United Kingdom integration referendum, but in accordance with 1964 Maltese constitutional referendum.

    Mauritius 12 March 1968

    Myanmar 4 January 1948 Gained independence as Burma. Renamed Myanmar in 1989, but still officially known by the United Kingdom government as Burma.

    Nauru 31 January 1968 Independence from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand on 31 January 1968.

    Nigeria 1 October 1960 Took in Northern Cameroons

    Oman Sultanate of Muscat and Oman 20 December 1970

    Pakistan British India 14 August 1947 Partition of India

    Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan on 26 March 1971.

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Most countries to have gained independence from the same country

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    Most countries to have gained independence from the same country




    Before 1914, the UK exercised authority over one fifth of the world's entire population with the British Empire made up of 88 million subjects. In 1939, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand were the first to be given independence within the Commonwealth. Since then a total of 62 countries have gained independence from the United Kingdom. This is followed by France with 28, Spain with 17, The Soviet Union with 16, Portugal with 7 and the USA with 5.

    All records listed on our website are current and up-to-date. For a full list of record titles, please use our Record Application Search. (You will need to register / login for access)

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    Source : www.guinnessworldrecords.com

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