Friday, February 3, 2012

Scotland in London

Every one has heard of Scotland Yard, which is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service of London. However, why does it have the name "Scotland"? Scotland, currently part of the United Kingdom, was once an independent country, from the late tenth century until the Act of Union of 1707, when England and Scotland were brought together under one Crown. 

Scotland, during this time, had an embassy in London and the name Great Scotland Yard is the last echo of an independent Scotland's presence in London. The way it generally works is that all embassies are in practice foreign territory, where the police cannot intervene except if invited by the embassy. The funny fact is that after the Act of Union no one in Britain remembered to abolish the foreign status of Great Scotland Yard, which means that the area where New Scotland Yard is located is actually, till this day, Scottish territory. 

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