The British Empire Finally Sees a Sunset

I know that the sun finally set on the British Empire in my lifetime - in fact I think it happened about 25 - 30 years ago. Sadly my Google-Fu is weak and I can’t find when it actually happened.

It seems to me that it was the handing over of Hong Kong but there is an irritating piece of my brain that says that it came later.

So I ask ye gathered masses, when did the sun finally set upon the British Empire?

Still hasn’t.

Surprisingly, it still hasn’t. The combination of the Pitcairn Islands and Diego Garcia keeps that going.

https://what-if.xkcd.com/48/

https://www.quora.com/At-one-time-it-was-said-that-the-sun-never-set-over-the-British-Empire-Is-this-still-true

No shit… wow!!!

I distinctly remember an announcer on the CBC intoning gravely that after X number of years, “the sun has finally set on the English Empire.” I took him at his word. I think it was after the Hong Kong hand over.

I guess it turns out that thanks to a brilliant navigator (who was a despicable captain - or not) and his child molesting descendants it hasn’t yet.

Seems almost fitting that that is the last bastion of British global domination.

I must admit to being a bit saddened by the news. I rather liked having been around for the long-awaited sunset. It’s not often you get to hear the moment a couple of centuries worth of boast crumbles.

Thanks for the info folks :slight_smile:

ETA - Despite how the post may sound I’m actually a massive fan of England and the whole of the Isles -except Wales, I distrust anyone who refuses to use vowels more than twice in a paragraph :wink:

It was never much of a boast, anyway. Three points on the Earth is enough, as long as they’re reasonably separated.

Two points are enough if they’re antipodal, but even that’s not exactly a trivial task, much less so before the age of steam sailing. It’s only happened twice, Spain and the UK, and the sun set on the first about two hundred years ago. Seems a reasonable boast, at least as reasonable as boasts get.

It may first have happened under the Spanish Empire, with Spain, Mexico & Peru, and The Philippines.

Hm. I would have thought the US could have made the claim, too, but even including Guam, Maine, Alaska, and Little America doesn’t quite seem to do it. The Philippines gets us awfully close, though… Are there any rinkydink islands in the Atlantic owned by the US?

I think we’ve still got them all, if Spain (Canaries) and Portugal (Azores, Madeira) haven’t.

Do St Pierre/Miquelon count as in the Atlantic? Add France to the list if so.

Looking at a map of France’s overseas territories it looks to me as if France can also make this claim:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_departments_and_territories_of_France#/media/File:Outre-mer_en.png

Nothing that’s east of the US Virgin Islands.

Its not an empire… the sun set on it with India’s, and Nigeria’s independence.

The sun hasn’t set on the British Empire, because the Empire is in the East, while the sun sets in the West.

And I think all those are legitimate, because those territories are proper France and have full representation in the French legislative assembly, with the same status as Hawaii and Alaska. I think New Caledonia, Reunion and French Guiana alone are enough tu assure that the sun is always shiningn on one of them.

Hawaii and Alaska have no status at all in the French legislative assembly :wink:

Au contraire! French citizens in Hawaii and Alaska are indeed represented in the French legislative assembly, as part of a specific constituency that includes those geographic regions. (Not just as the common practice of nationals living abroad getting to vote in their home-country’s elections.) Their current representative is this fella here.