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Someone recently edited a post of mine (about Prime Minister in Potterverse) from "PM of England" to "PM of UK". While the edit is likely a good one (An obvious hint that it isn't "England" is that Hogwarts is in Scotland :), that led me to wonder:

Leaving aside the Real World (and the obligatory CGP Grey video on the topic), does Rowling canon ever explicitly state the soveregnity, especially as applied to the Prime Minister and/or Ministry of Magic?

E.g. is it Prime Minister (and Ministry of Magic) of England? Great Britain? United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

  • According to the Wiki, the British Ministry of Magic has jurisdiction over all of the British Isles (i.e. including Ireland), but (as is typical of the wiki) that claim isn't sourced – Jason Baker Mar 9 '15 at 14:29
  • Our Prime Minister is that of the UK, if that helps (not just England). I would assume that's the same as the "Muggle" Prime Minister shown in book. – Mac Cooper Mar 9 '15 at 14:30
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    Not conclusive evidence by any means, but it is interesting that no Irish Minister of Magic is identified at the Quidditch World Cup in Goblet of Fire, while Fudge has several appearances with "[his] Bulgarian counterpart" – Jason Baker Mar 9 '15 at 14:44
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    Also worth mentioning that Hogwarts is located in Scotland, but under the rule of the MoM. – BoBTFish Mar 9 '15 at 15:04
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    @AlfredoHernandex Then we're making unwarranted assumptions in the question, surely? We'd need to answer your question first (and conclude that it doesn't match) before the question title makes sense. Anyway, as I said, it's really just a pedantic real-world correction I was compelled to make :P – DavidS Mar 12 '15 at 10:10
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When the wizards reside in the southeastern portion (and also east of Wales) of the British Isles they are English wizards. The term "England" is used in the book series mostly when there is a specific place in England:

“ ‘Upon the signature of the International Statute of Secrecy in 1689, wizards went into hiding for good. It was natural, perhaps, that they formed their own small communities within a community. Many small villages and hamlets attracted several magical families, who banded together for mutual support and protection. The villages of Tinworth in Cornwall, Upper Flagley in Yorkshire, and Ottery St. Catchpole on the south coast of England were notable homes to knots of Wizarding families who lived alongside tolerant and sometimes Confunded Muggles.

For everything else, JKR uses "Britain." I do not think the wizarding community cares about the constructs like the United Kingdom, which involves Northern Ireland. But I do think that Britain at the very least means Great Britain. How did I get here? This quote:

“Attendance is now compulsory for every young witch and wizard,” he replied. “That was announced yesterday. It’s a change, because it was never obligatory before. Of course, nearly every witch and wizard in Britain has been educated at Hogwarts, but their parents had the right to teach them at home or send them abroad if they preferred. This way, Voldemort will have the whole Wizarding population under his eye from a young age.

About the above: Remember that Hogwarts is in Scotland and thus is definitely included in "Britain."

Here's another quote:

“Level seven, Department of Magical Games and Sports, incorporating the British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters, Official Gobstones Club, and Ludicrous Patents Office.”

Notice it wasn't Welsh, English, Scottish, and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters? This may also mean that Ireland (whether divided or whole) falls under the British Ministry of Magic in SOME respect. Though, to what extent, it doesn't say in canon.

I conclude with a none-canon, albeit noteworthy, reference: JK Rowling, who is from Scotland, was a champion for the NO vote or Better Together campaign.

  • You may be overthinking this. It is equally correct to refer to London as a place in England, Britain, the UK, the British Isles, or Europe. Which one is used will depend on context or personal whim. Also, JKR is not "from Scotland" -- she was born in southern England and didn't move to Scotland until 1993. (It is correct that she was a public supporter of a No vote to independence.) – Royal Canadian Bandit Mar 9 '15 at 22:41
  • @RoyalCanadianBandit Saying she's from Scotland does not only mean she was born there. She resides there now, does she not? I refuse to take offense to your telling me that I am overthinking my answer. Thanks for the geography class as to where London is located, as I've only been there a few times myself. – Mermish Essence Mar 10 '15 at 6:02
  • I'm not questioning your knowledge of geography, only your use of English. Saying "Person X is from Place Y" normally indicates that X was born in Y or at least spent a significant portion of his/her childhood there. Saying "President Obama is from Washington DC" is not standard English usage, even though he lives there now. Also, I've lived in the UK for over 20 years, and in general there are not subtle distinctions of meaning between statements like "Brighton is on the south coast of England" and "Brighton is on the south coast of Britain", they are used more or less interchangeably. – Royal Canadian Bandit Mar 10 '15 at 10:11
  • I think that the last quote is critical! It clearly says British + Irish (note that there's no Northern), whilst in the Muggle world the Irish and the Northern Irish are standalone football leagues. I'd argue this means the Ministry of Magic has power over all the British Isles. – Alfredo Hernández Mar 11 '15 at 23:49
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Fudge, the Minister of Magic, is shown conversing with a person identified only as "The Muggle Prime Minister."

It seems fair to take this at face value -- so this unnamed person is a Muggle whose title is Prime Minister.

However, there is no such thing as the "Prime Minister of England." The Prime Minister of the UK is the only person to hold that title anywhere in the United Kingdom (which comprises England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland). So logically speaking, Fudge must be dealing with the Prime Minister of the UK.

As a rough analogy, there are plenty of science-fiction and superhero films in which we see an unnamed person who lives in the White House and is identified only as "The President". Unless it's specifically stated otherwise, it is generally safe to assume this individual is the President of the United States of America, and the USA has the same borders it does in the real world.

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    +1 to this: while I agree that we should always answer questions "in-universe", just as @DVK asked, in this kind of "modern fantasy", unless the author states otherwise, I think we're left to assume that things like the government work the same way as they do in "real life". – KutuluMike Mar 9 '15 at 18:32
  • Agreed about the President of the USA part, but we are talking about a hidden society that should have no relationship with the Muggle society. In my opinion, we have no proof that the Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922 also affected the Wizarding world. – Alfredo Hernández Mar 12 '15 at 0:38
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    @AlfredoHernández This answer mostly is commenting on the "Muggle Prime Minister" and not about whether Fudge has jurisdiction over just England or all of the UK. The Muggle Prime Minister the OP argues is the Prime Minister of the UK because "it is generally safe to assume... same borders as in the real world" meaning the Muggle world in the HP books has the same structure as our real world, even though the wizarding world might be different. – eques Jun 10 '15 at 13:14

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