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Saint Helena

Saint Helena
General information
Common nameSaint Helena
Motto"Loyal and Unshakeable"
Anthem"God Save the Queen"
"My Saint Helena Island" (unofficial)
Official languagesEnglish
DemonymSaint Helenian
GovernmentPart of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
MonarchElizabeth II
GovernorAndrew Gurr
British overseas territoryBritish overseas territory (Charter granted 1657)
(East India Company)
Crown colony
(Company rule ends)
22 April 1834
Current constitution1 September 2009
Total Area47 sq mi (121.7 km2)
Population census4255 (February 2008)
Density (pop.)35/km2 (90.7/sq mi)
Other information
CurrencySaint Helena pound (SHP)
Time zoneGMT (UTC+0)
Drives on theleft
Calling code290

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Saint Helena ( saint hə- -nə), named after St Helena of Constantinople, is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha. Saint Helena measures about 16 by and has a population of 4,255 (2008 census).

The island was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. It is one of the most isolated islands in the world. For centuries, it was an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa. The British also used the island as a place of exile, most notably for Napoleon I, Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo and more than 5,000 Boer prisoners. Saint Helena is now Britain's second oldest remaining colony (now termed overseas territory), after Bermuda.

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