western peninsula and political division (principality) of Great Britain (2011 pop. 3,063,456), 8,016 sq mi (20,761 sq km), west of England; politically united with England since 1536. The capital is Cardiff. Wales is bounded by the Irish Sea (N), by the Bristol Channel (S), by the English unitary authority of Chester West and Chester and counties of Shropshire
, and Gloucestershire
(E), and by Cardigan Bay and St. George's Channel (W). Across the Menai Strait is the Welsh island of Anglesey
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