I’m not making anything up. London is not the official capital of England, Great Britain, or the United Kingdomor any other country.
Why is this so? Because the United Kingdom does not have a written constitution, there is no document that declares London to be the country’s capital. Because it has been the world’s most populous city for millennia, everyone believes it to be the capital. The government and the crown are located in London for the sake of convenience, and it is natural to believe that this is the case. However, unlike the majority of other nations that have formally designated their own capital, London has never been designated as the official capital of the UK.
For those interested in geographical accuracy, the government is not really located in London, but rather in the City of Westminster, which was a distinct entity from the rest of London at one time.
Winchester was originally the capital
Prior to London, the capital of what was formerly known as Wessex was Winchester, which served as the country’s administrative centre throughout the Anglo-Saxon period. However, they were a nomadic people that moved around a frequently; in fact, Winchester was only the formal capital for a short time.
The Kingdom of England was formed from the kingdom of Wessex and the acquired provinces and quickly rose to prominence. Until the coming of the Normans, the royal dynasty of Wessex was recognised as the official monarchy in England. Meanwhile, London was growing in size, and the City of Westminster was being erected to compete with Winchester’s mediaeval walls.
While London had little, Westminster had a church erected by Edward II, known as the Confessor, and the court gradually relocated from Winchester to Westminster as a result of this. Although outside its walls, it was not London; inside the walls, it was London, which is currently located where the City is. Westminster is located on Thorney Island was a small island in the Thames.
When the Normans invaded, William the Conqueror arrived to London but was unable to get past the city’s fortified defences (which surrounded London and not Westminster). He then formed a bargain with the city, agreeing that he would have access to the city in return for the city remaining as it was. Westminster was designated as the official residence of the government and the monarchy.
Indeed, Westminster should be the capital of the United Kingdom, despite the fact that it has been engulfed by London and that was originally outside of the city. Even in this instance, though, it is more a question of conventions and traditions than it is a legal matter.