Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Lesser Antilles chain, in the southern portion of the Windward Islands, which lie at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea where the latter meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Its 389 km2 (150 sq. mi) territory consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines, which are a chain of smaller islands stretching south from Saint Vincent Island to Grenada. The main island of Saint Vincent measures 18 km (11 mi) long, 11 km (6.8 mi) in width and 344 km2 (133 sq. mi) in area. From the most northern to the most southern points, the Grenadine islands belonging to Saint Vincent span 60.4 km (37.5 mi) with a combined area of 45 km2 (17 sq. mi). Most of the nation lies within the Hurricane Belt.
To the north of Saint Vincent lies Saint Lucia, to the east Barbados. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a densely populated country (over 300 inhabitants/km2) with approximately 120,000 inhabitants.
Its capital is Kingstown, also its main port. The country has a French and British colonial history and is now part of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, CARICOM, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, bearing the title Queen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Queen does not reside in the islands and is represented in the country by the Governor General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, currently Sir Frederick Ballantyne.
The office of Governor General has mostly ceremonial functions including the opening of the islands' House of Assembly and the appointment of various government officials. Control of the government rests with the elected Prime Minister and his or her cabinet. The current Prime Minister is Ralph Gonsalves. Parliamentary opposition made of the largest minority stakeholder in general elections, headed by the leader of the opposition. The current opposition leader is Arnhim Eustace.
The country has no formal armed forces, although the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force includes a Special Service Unit as well as a militia that has a supporting role on the island.
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