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Saint Helena Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha Government - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha

conventional short form: none

etymology: Saint Helena was discovered in 1502 by Galician navigator Joao da NOVA, sailing in the service of the Kingdom of Portugal, who named it "Santa Helena"; Ascension was named in 1503 by Portuguese navigator Afonso de ALBUQUERQUE who sighted the island on the Feast Day of the Ascension; Tristan da Cunha was discovered in 1506 by Portuguese explorer Tristao da CUNHA who christened the main island after himself (the name was subsequently anglicized)

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK


name: Jamestown

geographic coordinates: 15 56 S, 5 43 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: founded in 1659 and named after James, Duke of York, who would become King JAMES II of England (r. 1785-1788)

Administrative divisions

3 administrative areas; Ascension, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha


none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday

Official birthday of King Charles III, April or June as designated by the governor


history: several previous; latest effective 1 September 2009 (St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009)

Legal system

English common law and local statutes


see United Kingdom


18 years of age

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022)

head of government: Governor Nigel PHILLIPS (since 13 August 2022)

cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, 3 ex-officio officers, and 5 elected members of the Legislative Council

elections/appointments: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch

note: the constitution order provides for an administrator for Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, appointed by the governor

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Council (17 seats including the speaker and deputy speaker; 12 members directly elected in a single countrywide constituency by simple majority vote and 3 ex-officio members - the chief secretary, financial secretary, and attorney general; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 13 October 2021 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - independent 12; composition - men 14, women 3, percent women 17.6%

note: the Constitution Order provides for separate Island Councils for both Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 2 justices); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice - a nonresident - and NA judges); note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)

judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and Supreme Court justices appointed by the governor acting upon the instructions from a secretary of state acting on behalf of King CHARLES III; justices of both courts serve until retirement at age 70, but terms can be extended

subordinate courts: Magistrates' Court; Small Claims Court; Juvenile Court

Political parties and leaders


International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description

blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Saint Helenian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the upper third of the shield depicts a white plover (wire bird) on a yellow field; the remainder of the shield depicts a rocky coastline on the left, offshore is a three-masted sailing ship with sails furled but flying an English flag

National symbol(s)

Saint Helena plover (bird)

Coat of Arms of Saint Helena:

National anthem

note: as an overseas territory of the UK, "God Save the King" is official (see United Kingdom)

NOTE: The information regarding Saint Helena Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Saint Helena Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Saint Helena Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.