"the Empire on which the sun never sets"

The British Empire in 1919 at its greatest extent
Public DomainThe British Empire in 1919 at its greatest extent

By the end of the nineteenth century, Britain controlled approximately one quarter of the globe. With territories stretching from Canada in the west to Pacific islands in the east, it became known as the empire on which the sun never sets, a phrase which was also applied to the Spanish empire in the sixteenth century.