Berkshire is a county in south east England, west of London. It was recognised by the Queen as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters patent were issued in 1974. Berkshire is a county of historic origin and is a home county, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. Berkshire County Council was the main county governance from 1889 to 1998 except for the separately administered County Borough of Reading.
In 1974, significant alterations were made to the countys administrative boundaries although the traditional boundaries of Berkshire were not changed. The towns of Abingdon, Didcot and Wantage and their surrounding district were transferred to Oxfordshire, Slough was gained from Buckinghamshire and the separate administration of Reading was extended to other areas. Since 1998, Berkshire has been governed by the six unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham. Berkshire borders the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Surrey, Wiltshire and Hampshire .
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