Ceylon (now named Sri Lanka) is an island country in South Asia, located about 31 kilometres off the southern coast of India.
During the Napoleonic Wars, Great Britain, fearing that French control of the Netherlands might deliver Sri Lanka to the French, occupied the coastal areas of the island (which they called Ceylon) with little difficulty in 1796. In 1802 by the Treaty of Amiens the Dutch part of the island was ceded to Britain, and became a crown colony.
After the Kandyan Wars and the signing of the Kandyan Convention in 1815 the island recognized the King of England as the King of Kandy, hence the British Monarch. This ended 2357 years of Sri Lankan monarchy. The Monarchs of Ceylon lasted from 1815 to 1972.
Between 1948 and 1972, Ceylon (Sinhala: ලංකා ඩොමීනියන් රාජ්යය Lanka Dominian Rajyaya) was a Dominion in the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1948, British Ceylon was granted independence as Ceylon. In 1972, Ceylon became a republic within the Commonwealth, and its name was changed to Sri Lanka.