The Bahamas (/bəˈhɑːməz/), known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago in the West Indies. It is a member of the Commonwealth Realms under the monarchy of Queen Elizabeth II. The archipelagic state consists of fewer than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, and is located north of Cuba and Hispaniola Island (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the US state of Florida, and east of the Florida Keys. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force describes The Bahamas’ territory as encompassing 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space.