When the house of Plantagenet claimed the throne to England it created quite a large empire. The lands in France included, but not limited to: Normandy, Brittany, Anjou, Aquitaine and Toulouse. These lands in France were held by the English kings as fiefs and under the authority of England, but they were not considered part of England.
They were probably considered as more of a colony. They were definitely not England, much in the way that Ireland or Scotland have never been considered part of England. I must confess that this era of English/British history is not my strong suit, but I have some hubs on the Tudor/Stuart era.
I'm not sure, the only vestiges that remain, I think, are the Channel Islands, they are not considerd part of England or the UK. The Monarch lost the last French title as the Duke of Normandy in about the 1700s I believe. I think the idea of the estates being considered a sort of colony is about right.
Henry II built an empire out of duchies and counties, and became king of England to top it off. This hub started as a reply to a question about the Angevin Empire, but grew long enough for it's own hub. read more