Britain's Big Ben to be renamed - report

2012-06-02 14:12

London - Britain's famed parliament clock tower Big Ben is set to be renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honour of the queen's diamond jubilee, a report said.

Prime Minister David Cameron is among 331 lawmakers who have signed up to a campaign to bestow the tribute to Queen Elizabeth II to mark her 60th year on the throne, the Daily Mail reported.

It mirrors an honour bestowed on queen Victoria - the first British monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee, back in 1897 - after whom the square tower at the other end of the Houses of Parliament was renamed.

"It is great news that so many MPs from across the House are backing what would be a fitting tribute to the queen. I hope it will now move ahead," the Mail quoted Cameron as saying.

The 96m tower is formally known as the clock tower but is commonly known as Big Ben after the huge bell that it holds, whose distinctive "bongs" sound out the hours in central London.

Lawmakers accepted that the iconic tower which looms over the 19-century Gothic revival parliament would continue to be known colloquially as Big Ben, but said that its formal name should honour Queen Elizabeth.

The House of Commons Commission, the governing body of the British parliament, will meet by the end of June and is expected to agree on the renaming of Big Ben, the Daily Mail said.

Big Ben was in the news in January this year when the commission discussed how to manage a tilt affecting the tower.

The tilt is 0.26ยบ to the north west and has increased very slightly since 2003, although an expert study found it was unlikely to be a problem for 10 000 years.

Britain is holding four days of celebrations beginning on Saturday to mark Elizabeth II's jubilee including a 1 000-boat river pageant and a star-studded concert.

  • gideon.joubert.10 - 2012-06-02 14:26

    The Bell is called Big Ben FFS, not the tower! It is the name of the BELL! Please get this right!

      Stirer - 2012-06-02 14:53

      100% correct. Where do they get this from?

      Matthew Patrick - 2012-06-02 15:19

      Did you not read the whole article? It clearly says that 'the tower known formally as the clock tower is often referred to as Big Ben after the big bell it holds.'

      Syd - 2012-06-02 15:59

      Absolutely right Gideon. The tower never had a name other than being called the tower of Big Ben colloquially. Its time journalists became educated!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-02 17:22

      Matt, Great, how is your aunt ?

      Lacrimose - 2012-06-02 22:50

      So does this mean it will now be referred to as Big Liz? Big Liza? Big Lizzie?

      Fanta - 2012-06-02 23:58

      Wow gideon. Odd thing to get your nickers in a twist about a bell. Its true, the bell's name is Big Ben. So when one walks past the tower, you should say : \hey look! It's the big tower!! Big Ben is in it!!\ Chop!

  • Piet - 2012-06-02 15:00

    Big Ben to the Big B....... Any ANC members in the Bitish parlement????

      Marco - 2012-06-02 17:32

      it certainly sounds very anc.i wonder how many of those stones in that tower her family laid with their own hands.sickening.

      Fanta - 2012-06-03 00:07

      So you say that the monarchs should have helped building the houses of parliament?

      arne.verhoef - 2012-06-03 09:42

      Julle mense is so teen verandering, ek wonder soms of julle jul onderbroeke verander. Die enigste ding wat n afrikaner van verander is kerke en vrouens.

  • Nigel - 2012-06-02 17:42

    @marcousername The clock tower is part of our (British, that is)parliamentary heritage and, up until this announcement, had nothing to do with the monarchy (because since our civil war there has been a strong line between the monarch and parliament). You seem fairly anti the British monarchy and you are entitled to your opinion. But I've noticed from your comments that you have very little, if any, knowledge about it. So go off and read a few books, then come up with something sensible. Or just don't bother reading about it if it pisses you off so much.

  • Johann - 2012-06-03 02:39

    Nobody cares about the name of the tower that houses the bell, Big Ben, which fame will always overshadow Elizabeth Tower. How often do we hear about the tower by it's present name Clock Tower?

  • Kruger - 2012-06-03 08:10

    So the Qween will now sit on top of old Big Ben, will have to give her a few Bells to make her Happy

  • Rob - 2012-06-03 14:54

    Pathetic journalism here, one of the bells is Big Ben, not the tower... Just shows the poor state of reporting on News24, from mediocre to down right pathetic!

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