The first weekend in June 2012 saw a host of celebrations and special events to mark the Diamond Jubilee
of Queen Elizabeth II
, the UK's hereditary head of state. This ranged from a boat pageant
to an on-line poetry anthology
In order to build something more long-lasting, the BBC
reports that the UK's parliament, or at least the majority of its elected representatives, are keen to rename the tower which houses London's iconic 'Big Ben' bell the 'Elizabeth Tower' to mark the Queen's sixty-years on the throne.
The idea is the initiative of the Conservative Party member Tobias Ellwood, who will move a motion in favor when the House of Commons re-sits after the UK public holiday. The idea is supported by the UK's main political parties. The Daily Mail
notes that a total of 331 MPs, from a total of 650, have now signed up to a campaign .
quotes Mr Ellwood, who explains the reasoning behind his suggestion:
" Over the last three months I have sought opinion from fellow MPs to request the House of Commons Commission take forward the proposal to rename the Clock Tower the Elizabeth Tower.
"Commemorating such an iconic landmark is indeed a truly exceptional tribute and I am grateful that a majority of MPs have now confirmed that the Queen deserves such an outstanding accolade."
At present the tall tower which stands high above the rest of the Palace of Westminster, which houses the UK's legislative bodies, is called the "clock tower". Inside the tower in the famous bell 'Big Ben', noted for many major public announcements and it is still used to introduce the news on the BBC's most serious radio station (Radio 4
It is a common mistake, made by tourists and many Londoners, to call the tower
itself 'Big Ben'. The Clock Tower was completed
in 1859 and the Great Bell, as 'Big Ben' is officially called, struck for the first time on July 11 that year.
The original bell
was a 16 ton hour bell, cast on 6 August 1856 in Stockton-on-Tees by a company called John Warner & Sons. The bell was named in honour of Sir Benjamin Hall, a British politician, and his name is inscribed on it.