Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Big Ben tower renamed after Queen

The clock tower of the Palace of Westminster will now be known as the Elizabeth Tower

One of the UK's best-known landmarks has been formally renamed in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The clock tower of the Palace of Westminster, which is known across the nation because of the bell it houses - Big Ben - will now be known as the Elizabeth Tower.

In an official naming ceremony at the foot of the tower, Commons Speaker John Bercow said it was a "special and heart-warming" occasion.

He added: "Everyone here present will speedily recall that Her Majesty the Queen has visited Parliament on no fewer than three occasions in this, a very special year, and it is a mark and symbol of the enormous affection and esteem in which Her Majesty is held by people of all political persuasions and none that this renaming has taken place."

The historic name change was made after politicians from across the House backed a campaign by Tory MP Tobias Ellwood in favour of the switch.

Mr Ellwood told MPs and parliamentary staff: "Only two monarchs since William the Conqueror have actually served this country so diligently and selflessly for 60 years - that's quite an incredible task considering the number of monarchs this country has seen - Queen Victoria and now Queen Elizabeth II.

"She has served this country in such esteem - that was recognised this year with the celebrations that were seen.

"She is one of the most respected public figures in the world. She reminds us who we are, what we are about and what it is to be British and it is a very proud day indeed to see this clock tower renamed in recognition of the work she has done."