The Lookout

Big Ben tower to be renamed in honor of Queen Elizabeth

Big Ben (AFP)Click image for more photos.

London's famous clock tower--better known as "Ben Ben" for the 13-and-a-half-ton bell it houses--will be renamed Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee, members of the British parliament announced on Tuesday.

[Slideshow: Queen on landmark visit to N. Ireland]

"The House of Commons Commission welcomed the proposal to rename the Clock Tower in recognition of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee," a parliament spokesman said in a statement. "[We] will arrange for this decision to be implemented in an appropriate manner in due course."

Through a spokesman, Prime Minister David Cameron said the name change is "a fitting tribute to the queen and the service she has given to our country in this Jubilee year."

[Slideshow: Big Ben through the years]

The 316-foot bell tower, which hovers over parliament, marks each hour with a series of distinctive bongs.

"There are two competing theories of how the bell came to be known as Big Ben," Agence France-Presse noted. "The most likely explanation is that it was named after Benjamin Hall, the engineer whose name is inscribed on the bell, but some believe it is named after Ben Caunt, a champion heavyweight boxer of the 1850s."

Victoria Tower--the structure at the other end of the Palace of Westminster--is named for Queen Victoria, the only other British monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee.


Take A Look Behind The Scenes At Elizabeth Tower: