Big Ben will be no more. The iconic London symbol will be renamed after Queen Elizabeth II, officials said Tuesday.
The Clock Tower of Britain's Parliament will now have a new name, although that may not affect those who call the 315-foot-high structure Big Ben much at all. The truth is that the clock tower was never actually named Big Ben: the name only refers to the bell within the tower.
The clock tower itself was formally referred to as "Clock Tower"- original right? Now, however, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, the fixture will be renamed the "Elizabeth Tower." The tower celebrated its 150th year anniversary in May of 2009.
Renaming the tower after Queen Elizabeth will commemorate her time of service officials said.
"The renaming of the Clock Tower to the Elizabeth Tower is a fitting recognition of the Queen's 60 years of service. This is an exceptional tribute to an exceptional monarch," Prime Minister David Cameron told Reuters.
Others who believe that Big Ben is big enough to encompass a whole tower shared their protest.
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"Big Ben is so old and iconic, what is the sense in changing its name? All over the world people won't understand what the Elizabeth Tower is," Romanian tourist Mara Ciortescu explained to Reuters.
"The House of Commons (parliament) Commission welcomed the proposal to rename the Clock Tower Elizabeth Tower in recognition of Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and will arrange for this decision to be implemented in an appropriate manner in due course," a House of Commons spokesman said.
However, given that most people have referred to the tower as Big Ben while it was actually called the "Clock Tower," it is quite unlikely that anyone will begin to consider the iconic building the Elizabeth Tower either.