(Forgive the sensational title; I couldn’t resist.)
According to the Telegraph, and many other news agencies carrying the report, a majority of Members of Parliament (including senior MPs from each of the three major parties) are backing a proposal to rename the clock tower of Westminster Palace (aka The Houses of Parliament) after Queen Elizabeth, changing it from simply “The Clock Tower” to “Elizabeth Tower.”
The move echoes an honor given to the last monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, Queen Victoria, when another tower of Westminster Palace was renamed “Victoria Tower.”
I honestly had no idea that the Clock Tower was what the MPs had in mind for Elizabeth; I didn’t know which tower was Victoria’s, but it makes sense to start with the largest tower (Victoria) and move on to the next tallest (the Clock Tower), even if the second-tallest is the most famous. I do approve of the idea, though: what’s an appropriate honor for Victoria should be an appropriate honor for Elizabeth. (I just hope that Diamond Jubilees stay a rare event, as Westminster Palace doesn’t have that many towers available after this, and the ones that are aren’t all that impressive or recognizable. I feel sorry for the future monarch who makes it to a Diamond Jubilee but doesn’t get a tower named after him/her because they were all taken.)
Of course, nobody is expecting that the name is really going to take off; in everyday conversation, it’ll most likely still be called Big Ben, and Parliament is okay with that.
If the proposal passes, a renaming ceremony will take place in a few weeks, and all the layout maps of Westminster Palace will have to be edited. (That’s essentially all Parliament is doing here; making work for themselves. 🙂 ) I’m excited to be travelling to London this September, and I hope that it’ll be Elizabeth Tower that I’m visiting when I go to see Parliament.