On Tuesday (June 26), Twitter was abuzz with news that London’s iconic Big Ben is set to be renamed “Elizabeth Tower” in honor of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Britain’s parliament is set to announce the tribute shortly. The reaction is, predictably, mixed.
“Crass, inappropriate and out of touch” – that’s how we described the plan to rename the Big Ben clock tower,” tweeted anti-monarchist website Republic.
“Even though they’re renaming big ben and calling it elizabeth tower, i’m still calling it big ben,” said another tweeter, echoing the feelings of many who have dealt with ceremonial renamings of beloved landmarks (just ask how many Washingtonians call their airport Ronald Reagan National Airport).
But not so fast — it turns out Big Ben isn’t being renamed at all because, as pointed out by Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Big Ben is the name of the actual bell inside the tower, not for the tower itself which has always gone by the moniker “Clock Tower.”
According to the measure to be announced by parliament, the tower will carry Queen Elizabeth II’s name in perpetuity. The Queen, reports the Mail Online, is “touched and moved” by the honor.