Is it true that the British Parliament is considering Big Ben′s renaming to Elizabeth Tower? Today kicks off the 4-day Diamond Jubilee celebrating 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II rule of the UK. Sunday’s festivities center on a 1,000 boat pageant on the River Thames. So in honor of her reign as queen, the Parliament has majority support to rename the clock tower which houses the historic clock, an icon of both London and England itself, after her Royal Majesty. Some 331 British MPs have agreed to the move, which reflects when King′s Tower of the Palace of Westminster was renamed Victoria Tower during the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. It was 60 years ago today that Queen Elizabeth II went through her coronation following the death of her father, King George VI, though she actually became Queen when he died on February 6, 1952.
Queen Elizabeth II is the second longest reigning monarch of the UK. Queen Victoria holds the record for the longest time on the throne, 63 years and 216 days. Her name-sake, Queen Elizabeth I, ruled England for just over 44 years. The longest reigning king was none other than George III, left mad after losing to upstart colonials in America, but still managed to hold the throne for 59 years. In case you were wondering, Henry VIII, famous for his being married six times after abandoning the Holy Roman Catholic Church, ruled England for 56 years.
Big Ben′s renaming from Clock Tower to Elizabeth Tower is not the only form of celebration for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Four days of parades, concerts and other fun events will play out through the weekend into Tuesday. I look forward to the 1,000 boat pageant on the River Thames this Sunday. The British Parliament supports the decision to rename the iconic landmark, a move which mirrors a similar honor in 1897 when King′s Tower of the Palace of Westminster was renamed Victoria Tower for Queen Victoria′s Diamond Jubilee.