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Queen's Jubilee: Big Ben Tower to be Renamed After Elizabeth?

MPs are considering changing the name of the Big Ben tower as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This summer, Britain is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's sixtieth year in power, and it has been suggested that the famous landmark could be renamed Elizabeth Tower.

Though often referred to simply as Big Ben, the tower is technically called St. Stephen's Tower. It is the huge bell within the tower which is actually named Big Ben. Whilst the bell would retain its name, it is the tower itself which would be renamed- an honour only previously bestowed on Queen Victoria. Indeed, in 1860, the west tower of the Parliament building was named the Victoria Tower to commemorate the Queen's long reign.

It is Foreign Office aide Tobias Ellwood who is leading the campaign, and he is said top have significant support throughout all the different political parties. Me Ellwood said:

"I can't think of a greater tribute for Parliament to bestow on Her Majesty than the naming of such a landmark as the Clock Tower. If we get the support I hope we will, I would like to see a formal announcement or a ceremony taking place on June 2."

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The Leaning Tower of Big Ben

Following the lead of Pisa, London now has its very own leaning tower- Big Ben. Engineers have revealed that the tower is very slowly tilting more and more to the northwest and the lean is now visible to the naked eye.

Big Ben is part of the parliamentary buildings in Westminster, and is one of the most iconic sights in the whole of London. Although technically the name Big Ben refers to the giant bell in the clock tower, generally it is also used for the tower itself. However, the famous view is slowly changing, with the top of the tower now one-and-a-half foot away from an upright position.

Engineers have suggested the reasons for the lean are to do with the decades of underground work that has been carried out beneath Big Ben. The Jubilee line of the Tube runs under Westminster, and an underground car park has been built under the tower itself, slightly weakening the foundations.

Not Quite Vertical

If the lean continues to worsen, Big Ben would eventually fall over, though you shouldn't be too worried just yet, as it would take another 4,000 years just for it to reach the same level of tilt as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Indeed, whilst Big Ben is just 0.26 degrees off vertical, the famous tower in Italy is a massive 4 degrees and 12 foot away from being straight.

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