- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 26, 2012

LONDON (AP) - The iconic Clock Tower of Britain’s Parliament _ widely, though incorrectly, known as Big Ben _ is being renamed in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, authorities said Tuesday.

The 315-foot (96-meter)-high structure, one of Britain’s most recognizable landmarks, will now formally be known as Elizabeth Tower following a campaign by lawmakers to mark the monarch’s 60 years on the throne.

A House of Commons Commission statement said arrangements were being made for the “decision to be implemented in an appropriate manner in due course.”

The tower was completed in 1858. It houses a four-faced chiming clock and the famed 13.5 ton Big Ben bell. Over the years, people began calling the whole tower Big Ben.


Prime Minister David Cameron, who backed the campaign for a change, said the new name was a “fitting tribute to the queen and the service she has given our country.”

Opposition chief Ed Miliband, head of Britain’s Labour Party, said the honor “rightly recognized Queen Elizabeth’s lifetime of dedication and tireless service.”