UK to Name Part of Antarctica “Queen Elizabeth Land”
The Foreign Office today announced part of the British Antarctic Territory was to be named “Queen Elizabeth Land” in honour of Her Majesty. The territory makes up almost a third of Britain’s claim on the continent and covers 169,000 sq miles – almost twice the size of the United Kingdom. In future, all British maps will bear the new name although other countries will have the freedom to decide whether they follow the suit or not.
Announcing the gift, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “As a mark of this country’s gratitude to the Queen for her service, we are naming a part of the British Antarctic Territory in her honour as ‘Queen Elizabeth Land’. This is a fitting tribute at the end of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year, and I am very proud to be able to announce it as she visits the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The British Antarctic Territory is a unique and important member of the network of fourteen UK Overseas Territories. To be able to recognise the UK’s commitment to Antarctica with a permanent association with Her Majesty is a great honour.”
This is in fact not the first time a part of the Antarctic has been named after Her Majesty; in 1931 Sir Douglas Mawson named part of East Antarctica he had discovered ‘Princess Elizabeth Land’. Princess Anne also has a mountain range on the continent named after her.
Earlier in the day, the Queen made history by becoming the first monarch in over 230 years to attend a Cabinet meeting. While there, she was presented with another of her Jubilee gifts from the Ministers – 60 placemats (one for each year of her reign) featuring a series of elaborate paintings, including pictures of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.Filed under British Royals
Tagged Antarctica, Elizabeth II, Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, Government.