[credit provider=”AP / Phil Noble, Pool”]
Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced that the southern part of the British Antarctic Territory has been named Queen Elizabeth Land in honour of the Diamond Jubilee, during a Royal visit to the Foreign Office.Queen Elizabeth Land is a 169,000 square mile chunk of the British Antarctic Territory.
It is twice the size of the UK and makes up almost a third of Britain’s claim on the polar continent
He 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’.”
“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.”
The Queen has been on the throne for the entire time that Britain’s claim on the Antarctic, which was made in 1908, has been known as British Antarctic Territory.
It is the second time a part of the Antarctic has been named after the Queen; in 1931 the Australian explorer Sir Douglas Mawson discovered part of East Antarctica which he named Princess Elizabeth Land.
Queen Elizabeth Land will be marked on all British maps in future, the Foreign Office said.