‘Even Big Ben fell silent!’ Parliament confirms famous bell ‘failed to strike’ at 8pm to start the nation’s minute silence for the Queen – with some even suggesting it was ‘paying its respects’
Big Ben failed to strike this evening at 8pm when the nation began its minutes silence for the Queen as mourners suggested it was ‘paying its respects’ to Britain’s longest monarch.
The Houses of Parliament have confirmed the famous bell – which is housed in the Elizabeth Tower, named after Her Majesty in 2012 during her Diamond Jubilee – did not ring as planned this evening.
The UK’s legislative body told the MailOnline: ‘Big Ben failed to strike at 8pm as planned. We have investigated this as a matter of urgency and have identified a minor technical issue that has now been resolved.
‘We will be testing the bell again later tonight and are confident that it will not affect the tolling tomorrow during the State Funeral procession.’
This was as Britain stood silent for the Queen tonight during the National Moment of Reflection to remember the late Monarch, with the queue to see her lying-in-state halted and Prime Minister Liz Truss bowing her head outside Number 10.
Many members of the public stood together for the National Moment of Reflection at Westminster Bridge in front of Big Ben as it did not toll
Members of the public observed the silence this evening, holding candles in Her Majesty’s honour
Fans at Emirates Arena, Glasgow, standing quiet for the National Moment of Reflection for Queen Elizabeth II
People in the queue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state, which was halted for 60 seconds, observing the silence
Big Ben was meant to toll to mark the beginning of the National Moment of Reflection at 8pm today and the bell was supposed to strike once to mark the start of the minute’s silence and once more at 8.01pm to mark its end.
Social media users took to Twitter to claim that perhaps the Bell, which has become twinned with the Monarch and Parliament since the 19th Century was marking Elizabeth II’s death at 96.
Replying to Chris Ship, ITV’s Royal Editor who noticed the issue, Ghanem Nuseibeh wrote on Twitter: ‘Perhaps the failure to ring is in itself a sign of mourning, unplanned like the rainbow.’
Rainbows have also appeared this evening at royal spots and across London as the Queen lies in state for the last day.
In Berkshire, Castle Wardens were seen standing together to observe the silence at Windsor Castle
Nature’s own memorial: A rainbow appeared yesterday over Westminster Abbey and Parliament while Londoners revel at a stunning red sky over Big Ben
Replying to Chris Ship, ITV’s Royal Editor who noticed the issue, Ghanem Nuseibeh wrote on Twitter: ‘Perhaps the failure to ring is in itself a sign of mourning, unplanned like the rainbow’
Another social media user wrote: ‘Even Big Ben fell silent. [And then a crying face].’
Play was stopped at the Emirates Stadium in Scotland for the Davis Cup so fans could observe the one-minute silence.
Prime Minister Liz Truss and her husband Hugh O’Leary observed the minute’s silence outside Number 10 Downing Street.
In Westminster Hall, where the queen is lying in state, the line of mourners halted for 60 seconds.
The government had encouraged people to spend a minute in reflection, either at home, with neighbors or in locally organized ceremonies.
Images were seen of police officers and members of the public taking part in the silence at Waterloo Station as well as firefighters at North Kensington Fire Station in Notting Hill.
A small crowd of people in the queue for the Queen’s lying in state stopped near London Bridge and bowed their heads to observe the national minute’s silence.
They applauded to mark the end of the silence at 8.01pm.
Dozens of Metropolitan Police officers also assembled in silence beside mourners and later sang the national anthem.