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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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View the 2024 general election results.

The Great Bell and the quarter bells

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Weight: 13.7 tonnes
Height: 2.2m
Diameter: 2.7m
Musical note when struck: E
Hammer weight: 200kg

First quarter bell weight: 1.1 tonnes
First quarter bell diameter: 1.1m
Musical note when struck: G sharp

Second quarter bell weight: 1.3 tonnes
Second quarter bell diameter: 1.2m
Musical note when struck: F sharp

Third quarter bell weight: 1.7 tonnes
Third quarter bell diameter: 1.4m
Musical note when struck: E

Fourth quarter bell weight: 4 tonnes
Fourth quarter bell diameter: 1.8m
Musical note when struck: B

The bells are fixed and struck by hammers from outside rather than swinging and being struck from inside by clappers.

The Chimes of Big Ben

Big Ben on YouTube

View Big Ben and other UK Parliament video clips on YouTube