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Part of Antarctica to be named 'Queen Elizabeth Land'

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Queen Elizabeth II declares the Paralympic Games open during the Paralympics Games Opening Ceremony

© PA Images / David Davies/PA Wire

A previously-unnamed part of Antarctica is to be called 'Queen Elizabeth Land'.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the decision following the Queen's historic visit to Downing Street, the BBC reports.

The area of Antarctica has been without a name in the past and is described as being "a strange, beautiful and dangerous world of towering mountains and infinite ice" by David Shukman.

The territory is described as being twice the size of the United Kingdom and is home to penguins and elephant seals.

However the news has caused controversy after Argentina claimed that the land actually belongs to them, and it is reported that the country has summoned a British ambassador to discuss the matter further.

It is not the first time that parts of British Antarctic territory have been named after royalty. Before the Queen came to the throne, an area was named Princess Elizabeth Land, and in 2006 an unnamed mountain was named Princess Royal Range.

Hague said: "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."

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