Argentina angry after Antarctic territory named after Queen

Part of the British Antarctic territory will be named 'Queen Elizabeth Land' Argentina disputes the ownership of the British Antarctic Territory

Related Stories

The UK ambassador to Argentina has been summoned to explain to officials in Buenos Aires why part of Antarctica has been renamed in honour of the Queen.

John Freeman was handed a formal protest note "strongly rejecting" the UK's claim to a piece of land known as the British Antarctic Territory.

The southern section was named Queen Elizabeth Land by Foreign Secretary William Hague on Tuesday.

The note claimed the area was part of the Argentine Antarctic sector.

It stated that the Argentine government "strongly rejected" Britain's right to rename the area.

Prior claims

Queen Elizabeth Land - which at 169,000 sq miles is almost twice the size of the UK - was previously unnamed, according to the British Foreign Office.

The UK first staked claim to the British Antarctic Territory in 1908. However, both Argentina and Chile insist they have prior claims to large areas of the same land.

The British Antarctic Survey has three scientific research bases in the territory and the Royal Navy's ice patrol vessel HMS Protector is stationed in the area for part of the year.

The 1959 Antarctic Treaty between 12 nations including Britain and Argentina, outlawed the establishment of new territorial claims in the Antarctic, but stated that it did not reject existing claims.

The Foreign Office said on Tuesday there was a precedent for naming parts of the continent after members of the British royal family.

East Antarctica is home to Princess Elizabeth Land, named after the Queen before she took the throne, and in 2006 an unnamed mountain range in the Antarctic peninsula was named the Princess Royal Range in tribute to the Queen's daughter.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More UK stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • SyedTanks instead of toys

    Lyse Doucet on the plight of children in Syria and Gaza


  • Silhouette of manSuper-shy

    Why do Germany's super-rich so often keep their heads down?


  • Detail from Gin Lane by HogarthMother's ruin

    The time was gin was full of sulphuric acid and turpentine


  • The two sisters in their bakery'Must be mad'

    Why two Spanish sisters started a bakery in a desert


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • EscaladeBling's the thing

    The ostentatious Cadillac Escalade cruises into 2015 with fuel-gulping gusto

Programmes

  • A sun bearThe Travel Show Watch

    The Borneo sanctuary coming to rescue of the world’s smallest bear

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.