23 possible reasons why London's Crossrail has just been renamed the Elizabeth Line

Queen Elizabeth II, arrayed in Crossrail purple. Image: WPA Pool/Getty.

Because  Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning queen regnant (one who reigns in her own right, rather than one who is just married to a king) in human history.

Because on 9 September 2015, she surpassed her great great grandmother Queen Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

Because Queen Victoria already has her own line.

Because Queen Elizabeth doesn't have a line named after her. Except for the Jubilee line which is named after her 1977 silver jubilee, even though that line didn't open until 1979, and nobody celebrates their 27th anniversary.

Because Crossrail will serve Stratford, where the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park is.

 

 

Because Queen Elizabeth doesn't already have enough things named after her.

Because Crossrail will be purple on the map and purple is a bit royal.

Because the new line goes through Slough which is basically the same place as Windsor, and the Queen's surname is Windsor.

Because the Queen has a castle in Windsor, too.


Because the line will serve the Royal Docks.

Because the new line will serve Romford, and everyone knows that Liquid & Envy is the Queen's favourite nightspot.

Because being the eldest child of the next in line to the throne during the Abdication Crisis of 1936, and then successfully not dying for the next eighty years, makes Queen Elizabeth the greatest living Briton.

Because she did much of the tunnel boring with her bare, queen hands.

Because, as well as the Victoria line, Queen Victoria has Victoria Station, Victoria Coach Station, Victoria Street, Queen Victoria Street, Victoria Park and the Royal Victoria Dock named after her, so Liz has got a lot of catching up to do.

Because Crossrail is actually a quite silly name.

Because the Elizabeth line is genuinely more memorable, if we're going to be fair about this.

 

 

Because London transport has a proud history of using proper names, rather than numbers, letters or descriptive labels for its names, and this fits in with that tradition.

Because the bits of the network that don't fit that tradition, like the London Overground, are clunky and difficult to navigate, so TfL is rumoured to be looking at the line names for that too (we suggest Philip, William, George, etc).

Because the Queen has magical powers and by sharing her name with the line she will protect it from disaster.

Because after 68 years married to Prince Philip it's about time something nice happened to the Queen.

Because it's worth it just to see her smile.

Because Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a republican and TfL is trolling him.

Because Boris Johnson wants to be prime minister.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He tweets as @jonnelledge.

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CityMetric is now City Monitor! Come see us at our new home

City Monitor is now live in beta at citymonitor.ai.

CityMetric is now City Monitor, a name that reflects both a ramping up of our ambitions as well as our membership in a network of like-minded publications from New Statesman Media Group. Our new site is now live in beta, so please visit us there going forward. Here’s what CityMetric readers should know about this exciting transition.  

Regular CityMetric readers may have already noticed a few changes around here since the spring. CityMetric’s beloved founding editor, Jonn Elledge, has moved on to some new adventures, and a new team has formed to take the site into the future. It’s led by yours truly – I’m Sommer Mathis, the editor-in-chief of City Monitor. Hello!

My background includes having served as the founding editor of CityLab, editor-in-chief of Atlas Obscura, and editor-in-chief of DCist, a local news publication in the District of Columbia. I’ve been reporting on and writing about cities in one way or another for the past 15 years. To me, there is no more important story in the world right now than how cities are changing and adapting to an increasingly challenging global landscape. The majority of the world’s population lives in cities, and if we’re ever going to be able to tackle the most pressing issues currently facing our planet – the climate emergency, rising inequality, the Covid-19 pandemic ­­­– cities are going to have to lead the way.

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The City Monitor team is made up of some of the most experienced urban policy journalists in the world. Our managing editor is Adam Sneed, also a CityLab alum where he served as a senior associate editor. Before that he was a technology reporter at Politico. Allison Arieff is City Monitor’s senior editor. She was previously editorial director of the urban planning and policy think tank SPUR, as well as a contributing columnist for The New York Times. Staff writer Jake Blumgart most recently covered development, housing and politics for WHYY, the local public radio station in Philadelphia. And our data reporter is Alexandra Kanik, whose previous roles include data reporting for Louisville Public Media in Kentucky and PublicSource in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Our team will continue to grow in the coming weeks, and we’ll also be collaborating closely with our editorial colleagues across New Statesman Media Group. In fact, we’re launching a whole network of new publications, covering topics such as the clean energy transition, foreign direct investment, technology, banks and more. Many of these sectors will frequently overlap with our cities coverage, and a key part of our plan is make the most of the expertise that all of these newsrooms combined will bring to bear on our journalism.

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As for CityMetric, some of its archives have already been moved over to the new website, and the rest will follow not long after. If you’re looking for a favourite piece from CityMetric’s past, for a time you’ll still be able to find it here, but before long the whole archive will move over to City Monitor.

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I want to thank and congratulate Jonn Elledge on a brilliant run. Everything we do from here on out will be building on the legacy of his work, and the community that he built here at CityMetric. Cheers, Jonn!

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Sommer Mathis is editor-in-chief of City Monitor.