To herald the first day of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games on Friday July 27, Big Ben and thousands of bells across the U.K. will ring out as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes.

Big Ben, the hour bell of the Palace of Westminster, will chime more than 40 times from 8:12 am to 8:15 am to ring in the Olympic Games.

This is a historic occasion for one of the world’s most famous bells, as it is believed to be the first time that the strike of Big Ben has been rung outside its regular schedule since February 15, 1952, when it tolled every minute for 56 strokes from 9:30 am for the funeral of King George VI.

It has also been confirmed that the National Assembly for Wales will be ringing its bell along with Stormont and the Scottish Parliament. All four Parliaments will be ringing in unison at 8:12 am on 27 July as part of All The Bells in celebration of the first day of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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