Monday 23 April 2018

The Queen to open the Olympics

Neil Lancefield and Helen William

THE London Olympics will be opened by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said today.

The royal couple will open the Games at the 80,000-seater Olympic Stadium on July 27 with more than a billion people set to watch on TV around the world.

The Queen and Duke will also open the Paralympic Games at the same venue on August 29.

The Queen previously opened Canada's Montreal Games in 1976, while the Duke did it on her behalf at Melbourne, Australia, in 1956.

In 1948 - the last time the Olympics were held in the UK - King George VI opened the Games at Wembley Stadium.

And 40 years earlier his grandfather, King Edward VII, got proceedings under way at the first London Olympics at White City Stadium.

The 2012 opening ceremony's artistic director Danny Boyle said last month that it should make everyone feel like it is "the people's Games".

He said: "We would be very honoured if we are compared very favourably to Sydney (the 2000 Games) and this was another people's Games."

The sound of an enormous bell, set to be the biggest ringing bell in Europe, has been commissioned from a foundry in Whitechapel, east London, to kick off the proceedings.

Boyle has picked the title Isles of Wonder for his work on the ceremony, setting a target for himself to try to celebrate the best of British while representing all the regions

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