The London 2012 Olympic Games have been officially opened with a spectacular ceremony celebrating British history, social, cultural and industrial achievements.
Film director Danny Boyle, who masterminded the ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in east London, deployed a huge cast including many ordinary Britons as well dramatic special effects.
The Queen declared the London Olympics open following a spectacular ceremony
Seven young athletes were given the honour of lighting the ceremonial flame which is formed from 204 copper petals carried in by teams from across the world.
A Cyclist rang the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world to start the show.
The three-hour spectacle was viewed by TV audiences around the globe.
The Olympics celebrates “what is best about mankind”, according to Games chief Seb Coe
A video of James Bond – actor Daniel Craig – meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace was broadcast to the audience. A helicopter then flew over the stadium to the sound of the Bond theme tune, as two figures parachuted out of the helicopter, one dressed as the monarch.
As if by magic, the Queen appeared in the stands at the stadium – part of a crowd of about 80,000 – amid cheers.