Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to open Olympics and Paralympics

THE Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will officially open the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

More than a billion people are set to watch the ceremony on TV around the world as the royal couple open the Games at the 80,000-seater Olympic Stadium on July 27. They will then open the Paralympic event at the same venue on August 29.

The Queen previously opened the Montreal Games in 1976 while the Duke did likewise at the Montreal showpiece 20 years earlier.

“We would be very honoured if we are compared very favourably to Sydney (the 2000 Games) and this was another people’s Games,” said the 2012 opening ceremony’s artistic director Danny Boyle

What is set to be the largest ringing bell in Europe, has been commissioned from a foundry in Whitechapel, and will kick off the proceedings, while Boyle has chosen the title Isles of Wonder for his work on the ceremony, a project which will see him try celebrate the best of British while representing all the regions.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe spoke about the Paralympics: “This summer we will be hosting the largest Paralympic Games ever and the opening ceremony on August 29 will be a fantastic event.

“The Paralympic Games will undoubtedly be a time of extraordinary pride for our nation, and it is fitting that Her Majesty will declare us under way.”

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