Queen Elizabeth II

Young athletes light Olympic cauldron during Opening Ceremony to kick off 2012 Summer Olympics in London

Young athletes light Olympic cauldron during Opening Ceremony to kick off 2012 Summer Olympics in London

90 photos

Rock stars, smokestacks, nurses, Union flags, spectators, fireworks, a meadow and… sheep. (Oh, and a Queen, a parachuting Queen, a Beatle, a large Lord Voldemort, a nod to British Literature and David Beckham on a speedboat).

The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games have officially begun in a verdant display of British glory. The man behind the ceremony is no other than Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, known for films including “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Trainspotting.” The budget for the ceremony is less than half of the estimated spending on the Beijing equivalent in 2008, reported Reuters, coming in at about 27 million pounds or $42 million.

Over the course of the next 17 days, some 10,500 athletes from more than 200 countries will compete for an Olympic gold.
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91 Awesome Photos from the 70-day Torch Relay ahead of the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympics

91 Awesome Photos from the 70-day Torch Relay ahead of the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympics

91 photos

Some 8,000 people will carry the Olympic flame over the 70-day Torch Relay until July 27, when the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony will be ignited in London to kick off the Olympic games.

Here’s a look at the past 70 days as the Olympic flame has been making its way throughout the United Kingdom.
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Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee concludes with carriage procession, Thanksgiving service

Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee concludes with carriage procession, Thanksgiving service

60 photos

Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee concluded Tuesday with a Thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral as well as a carriage procession through central London. The dignified conclusion ended a four-day celebration around the country that included a 1,000-boat flotilla on the River Thames and a pop concert in front of Buckingham Palace. Missing from festivities was the Queen’s husband of 64 years, Prince Philip, who was taken ill Monday. The celebrations brought many who cheered on Britain’s leading lady and honors the 86-year-old queen’s 60th anniversary since taking the throne in 1952.
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Queen Elizabeth II joined by spectacular 1,000-boat flotilla for Diamond Jubilee celebration

Queen Elizabeth II joined by spectacular 1,000-boat flotilla for Diamond Jubilee celebration

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The River Thames in London was a spectacular sight on Sunday with an extravaganza of steam boats, tugs, speed boats and historic vessels as part of festivities for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. The Queen joined the armada of 1,000 boats in a gilded royal barge as revelers braved the rainy weather to help celebrate the occasion by waving flags, popping bottles of champagne and cheering.

The 86-year-old queen celebrates her 60th anniversary since taking the throne in 1952. She is the second-longest serving monarch. According to Reuters, only five other kings and queens in British history have reigned for 50 years or more: Victoria (63 years), George III (59 years), Henry III (56 years), Edward III (50 years), and James VI of Scotland (James I of England) (58 years).
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