Buckingham Palace and Olympic games organizers have announced the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen of England, will be opening both the London Olympics and the Paralympics this summer in the capital.
On July 27, London’s third Olympic games will begin and on August 29 the Paralympics will start. Buckingham Palace and Olympic organizers have just announced that Queen Elizabeth will officially open both events.
This will be the second time the Queen opens the Olympic games. She previously did so at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh opened the Melbourne games in 1956 on her behalf. The Queen’s father, George VI opened the 1948 Games at the old Wembley Stadium and her great-grandfather Edward VII opened the games in 1908. This year will mark the first time the Queen has opened the Paralympics.
Sebastian Coe, London 2012 chairman, said, “The Paralympic Games will undoubtedly be a time of extraordinary pride for our nation, and it is fitting that Her Majesty will declare us underway.”
International Paralympic Committee president, Sir Philip Craven, said, “I am delighted that Her Majesty the Queen will be opening the Paralympic Games, further underlining the significance and status of theses Games, not just to the Commonwealth, but to the whole world.”
Danny Boyle is the 2012 opening ceremony’s artistic director and he said last month that the event should make “everyone feel like it is the people’s Games.” The sound of an enormous bell, expected to be the largest ringing bell in Europe, has been commissioned from a foundry in Whitechapel, east London, to kick off the proceedings.
In addition to the games being held this summer, London hosted the Olympics in 1908 and 1948, making it the first city ever to host the games three times.