London is the city's third time as Olympic host, and as Britain'spointed out Friday, it also is a milestone for her family.
Among the 60,000 spectators at Olympic Stadium there will be royals, including Queen Elizabeth II, who will open the Games, along with Prince William and his wife, Kate, and Prince Harry well as British Prime Ministerand London mayor Boris Johnson.
The ceremony itself included, and -- who drove the Olympic flame down the Thames in a speedboat.
Former world heavyweight champion and 1960 Rome Olympic gold medalist Muhammad Ali was cheered when he appeared briefly with his wife, Lonnie, before the Olympic flag was unfurled.
The first Hollywood ,who showed up was, dressed in a top hat, recited a part of William Shakespeare's The Tempest. "Be not afear'd," one of his lines said. "The isle is full of noises."
Actor, who plays aristocrat Lord Grantham in the costume drama "Downton Abbey," tweeted a picture of his fellow cast-members arriving at the stadium.
Actoras Mr. Bean provided laughs, shown dreaming that he was appearing in Chariots of Fire, the inspiring story of a Scotsman and an Englishman at the 1924 Paris Games.
British movie starstopped to take pictures with British soldiers and fans outside the stadium.
The U.S. was represented by first lady, and Republican presidential hopeful .
Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle ,who turned the stadium into a giant juke box, with a nonstop rock and pop homage to cool Britannia that ensured the show never caught its breath . A 27 million pound ($42 million) spectacular titled "Isles of Wonder," drew rave reviews from live and television spectators.
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