With royalty and rock, London opens 2012 Olympics

  • Brazil's Thiago Pereira, left, United States' Ryan Lochte, center, and Japan's Kosuke Hagino pose with their medals for the men's 400-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. Lochte won gold, Pereira silver and Kosuke bronze. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)Brazil's Thiago Pereira, left, United States' Ryan Lochte, center, and Japan's Kosuke Hagino pose with their medals for the men's 400-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. Lochte won gold, Pereira silver and Kosuke bronze. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
  • Fireworks explode during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Fireworks explode during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
  • Fireworks and Olympic rings light up at Tower Bridge during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)Fireworks and Olympic rings light up at Tower Bridge during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
  • Sir Steve Redgrave carries the torch into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the London Olympic Games, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.  (AP Photo/Owen Humphreys,  PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT; NO SALES; NO ARCHIVESir Steve Redgrave carries the torch into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the London Olympic Games, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Owen Humphreys, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT; NO SALES; NO ARCHIVE
  • The OIympic flag is carried around the stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)The OIympic flag is carried around the stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Lights illuminate the stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Lights illuminate the stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
  • The Olympic rings are suspended over the stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)The Olympic rings are suspended over the stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
  • Performers march through the audience during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)Performers march through the audience during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
  • Performers dance during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Performers dance during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
  • A person dressed as Queen Elizabeth II parachutes into the Olympic stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, Friday, July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Ezra Shaw, Getty)A person dressed as Queen Elizabeth II parachutes into the Olympic stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, Friday, July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Ezra Shaw, Getty)
  • Fencer Mariel Zagunis leads Team USA into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)Fencer Mariel Zagunis leads Team USA into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)
  • A giant figure stands out during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)A giant figure stands out during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
  • Queen Elizabeth II declares the games open at the Olympic Games Opening ceremonies in London on Friday July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)Queen Elizabeth II declares the games open at the Olympic Games Opening ceremonies in London on Friday July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
  • The Olympic cauldron is being lit during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)The Olympic cauldron is being lit during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
  • Paul McCartney, center, performs during the Opening Ceremony at  the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)Paul McCartney, center, performs during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)
  • The closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics will be streamed live online. Here are fireworks illuminating the sky after the Olympic cauldron was lit during the opening ceremony Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.  (AP Photo/Leon Neal, Pool)The closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics will be streamed live online. Here are fireworks illuminating the sky after the Olympic cauldron was lit during the opening ceremony Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Leon Neal, Pool)
  • USA's Michael Phelps competes in a heat of the men's 400-meter individual medley at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)USA's Michael Phelps competes in a heat of the men's 400-meter individual medley at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

LONDON — The queen and James Bond gave the London Olympics a royal entrance like no other Friday in an opening ceremony that rolled to the rock of the Beatles, the Stones and The Who.

And the creative genius of Danny Boyle spliced it all together.

Brilliant. Cheeky, too.

The highlight of the Oscar-winning director’s $42 million show was pure movie magic, using trickery to make it seem that Britain’s beloved 86-year-old Queen Elizabeth II had parachuted into the stadium with the nation’s most famous spy.

A short film showed Daniel Craig as 007 driving to Buckingham Palace in a black London cab and, pursued by the royal corgis, meeting the queen, who played herself.

“Good evening, Mr. Bond,” she said.

They were shown flying in a helicopter over London landmarks and a waving statue of Winston Churchill — the queen in a salmon-colored dress, Bond dashing as ever in a black tuxedo — before leaping into the inky night over Olympic Park.

At the same moment, real skydivers appeared as the stadium throbbed to the James Bond theme. And moments after that, the monarch appeared in person, accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip.

Organizers said it was thought to be the first time she has acted on film.

“The queen made herself more accessible than ever before,” Boyle said.

In the stadium, Elizabeth stood solemnly while a children’s choir serenaded her with “God Save the Queen,” and members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force raised the Union Jack.

Boyle sprang another giant surprise and picked seven teenage athletes for the supreme honor of igniting the Olympic cauldron. Together, they touched flaming torches to trumpetlike tubes that spread into a ring of fire.

The flames rose and joined elegantly together to form the cauldron. Fireworks erupted over the stadium to music from Pink Floyd. And with a singalong of “Hey Jude,” Beatle Paul McCartney closed a show that ran 45 minutes beyond its scheduled three hours.

Organizers said the cauldron would be moved Sunday night to the corner of the stadium where a giant bell tolled during the show.

Boyle 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.

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