Highlights of the Opening Ceremony [PHOTOS]

July 28, 2012 1:34 pm

On Friday, the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremony held the world’s attention. A perfect blend of classic and modern British history and culture, the theatrical show, organized by Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle, was like nothing we’ve ever seen before in the history of the Olympic Games.

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From Queen Elizabeth II jumping out of an airplane with James Bond (Daniel Craig), to an appearance by some of the most beloved characters in British literature, it seems that at least some of the rumors were true—and they made for quite the performance.

In case you missed the Opening Ceremony, or are just dying to relive it all again, we’re recapping some of the best moments of that night in photos for you to remember. Make sure to let us know which moment was your favorite and if it topped Beijing.

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Moment 1: A British History Lesson - From the agrarian era to the Industrial Revolution, viewers gained a lot of knowledge in British culture while watching the Olympic rings enter the stadium in the opening act.

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Moment 2: The Queen’s Entrance - Before she could declare The Games officially open, her majesty Queen Elizabeth II had to arrive at Olympic Stadium—and she did it in style, with a little help from James Bond.

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Moment 3: An Appearance by J.K. Rowling And Her Characters – It was certainly a surprise to see the beloved Harry Potter series author onstage, but even more surprising to see an 100-foot tall Lord Voldemort rise from below.

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Moment 4: Pop-Up Classic British Storybook Villains – Did you feel a bit nostalgic during the nightmare scene when all those childhood storybook villains appeared? Who knew so many of our favorite characters were created by British authors?

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Moment 5: It’s Raining Mary Poppins! - And when the nightmare became too intense, Mary Poppins saved the day! It was a touching moment that many members of the audience—British or otherwise—could connect with.

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Moment 6: Mr. Bean Plays Piano - Another surprise? Mr. Bean (Rowen Atkinson) playing alongside the London Symphony Orchestra. And that scene where he’s running on the beach? Priceless.

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Moment 7: “Frankie and June Say Thanks To Tim” – This was a very poignant piece that struck strongly at Generation Y’s love of digital technology. And I don’t think anyone expected to see Mr. World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee.

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Moment 8: David Beckham Rides In On A Boat – We knew that David Beckham would play some role in the ceremony, but it was still a great moment to see him ride across the River Thames on a speedboat to help hand off the torch.

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Moment 9: The Lighting Of The Olympic Cauldron - One of the most moving moments of the entire ceremony was the lighting of the Olympic cauldron by a group of young British athletes. It was a moment they—and we—will never forget.

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Moment 10: Paul McCartney Sings “Hey Jude” – Adele may not have shown up as originally expected, but watching Sir Paul McCartney get choked up as he sang for his homeland—and seeing the athletes so happy—made this the perfect ending.

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