Queen El­iz­a­beth, Prince Philip to open 2012 Olympics

The Washington Times Daily - - Life -

Queen El­iz­a­beth II’S busy sum­mer cal­en­dar just got a bit more crowded.

The monarch will open both the 2012 Olympics and the Par­a­lympics this sum­mer, sig­nal­ing that both events will be cel­e­brated as great state oc­ca­sions — some­thing the Bri­tish are fa­mous for. It is the first time the queen has opened the Par­a­lympic Games.

The monarch and her hus­band, Prince Philip, will per­form the cer­e­mo­nial role at the 80,000-seat Olympic Sta­dium when the Olympic games be­gin on July 27, and for the Par­a­lympic Games that start Aug. 29, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

The queen fol­lows in the foot­steps of her fa­ther, the late King Ge­orge VI, who opened the 1948 London Olympics, and her great­grand­fa­ther, King Ed­ward VII, who opened the 1908 London Olympics. The queen also opened the 1976 Olympics Games in Mon­treal as she is the head of state of Canada, while Philip did so on her be­half at Melbourne, Australia, in 1956.

The decision to open both cer­e­monies caps a very busy year for the queen, whose di­a­mond ju­bilee this year marks her 60 years on the throne.

The queen, 85, and Philip, 90, are plan­ning an ex­ten­sive tour of the United King­dom dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tions, in­clud­ing vis­its to Scot­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land. Philip is still plan­ning to stick to the sched­ule de­spite his De­cem­ber heart scare, which re­quired a stent to keep his coro­nary ar­ter­ies open.

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