published Friday, July 27th, 2012

Star-studded audience for Olympic opening ceremony

  • photo
    First lady Michelle Obama hugs women's basketball player Candace Parker after speaking at a breakfast with Team USA at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LONDON — There will be monarchs, presidents, prime ministers — and David Beckham. Friday's opening ceremony for the London Olympics is an A-list affair.

Among the 60,000 spectators at Olympic Stadium will be Queen Elizabeth II — who as British head of state will officially open the games — along with royals including Prince William and his wife Kate, and Prince Harry.

There's sure to be a sprinkling of showbiz royalty, too, with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, recently filming in Britain, the most often-cited names.

The British government says more than 80 heads of state and government will be in the audience, including royalty from Brunei, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

The U.S. will be represented by first lady Michelle Obama and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will also attend.

Beckham, who helped bring the games to London and is widely rumored to have a role in the ceremony, will be there, and British newspapers have speculated that boxing great Muhammad Ali may also be involved.

The show, a 27 million pound ($42 million) spectacular titled "Isles of Wonder," will end with a performance by Paul McCartney.

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