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Olympic Flame handed over to London
David Beckham during the official handover ceremony of the Olympic Flame at the Panathenaic Stadium, home of the 1896 Athens Games
The Olympic Flame is expected to arrive in the UK on Friday after it was handed over at a ceremony in Athens.
British delegates including David Beckham, will fly back from Greece to RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall.
They will attend a special ceremony welcoming the flame, before it is taken on a 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles.
The flame will finally reach east London's Olympic Stadium and the opening of the Games on July 27.
London was officially handed the flame in a rain-hit sundown ceremony at the old Panathenaic Stadium, venue of the first modern Olympics in 1896. The flame was handed over to London to host the Games for the third time since the birth of the Olympics - in 1908, 1948 and now 2012. No other city has staged the Games three times.
Despite the buzz triggered by the last-minute news that LA Galaxy star and former England skipper Beckham was flying in specially to be part of the ancient ceremony, the more formal duties came down to the Princess Royal.
Both she and Karolos Papoulias, the Greek president, sat in ancient thrones that are part of the stadium during the hour-long event.
The flame was handed to the Princess, who was watched closely by other members of the official delegation including London 2012 chairman Lord Coe, Olympics minister Hugh Robertson, London mayor Boris Johnson, Beckham and five British sporting teenagers.
In his speech, Lord Coe thanked the damp crowd for Greece's warm hospitality and also for "laying on the British weather for us".
He added that the arrival of the flame on British shores will be a "resounding clarion call" to the world's top athletes to gather for the Games, and millions of Britons have been working hard to create a great welcome.