2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony: The Highlights

2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony: The Highlights

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, 55, created a stunning series of visuals for the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in London July 27.

One of the evening's most memorable moments featured Queen Elizabeth II, 86, showing off her comedic chops in a pre-taped video with Daniel Craig, 44, as James Bond. In the clip, the duo left Buckingham Palace, climbed into a helicopter and parachuted into the Olympic Stadium. (Her Royal Highness and the actor used stunt doubles, of course.)

The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, 91, were then introduced in the stadium, and the national anthem was performed by the Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf and Hearing Children.

Later in the show, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, 46, read an excerpt from famed British author J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Soon after, famous villains from British literature -- Alice in Wonderland's The Queen of Hearts, Peter Pan's Captain Hook, 101 Dalmatians' Cruella de Vil and Harry Potter's Lord Voldemort -- were inflated, with some rising to be more than 40 feet tall.

Other highlights included Rowan Atkinson, 57, reprising his beloved role as Mr. Bean, zoning out while performing "Chariots of Fire" with the London Symphony Orchestra; international soccer superstar David Beckham, 37, arriving by boat to pass the Olympic torch to rower Steve Redgrave, 50, a six-time Olympic medalist; and the Arctic Monkeys performing their hit "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" and a cover of the Beatles' "Come Together."

After the parade of nations and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, former Beatles member Paul McCartney, 70, closed the ceremony with emotional renditions of "The End" and "Hey Jude."

Notable attendees at the event included First Lady Michelle Obama, 48, Prince William and Kate Middleton, both 30, Prince Harry, 27, Prince Charles, 63, Camilla Parker Bowles, 65, and Queen Sofia of Spain, 73.

Tell Us: What was your favorite moment from the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony?

Want more Olympics? Meet Team USA's families, go inside their homes (and gyms!), and more! Check out Us Weekly's Olympic collectors edition, "American Heroes," on newsstands now. Order at bn.com/usolympics.

This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony: The Highlights