Among the countries present from the Americas were Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Bermuda, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, St. Lucia, Aruba, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, St. Kitts/Nevis, Uruguay, Bahamas, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela, Barbados, Cuba, Peru, Grenada, the BVI and Suriname.
Starting from Hampton Court Palace, Olympic Rowing gold medallist Matthew Pinsent carried the Flame on to the Royal rowbarge, the Gloriana, named by Her Majesty as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The rowbarge was rowed down the Thames to Tower Bridge by 16 oarsmen and women including Olympic Rowers James Cracknell and Jonny Searle.
Once on board, Pinsent lit a ceremonial cauldron, which was used to light the Torches of seven young Torchbearers, in turn, who carried the Flame as it travels down the river.
One of the Torchbearers aboard was Amber Charles, 22, from Newham, who played a key role in London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games seven years ago, presenting London’s proposal to stage the Games to members of the IOC at Lausanne in 2004.
As the last Torchbearer on the Thames, Amber carried the Flame to City Hall. The Flame remained out of public view until it appeared at the Opening Ceremony.
Over the past 70 days, more than 13 million people lined the streets of the UK to show their support for the Torch Relay. LOCOG Chair Seb Coe said: ‘Thank you to each and every person for giving the Olympic Flame such a magnificent welcome and celebrating the best of the UK with us. Together we have given the London 2012 Games the best possible start.’
The Flame arrived at the Olympic Stadium this evening for the Opening Ceremony, where the Olympic Cauldron was lit and stay alight until it is extinguished on the final day of the Games.