The Olympic torch took the final lap of its 8,000 mile relay around London Thursday, a day before the official start of the 2012 Olympics games, amid much festivity and fervor. More than 10 million people reportedly hit the streets as the flame traveled through Great Britain's landmarks.
From celebrities, politicians and sportspersons to the common man, several hundred torchbearers carried the flame across the cities and villages of Britain, igniting the Olympic spirit.
The torch was welcomed throughout its passage by cheering crowds who thronged to see the flame and be a part of history in the making.
"It was pretty cool to see it actually. It was like: 'Wow, it's the torch!' We weren't expecting it," said 19-year-old Anastasia Gribaldi, as reported by AP.
The flame will complete its 70-day journey on Friday, when it will light up the Olympic Stadium's cauldron in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. The identity of the final torchbearer is being kept a closely guarded secret. However, the main contenders for the honor are said to be Sir Steve Redgrave, Daley Thompson, Prince William, David Beckham, Kelly Holmes and Roger Bannister.
The torch passed through the Houses of Parliament, 10 Downing St and the Buckingham Palace, across the London's river Thames, Regent's canal in Camden on Oxford Street as thousands of people gathered to get a glimpse of the flame.
Fundraiser Tony Page carries the Olympic Flame through Parliament Square, in front of Big Ben, in central London
Britain's Prince William, along with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry watch as Olympic torch bearer Wai-Ming Lee hands over the flame to John Hulse during a visit to Buckingham Palace in London
Olympic torch bearer John Hulse carries the flame as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Britain's Prince Harry look on, during a visit to Buckingham Palace in London
Britain's PM David Cameron greets Olympic torchbearer Florence Rowe after she received the flame in London
Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe and Olympic torchbearer Macgregor watch as torchbearer Wells takes the Olympic Flame at Windsor Castle, west of London
Royal Marine Williams carries the London 2012 Olympic flame inside a lantern as he abseils from a helicopter at the Tower of London
Paralympian Ade Adepitan carries the Olympic Flame across the Millennium Bridge in front of St Paul's Cathedral ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.