Palaces set to welcome London 2012 Olympics torch

Palaces set to welcome London 2012 Olympics torch

London 2012 host venue

1 July 2012
Both the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace to host the London 2012 Olympic Flame

Historic Royal Palaces will have the honour of hosting the London 2012 Olympic Flame at two of its palaces. Both the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace will receive the torch, as part of its final stage touring the UK.

LOCOG has confirmed that the torch will arrive at the Tower of London, its first London venue, on 20 July, 2012. Following its arrival at the Tower, the Olympic Flame will then pass through Olympic host boroughs Greenwich, Hackney, Newham and Waltham Forest, before visiting every other London Borough.

Heralding the arrival of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the torch will be welcomed by the Tower of London at a special celebration that evening. The torch will be greeted at the Tower by Yeoman Warders during a welcome ceremony, before being handed over to the Constable of the Tower of London for safekeeping overnight. 

On 27 July, the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, the Olympic Flame will begin its journey towards the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games from Hampton Court Palace.  Torchbearers will guide the Olympic Flame through the grounds of this historic Royal Palace to the bank of the Thames ready to be carried along the River, on its journey towards the Olympic Stadium.

John Brown, Deputy Governor of the Tower of London, commented: “We are truly honoured to be welcoming the torch during its first night in London. As Her Majesty's Royal Fortress, and the home of the world famous Crown Jewels, with a long history of guardianship, it is entirely fitting that the Tower will be receiving the torch for safekeeping as it arrives in the capital. We are proud and excited to be a part of this historic event."

Steeped in history, the Tower will provide a fitting venue for the torch to spend its first night in the capital. With its origins dating back to William the Conqueror, it shot to fame during the Tudor reign when it became a royal prison and housed some of the country’s most notorious political and religious prisoners of the time.

Following its arrival at the Tower, the Olympic Flame will then pass through Olympic host boroughs Greenwich, Hackney, Newham and Waltham Forest, before visiting every other London Borough.

On 27 July, the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, the Olympic Flame will begin its journey towards the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games from Hampton Court Palace.  Torchbearers will guide the Olympic Flame through the grounds of this historic Royal Palace to the bank of the Thames ready to be carried along the River, on its journey towards the Olympic Stadium.

Paul Gray, Palaces Group Director, for Historic Royal Palaces, commented: “We are delighted to guide the Olympic Flame through the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. The iconic status and historic significance of this palace make it the ideal place for the torch to transition onto the River Thames and enter the home straight of its Olympic journey. We are also honoured to have been chosen as an official 2012 venue and we look forward to welcoming the Cycling Time Trials event to Hampton Court Palace.”

Full details of the Relay will be announced closer to the time.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: ‘We are thrilled to confirm that the Olympic Flame will be visiting the Tower of London as part of its journey around the UK.  We have worked hard to devise a route that achieves the optimum mix of proximity to people whilst taking in diversity of London’s landscape and landmarks, and by taking in the Tower of London we are doing just that.   This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across London to start planning how they can be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity and show their support for the inspirational Torchbearers chosen to carry the Olympic Flame as we count down to the start of the Olympic Games.”

 

Notes to editors

For further information please contact Nicola Osmond-Evans on 020 3166 6303 or email nicola.osmond-evans@hrp.org.uk

To view and download images please visit HRP’s online photographic library at hrp.newsteam.co.uk

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace.  We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.

We receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

We believe in four principles.  Guardianship: giving these palaces a future as long and valuable as their past. Discovery: encouraging people to make links with their own lives and today’s world. Showmanship: doing everything with panache. Independence: having our own point of view and finding new ways to do our work. www.hrp.org.uk 

Registered charity number 1068852   

The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them.

In announcing the villages, towns and cities and some of the landmarks and alternative modes of transport the Flame will take in as part of its journey, LOCOG has realised the aspiration of taking the Olympic Flame to within an hour’s journey time of 95% of the population. In fact, over 95% of the population will be within just 10 miles of the Olympic Flame next summer. The street by street detail of the route will be confirmed next year.

People are invited to view the interactive map at  www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelaymap to find their nearest community through which the Olympic Flame will be carried.

On the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, it is LOCOG’s intention that the Olympic Flame will travel down the River Thames as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
For logistical reasons, not all the landmarks will be accessible to large crowds but LOCOG have worked with the local areas to ensure that there is as much public access as possible.

The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers each of whom will have a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community. In December this year, successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer and final Torchbearer places will start to be confirmed from February 2012 onwards.

Today LOCOG launches two new public participation programmes. The ‘Local Leaders’ initiative is an invitation to people to take the 2012 Games into their community and create their own celebrations next year, for the Olympic Torch Relay and other key moments during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. People are encouraged to sign up to the Local Leader programme at www.london2012.com/localleaders to receive further information on a range of themed celebration ideas focusing on the Opening Ceremony evening, gardening, quizzes and barbecues and be in the front row to receive free London 2012 event materials to support events.

Also launched today is the ‘Get Set for the Olympic Torch Relay’ education resource, available to all schools registered with Get Set, London 2012’s official education programme. The aim of the resource is to provide schools with cross-curricular resources aimed at teachers working with 3 to 16 year olds to aid learning around history of Olympic Torch Relays, the design of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the Torch itself. A further education resource will launch next year to encourage schools to plan a welcome for the Olympic Flame and show support for the Torchbearers.   Lloyds TSB, official Education Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, have launched their Flame Followers schools programme which compliments the Get Set resources, and gives schools once-in-a-lifetime opportunities be right at the heart of the excitement and celebrations of the Relay.

As the longest standing Presenting Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola will be using its heritage and experience to spread excitement across the UK ahead of London 2012. Coca-Cola's national nomination campaign - Future Flames – has focused on finding inspirational young people from across the country to have the once in a lifetime opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame. Next summer Coca-Cola will celebrate these Future Flames: young people who use their passions in areas like sport and physical activity, music and dance, and community and the environment; to spread happiness in their local communities. Find out more at: www.coca-cola.co.uk/olympic-games

As the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB will be taking the spirit and inspiration of the Olympic Flame right to the heart of communities across the UK.  As part of Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland will be the National Presenting Partner in Scotland. We will bring the Relay closer to our customers through our branches on practically every high street and our activities in the community, National School Sport Week and Local Heroes.  Customers can be the first to hear about exclusive offers, including how they can have the chance to carry the Olympic Flame, through our customer-exclusive programme, Trackside. Find out more at www.lloydstsb/london2012.  Schools can be right at the heart of the celebrations through our Flame Followers programme, giving them access to free resources to get their pupils inspired and excited about the Olympic Torch Relay, and the chance for their school to carry the Olympic Flame, win a celebration party at their school during the Relay and win a Cheer Kit to welcome the Relay to their community.  Customers can be the first to hear how they can follow the Olympic Flame, through our customer-exclusive programme Trackside. Find out more at www.lloydstsb.com/london2012.

As part of its support for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Samsung is providing a number of the Olympic Torchbearers through its public nomination process. These ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunities to carry the Olympic Flame on its journey around the UK, represents one of the many ways that Samsung is enabling people from all corners of the world to be part of the greatest show on Earth.  Becoming an Olympic Torchbearer thanks to Samsung means everyone can become a part of the Olympic history. From June 13th 2011, Samsung has invited the world to recognise its unsung heroes. Samsung’s nomination programme for Olympic Torchbearers is a worldwide search for these unique and selfless individuals. The campaign has been communicated globally via a number of marketing channels to ensure that the maximum number of people become aware of the opportunity.  It is Samsung’s ambition that London 2012 will be an event that reaches and involves more people than on any other Olympic Games occasion. To learn more about the Samsung nomination programme, please visit www.samsung.com/london2012.

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