Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Queen visits athletes' village

The Queen tours the Athletes Village dinning hall

Team GB athletes had a visit from the Queen as she was given a tour of the Olympic Park.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Queen was shown around the British section of the athletes' village, where around 150 Team GB competitors and delegates lined the pathway to welcome her.

Others looked down from balconies draped with Union flags as the royal visitors were shown the place British sportsmen and women will call home for the next couple of weeks.

Fresh from her starring role in Friday night's opening ceremony, the Queen was shown inside one of the team members' rooms while the other royals chatted to the athletes.

Team GB basketball player Rose Anderson, 24, said she was too starstruck to talk to the Queen.

She said: "It was brilliant. For her to come through and meet the athletes, and see where we're living, it was amazing. She went inside one of the athletes' bedrooms and chatted to us. The Duke of Edinburgh was really friendly as well."

Earlier the royal guests enjoyed a bird's-eye view of the Olympic Park when they visited the top of the towering ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture.

After taking the lift to the second floor - 377ft (115m) up - the Queen spent a few minutes on the viewing platform from where she could survey the Stratford site below and the capital's skyline beyond.

Inside the tower, where floor to ceiling glass windows provide a panoramic view across the city, they were joined by London 2012 chairman Lord Coe, London mayor Boris Johnson and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, the chief executive of Arcelor Mittal, which funded the structure. The group was also introduced to award-winning artist Anish Kapoor, who co-created the artwork.

The royal visitors spoke to Games volunteers and ambassadors inside, with the Queen laughing as she was congratulated about her own performance alongside Daniel Craig's James Bond in last night's ceremony.

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