Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Britain's Queen Elizabeth will host a reception for members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today (23.07.12).

The monarch has invited IOC representatives from around the world to Buckingham Palace to welcome them to London ahead of the city staging the Olympic Games from July 27 to August 12 2012.

Elizabeth will address her guests during the reception and Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC - which organises the Games - will also give a speech in return.

The queen will officially open the spectacle on Friday (27.07.12) when she attends the £27 million opening ceremony curated by 'Slumdog Millionaire' director Danny Boyle.

Elizabeth's granddaughter Zara Phillips will follow in the footsteps of her mother, Princess Anne, when she takes part in the Games as one-fifth of Britain's evening team - and Prince William, Duchess Catherine and Prince Harry - who are all ambassadors of Team GB - are expected to cheer her on.

Zara will not be attending the glitzy opening ceremony because she wants to focus on training for the spectacle, but she is looking forward to staying in the Athletes Village with her fellow competitors throughout the sporting event.

She recently explained: "I would rather get on with my competition than go to the opening ceremony.

"In the past the equestrian has been based quite far out and this time they have made a big effort to have it as part of the Olympics and really nearby [to the village], so it will be great to have the atmosphere and benefit from that."