Olympic torch arrives at RNAS Culdrose
8:35pm Friday 18th May 2012 in Olympic Torch Relay
The Olympic Flame has arrived in the UK at RNAS Culdrose ahead of a 70-day tour of the country.
Footballer David Beckham, the Princess Royal, Lord Coe, chairman of Games organisers Locog, and London Mayor Boris Johnson flew from Athens, Greece, with the flame. They were on board British Airways flight BA2012, a gold-liveried plane named The Firefly.
The Olympic Flame was held in four different lanterns, which were fastened into specially designed cradles in seats 1A and 1B for the near four-hour flight from Athens. The Airbus 319 jet landed at 7.25pm at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, near Helston, Cornwall.
The Princess Royal carried the lantern containing the flame from the aircraft, accompanied by Beckham, who hopes to play for the Team GB football squad, Lord Coe, Mr Johnson and five British sporting teenagers. A welcoming party including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg greeted the delegation as they stepped off the plane.
Once on British soil, the distinctive gold London 2012 torch was lit from the lantern and was passed to former England captain Beckham. He then climbed on to a stage and used the torch to light a cauldron at the air-sea rescue base, where it will burn overnight.
The ceremony was broadcast live on the BBC's The One Show, presented by Chris Evans. More than 500 guests were present at Culdrose, which is home to most of the Navy's Merlin and Sea King helicopter squadrons.