Opening Ceremony London 2012 Olympics: Prince William, David Beckham and the Top 10 Britons Who Could Light the Olympic Torch

The opening ceremony of the Games of the XXX Olympiad starts today at 7:30 p.m. (ET) with a performance by Paul McCartney and a $42 million spectacle inspired in Shakespeare’s The Tempest -- which will showcase the United Kingdom’s history from bucolic Middle Ages landscapes to today’s most dynamic British pop cultural icons of music, cinema and TV.

And one of the most anticipated parts of any Olympic opening ceremony, the lighting of the torch, will take center stage as the lighter’s identity will be kept a secret until the very end. And though speculation points to either Prince William or David Beckhamn – as two of the most popular British icons of today – it is not totally ruled out that a wild surprise could end up lighting the Olympic torch tonight at London’s Olympic Park.

Following, the Top 25 Britons who could light the Olympic torch at the London 2012 Olympics:

10. Sir Steve Redgrave:


A retired British rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000, as well as a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Games. 

9. Daley Thompson:


A former decathlete from England. He won the decathlon gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, and broke the world record for the event four times.

8. Sir Roger Bannister:


An English former athlete best known for running the first mile in less than 4 minutes. 

7. Queen Elizabeth:


Does Her Majesty need a presentation?

6. Prince Charles and Kate Middleton:


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

5. Pippa Middleton:


Socialite.

4. David Beckham:


Footballer.

3. J.K. Rowland:


Author.

2. Helen Mirren:


Actress.

1. Sean Connery:


Actor.

Correction: a previous version of this story mistakenly said Susan Boyle would be performing at the Opening Ceremony.